Deborah and Barak Are Called - Page 4 of 5 (series: Lessons on Judges)
by John Lowe
10And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.
11Now Heber the Kenite, which was of the children of Hobab the father in law of Moses, had severed himself from the Kenites, and pitched his tent unto the plain of Zaanaim, which is by Kedesh.
And the children of the Kenite, Moses' father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people.
Barak appealed to the two northern tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali to meet the Canaanite encroachment into that area. They responded to the call by sending 10,000 men, all volunteers, which happens to be the number that Deborah said he should have. They were all foot soldiers because he did not have any chariots; Israel always had to depend upon their infantry. Barak’s army is said to be at his feet, which infers that they were committed to following him, and to submitting themselves to his command. God is said to call us to his feet13(Isa. 41:2 ), that is, into obedience to him. Some think it intimates that they were all footmen, and so the armies of the Jews generally were, which made the disproportion of strength between them and the enemy (who had horses and chariots) very great, and the victory the more illustrious; but the presence of God and his prophetess was abundantly sufficient to balance that disproportion. Barak had his men at his feet, which intimates their cheerfulness and readiness to follow him whithersoever he went, 14Rev. 14:4. Though the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali were chiefly depended on, yet it appears from Deborah’s song that some had come in to him from other tribes (Manasseh and Issachar), and more were expected that did not show up from Reuben, Dan, and Asher 15(Jg. 5:14–17 ). But these are overlooked here; and we are only told that to make his 10,000 men effective indeed Deborah went up with him.
Verse 11 concerns the removal of Heber, one of the families of the Kenites; It says there that Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the main body of his tribe and had settled near Kedesh, in the northern country. Before that, they were living with their tribe in the wilderness of Judah, in the south, 16(Jg. 1:16 ). We are given this little bit of information for the sake of what was to follow concerning the exploit of Jael, a wife of that family.The Kenites were first encountered by Moses while he was in the Midianite desert and appear several times in the early history of Israel.
What did I learn? When God wants to glorify Himself through His people, He always has a perfect plan for us to follow. God chose the leader of His army, the place for the battle, and the plan for His army to follow. God also guaranteed the victory. It was like the “good old days of Joshua again.”