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Judges 5:6 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, In the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, And the travellers walked through byways.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, In the days of Jael, the highways were deserted, And travelers went by roundabout ways.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travelers walked through by-ways.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, The roads were unused, and the travellers on highways went by crooked paths.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the roads were forsaken,—and, the frequenters of highways, betook them to roundabout paths:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— In the days of Shamgar son of Anath—In the days of Jael—The ways have ceased, And those going in the paths go [in] crooked ways.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— In the days of Samgar, the son of Anath, in the days of Jahel, the paths rested: and they that went by them, walked through bye-ways.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— In the dayes of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the dayes of Iael, the high wayes were vnoccupied, and the traueilers walked thorow by-wayes.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— In the days of Samegar son of Anath, in the days of Jael, they deserted the ways, and went in by-ways; they went in crooked paths.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Yael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
In the days 3117
{3117} Prime
יוֹם
yowm
{yome}
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
of amgar שַׁמגַּר 8044
{8044} Prime
שַׁמְגַּר
Shamgar
{sham-gar'}
Of uncertain derivation; Shamgar, an Israelite judge.
the son 1121
{1121} Prime
בֵּן
ben
{bane}
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of `n עֲנָת, 6067
{6067} Prime
עֲנָת
`Anath
{an-awth'}
From H6030; answer; Anath, an Israelite.
in the days 3117
{3117} Prime
יוֹם
yowm
{yome}
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
of Y`l יָעֵל, 3278
{3278} Prime
יָעֵל
Ya`el
{yaw-ale'}
The same as H3277; Jael, a Canaanite.
the highways 734
{0734} Prime
אֹרַח
'orach
{o'-rakh}
From H0732; a well trodden road (literally or figuratively); also a caravan.
were unoccupied, 2308
{2308} Prime
חָדַל
chadal
{khaw-dal'}
A primitive root; properly to be flabby, that is, (by implication) desist; (figuratively) be lacking or idle.
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
and the travellers 1980
{1980} Prime
הָלַךְ
halak
{haw-lak'}
Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
x5410
(5410) Complement
נָתִיב
nathiyb
{naw-theeb'}
From an unused root meaning to tramp; a (beaten) track.
walked y3212
[3212] Standard
יָלַך
yalak
{yaw-lak'}
A primitive root (compare H1980); to walk (literally or figuratively); causatively to carry (in various senses).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
x1980
(1980) Complement
הָלַךְ
halak
{haw-lak'}
Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
through byways. 6128
{6128} Prime
עֲקַלְקָל
`aqalqal
{ak-al-kal'}
From H6127; winding.
y5410
[5410] Standard
נָתִיב
nathiyb
{naw-theeb'}
From an unused root meaning to tramp; a (beaten) track.
x734
(0734) Complement
אֹרַח
'orach
{o'-rakh}
From H0732; a well trodden road (literally or figuratively); also a caravan.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Judges 5:6-8

_ _ The song proceeds in these verses to describe the sad condition of the country, the oppression of the people, and the origin of all the national distress in the people’s apostasy from God. Idolatry was the cause of foreign invasion and internal inability to resist it.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Judges 5:6-11

_ _ Here, I. Deborah describes the distressed state of Israel under the tyranny of Jabin, that the greatness of their trouble might make their salvation appear the more illustrious and the more gracious (Judges 5:6): From the days of Shamgar, who did something towards the deliverance of Israel from the Philistines, to the days of Jael, the present day, in which Jael has so signalized herself, the country has been in a manner desolate. 1. No trade. For want of soldiers to protect men of business in their business from the incursions of the enemy, and for want of magistrates to restrain and punish thieves and robbers among them (men of broken fortunes and desperate spirits, that, having no employment, took to rob on the highroad), all commerce ceased, and the highways were unoccupied; no caravans of merchants, as formerly. 2. No travelling. Whereas in times when there was some order and government the travellers might be safe in the open roads, and the robbers were forced to lurk in the by-ways, no, on the contrary, the robbers insulted on the open roads without check, and the honest travellers were obliged to sculk and walk through by-ways, in continual frights. 3. No tillage. The fields must needs be laid waste and unoccupied when the inhabitants of the villages, the country farmers, ceased from their employment, quitted their houses which were continually alarmed and plundered by the banditti, and were obliged to take shelter for themselves and their families in walled and fenced cities. 4. No administration of justice. There was war in the gates where their courts were kept, Judges 5:8. So that it was not till this salvation was wrought that the people of the Lord durst go down to the gates, Judges 5:11. The continual incursions of the enemy deprived the magistrates of the dignity, and the people of the benefit, of their government. 5. No peace to him that went out nor to him that came in. The gates through which they passed and repassed were infested by the enemy; nay, the places of drawing water were alarmed by the archers — a mighty achievement to terrify the drawers of water. 6. Neither arms nor spirit to help themselves with, not a shield nor spear seen among forty thousand, Judges 5:8. Either they were disarmed by their oppressors, or they themselves neglected the art of war; so that, though they had spears and shields, they were not to be seen, but were thrown by and suffered to rust, they having neither skill nor will to use them.

