Judges 5:23

23 ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the LORD. ‘Curse its people bitterly, because they did not come to help the LORD, to help the LORD against the mighty.’

Read Judges 5:23 Using Other Translations

Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.
"Curse Meroz, says the angel of the LORD, curse its inhabitants thoroughly, because they did not come to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.
‘Let the people of Meroz be cursed,’ said the angel of the LORD . ‘Let them be utterly cursed, because they did not come to help the LORD — to help the LORD against the mighty warriors.’

What does Judges 5:23 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Judges 5:23

Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord
Not Barak, as the Targum and Jarchi, but Deborah herself said this under a spirit of prophecy, not from her own spirit in a revengeful way, but from the Spirit of God; or this was suggested to her by an angel, not a created, but the uncreated one, the Angel of the covenant, by whom she was inspired, and an impulse made by him on her to denounce a curse on Meroz; which some say was a star, Sisera's star; others the name of a mighty man F16, so Jarchi; but rather it is some name of a city or place near where the battle was fought, so Kimchi, Ben Gersom, and Ben Melech: some take Meroz to be the same with Merom, at the waters of which Joshua fought with Jabin, ( Joshua 11:5 ) and supposed to be the same with the waters of Megiddo, and the river Kishon, where this battle was fought; and Jerom F17, under the word Merom, observes, that there was in his time a village called Merrus, twelve miles from the city Sebaste near Dothaim, and that Meroz here is the name of a place is clear from what follows:

curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof;
or "curse cursing" F18; repeat it, give them curse upon curse, curse them most vehemently: the reason of which follows:

because they came not to the help of the Lord;
that is, of the people of the Lord, whose cause was the Lord's; for though he stood in no need of their help, yet their negligence and neutrality were highly resented by him, and therefore repeated:

to the help of the Lord against the mighty;
the mighty Canaanites, and their mighty kings, and mighty hosts; or "with the mighty" F19, Barak and his 10,000: now though others, who did not come into their assistance, are only discommended, being at a distance, yet those are cursed, being very near, and saw the peril their brethren were in, and yet would not lend an helping hand.


FOOTNOTES:

F16 T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 16. 1.
F17 De loc. Heb. fol. 93. D.
F18 (rwra wra) "maledictie maledicendo", Pagninus, Montanus.
F19 (Myrwbgb) "cum fortibus", Pagninus, Tigurine version; so Patrick.
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