me'-roz (meroz; Codex Vaticanus, Meroz; Codex Alexandrinus, Mazor):
This name occurs only once in Scripture. The angel of the Lord is represented as invoking curses upon Meroz because the inhabitants "came not to the help of Yahweh" on the day of Deborah and Barak's victory (Judges 5:23). It is a strange fate, shared with Chorazin, to be preserved from oblivion only by the record of a curse. The bitterness in the treatment of Meroz, not found in the references to any of the other delinquents, must be due to the special gravity of her offense. Reuben, Gilead and Da were far away. This, however, is not true of Asher, who was also absent. Perhaps Meroz was near the field of battle and, at some stage of the conflict, within sight and hearing of the strife. If, when Zebulun "jeopardized their lives unto the death, and Naphtali, upon the high places of the field," they turned a deaf ear and a cold heart to the dire straits of their brethren, this might explain the fierce reproaches of Deborah.
Meroz may possibly be identified with el-Murussus, a mud-built village about 5 miles Northwest of Beisan, on the slopes to the North of the Vale of Jezreel. If the Kedesh where Heber's tent was pitched be identical with Qadish to the West of the Sea of Galilee, Sisera's flight, avoiding the Israelites in the neighborhood of Mt. Tabor, may have carried him past el-Murussus. If the inhabitants had it in their power to arrest him, but suffered him to escape (Moore, "Jgs," ICC, 163), such treachery to the na tion's cause might well rouse the indignation of the heroic prophetess.
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