These [were] the renowned of the congregation
The most famous and eminent among the people, for their birth and pedigree, or for their excellent qualities of wisdom, courage, and the like; or "the called of the congregation" F4, whom God had called by name and selected from the rest of the congregation to the above service, whereby great honour was done them: Aben Ezra says, the sense is, that the congregation did nothing until they had called them; with which agrees the note of Jarchi,
``who were called to every business of importance in the congregation:''princes of the tribes of their fathers;
as Elizur was prince of the children of Reuben, ( Numbers 7:30 ) ; the same is there said of the rest in their respective tribes:
heads of thousands in Israel;
the congregation of Israel being divided into thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, by the advice of Jethro, ( Exodus 18:21 ) ; each of these divisions had a ruler over them, and thousands being the highest number, these princes were chiliarchs, rulers or heads of thousands.
F4 (hdeh yayrq) "convocati coetus", Montanus, Drusius; "convocati e coetu", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.