Judges 5:15

15 And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak: he was sent on foot[a] into the valley. For the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart.

Judges 5:15 Meaning and Commentary

Judges 5:15

And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah
On Mount Tabor, whither they came to offer themselves to join in the war against Jabin; or to assist with their counsels, the men of this tribe being understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, ( 1 Chronicles 12:32 )

even Issachar:
not the princes only, but the whole tribe also; so the Targum paraphrases it,

``the rest of the tribe of Issachar:''

and also Barak, he was sent on foot into the valley;
which was at the bottom of Mount Tabor, from whence he was sent down by Deborah, when Sisera's army was come thither; and where he went cheerfully on foot at the head of his 10,000 men, to engage Sisera with his horse and chariots; and which latter were capable of doing great execution in the valley, by running among the foot, and cutting them in pieces with the scythes at the side of them; but Barak, fearless of danger, readily obeyed the command of the judge and prophetess, believing it was of God: or the words may be rendered, as by Noldius F8

as Issachar, so Barak; he was sent
the one as the other, with equal readiness and cheerfulness, courage and intrepidity, descended the mountain, at the order of Deborah, and took the field in the open plain, to engage with Sisera and his numerous host:

for the division of Reuben [there were] great thoughts of heart;
either for their divisions among themselves in their own councils, some being for going over Jordan to assist their brethren the Israelites against Jabin, and free them from his yoke, pitying their distressed state and condition; and others were for keeping at home, and taking care of their flocks, and not intermeddle in the quarrel; judging it to be most for their worldly peace and profit to observe a neutrality: by reason of which divisions no assistance was given. Or for their divisions and separations from their brethren the Israelites, from whom they were not only separated by the river Jordan, but in their affections to them, and regards for them; keeping at a distance from them, when their help was required: and this conduct of theirs caused many thoughts of heart in Deborah and Barak, in the princes and people of Israel, who could not well understand the reason of it; and which caused much grief and uneasiness of mind, that so powerful a tribe, and who had been assisting to them in the conquest of the land, and lay convenient to help them, yet should be so very indifferent to them.


F8 (qrb Nk rkvvyw) "sicut Issachar sic Barach", Concord. Ebr. part. p. 305. No. 1214. So Belg.

Judges 5:15 In-Context

13 Then he made him that remaineth have dominion over the nobles among the people: the LORD made me have dominion over the mighty.
14 Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer.
15 And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak: he was sent on foot into the valley. For the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart.
16 Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart.
17 Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches.

Footnotes 1

The King James Version is in the public domain.