Then ye answered, and said unto me
Not being willing to go into the wilderness again, though they wished they had died in it; nor to go the way of the Red sea, which was their way back again to Egypt, though they had been for appointing a captain, and returning thither; but now they repented of what they had said and done:
we have sinned against the Lord;
by murmuring against his servants, and disobeying his commands:
we will go up and fight according to all that the Lord our God hath
which is more than they were bid to do; they were only ordered to go up and possess the land, and it was promised them the Lord would fight for them:
and when ye had girded on every man his weapon;
his sword upon his thigh; a large number of them, for all of them were not so disposed, though many were:
ye were ready to go unto the hill;
though before backward enough, when they were bid to do it. De Dieu, from the use of the word F14 in the Arabic language, renders it, "ye reckoned it easy to go up unto the hill"; before it was accounted very difficult, by reason the passes were kept and guarded by the Amorites; but now there was no difficulty, when they were bid to go another way, but were ready at once to go up, which comes to the same sense; he further observes, that the word, in another conjugation in the same language, signifies to make light of, or despise F15; and so may be rendered, "and ye despised"; that is, rejected and despised the order given them to go into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea in the preceding verse, by their attempting to go up the hill; though the word so taken will bear another sense, agreeable to the first, that they now made a light matter of it, as if it was nothing, and there was no difficulty in it to go up the hill, which before was too hard and heavy for them.
F15 "Contempsit", ib.