And the three hundred men blew the trumpets
Kept blowing them to continue and increase the terror of the enemy, and still held the lamps in their hands, and stood as torch bearers to light the Midianites and their associates to destroy one another, as follows:
and the Lord set every man's sword against his fellow throughout the
and so slew one another; either suspecting treachery, as Grotius, and so in revenge, wrath, and indignation, drew their swords on each other; or through the terror and amazement they were in at the sounds they heard, and the blazing torches dazzling their eyes, they knew not what they did, or who they fell upon, taking their friends for foes, supposing the Israelites were got into their camp; and the rather they might be led into this mistake, since there were people of different languages among them, as Josephus F13 observes; but the thing was of God, it was he that took away their reason and judgment from them, and infatuated them, and filled their imaginations with such strange apprehensions of things; and threw into their minds such terror and amazement, and directed them to point their swords at one another:
and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath;
that is, which was left of it, which had not destroyed each other; the first of these places should be read Bethhashittah; and perhaps had its name from the "shittah" or "shittim" trees which might grow near it in plenty, or the houses in it might be built of shittim wood; or it may be here stood a temple formerly dedicated to some deity of this name, and near it a grove of the above trees. Zererath, Kimchi observes, is written with two "reshes", or R's, to distinguish it from another place called Tzeredah; but where either of these places mentioned were cannot be particularly said; though it is highly probable they were in the tribe of Manasseh, and in the way to Jordan, whither in all probability the Midianites would steer their course to escape to their own land:
and to the border of Abelmeholah unto Tabbath;
the former of these was the birth place of Elisha the prophet, ( 1 Kings 19:16 ) and it appears very plainly that it was in the tribe of Manasseh, being mentioned with other places in that tribe, ( 1 Kings 4:12 ) . Jerome F14 under this word says, there was in his time a village in Aulon, or the plain, ten miles from Scythopolis to the south, which was called Bethahula; and the Targum is,
``to the border of the plain of Abelmeholah;''but of Tabbath we nowhere else read.
F13 Antiqu. l. 5. c. 6. sect. 5.
F14 De loc. Heb. fol. 88. M.