_ _ II. She shows in one word what it was that brought all this misery upon them: They chose new gods, Judges 5:8. It was their idolatry that provoked God to give them up thus into the hands of their enemies. The Lord their God was one Lord, but this would not content them: they must have more, many more, still more. Their God was the Ancient of days, still the same, and therefore they grew weary of him, and must have new gods, which they were as fond of as children of new clothes, names newly invented, heroes newly canonized. Their fathers, when put to their choice, chose the Lord for their God (Joshua 24:21), but they would not abide by that choice, they must have gods of their own choosing.

_ _ III. She takes notice of God's great goodness to Israel in raising up such as should redress these grievances. Herself first (Judges 5:7): Till that I Deborah arose, to restrain and punish those who disturbed the public peace, and protect men in their business, and then the face of things was changed for the better quickly; those beasts of prey retired upon the breaking forth of this joyful light, and man went forth again to his work and labour, Psalms 104:22, Psalms 104:23. Thus she became a mother in Israel, a nursing mother, such was the affection she bore to her people, and such the care and pains she took for the public welfare. Under her there were other governors of Israel (Judges 5:9), who, like her, had done their part as governors to reform the people, and then, like her, offered themselves willingly to serve in the war, not insisting upon the exemption which their dignity and office entitled them to, when the had so fair an opportunity of appearing in their country's cause; and no doubt the example of the governors influenced the people in like manner willingly to offer themselves, Judges 5:2. Of these governors she says, My heart is towards them, that is, “I truly love and honour them; they have won my heart for ever; I shall never forget them.” Note, Those are worthy of double honour that recede voluntarily from the demands of their honour to serve God and his church.

_ _ IV. She calls upon those who had a particular share in the advantages of this great salvation to offer up particular thanks to God for it, Judges 5:10, Judges 5:11. Let every man speak as he found of the goodness of God in this happy change of the posture of public affairs. 1. You that ride on white asses, that is, the nobility and gentry. Horses were little used in that county; they had, it is probable, a much better breed of asses than we have; but persons of quality, it seems, were distinguished by the colour of the asses they rode on; the white being more rare were therefore more valued. Notice is taken of Abdon's sons and grandsons riding on ass-colts, as indicating them to be men of distinction, Judges 12:14. Let such as are by this salvation restored, not only to their liberty as other Israelites, but to their dignity, speak God's praises. 2. Let those that sit in judgment be sensible of it, and thankful for it as a very great mercy, that they may sit safely there, that the sword of justice is not struck out of their hand by the sword of war. 3. Let those that walk by the way, and meet with none there to make them afraid, speak to themselves in pious meditations, and to their fellow-travellers in religious discourses, of the goodness of God in ridding the roads of those banditti that had so long infested them. 4. Let those that draw in peace, and have not their wells taken from them, or stopped up, nor are in danger of being caught by the enemy when they go forth to draw, there, where they find themselves so much more safe and easy than they have been, there let them rehearse the acts of the Lord, not Deborah's acts, nor Barak's, but the Lord's, taking notice of his hand making peace in their borders, and creating a defence upon all the glory. This is the Lord's doing. Observe in these acts of his, (1.) Justice executed on his daring enemies. They are the righteous acts of the Lord. See him pleading a righteous cause, and sitting in the throne judging aright, and give him glory as the Judge of all the earth. (2.) Kindness shown to his trembling people, the inhabitants of the villages, who lay most open to the enemy, had suffered most, and were most in danger, Ezekiel 38:11. It is the glory of God to protect those that are most exposed, and to help the weakest. Let us all take notice of the share we in particular have in the public peace and tranquility, the inhabitants of the villages especially, and give God the praise of it.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Judges 5:6

Jael — Jael, though an illustrious woman, effected nothing for the deliverance of God's people, 'till God raised me up. By — ways — Because of the Philistines and Canaanites, who, besides the public burdens which they laid upon them, waited for all opportunities to do them mischief secretly; their soldiers watching for travellers in common roads, as is usual with such in times of war; and, because of the robbers even of their own people, who having cast off the fear of God, and there being no king in Israel to punish them, broke forth into acts of injustice and violence, even against their own brethren.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Judges 5:6

In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were (b) unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways.

(b) For fear of the enemies.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Shamgar:

Judges 3:31 And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.

Jael:

Judges 4:17-18 Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for [there was] peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. ... And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle.

the highways:

Leviticus 26:22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your [high] ways shall be desolate.
2 Chronicles 15:5 And in those times [there was] no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations [were] upon all the inhabitants of the countries.
Isaiah 33:8 The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man.
Lamentations 1:4 The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she [is] in bitterness.
Lamentations 4:18 They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets: our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come.
Micah 3:12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed [as] a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.

travellers:
Heb. walkers of paths

byways:
Heb. crooked ways,
Psalms 125:5 As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: [but] peace [shall be] upon Israel.
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Lv 26:22. Jg 3:31; 4:17. 2Ch 15:5. Ps 125:5. Is 33:8. Lm 1:4; 4:18. Mi 3:12.

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