Judges 5:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 5:14, NIV: Some came from Ephraim, whose roots were in Amalek; Benjamin was with the people who followed you. From Makir captains came down, from Zebulun those who bear a commander's staff.

Judges 5:14, ESV: From Ephraim their root they marched down into the valley, following you, Benjamin, with your kinsmen; from Machir marched down the commanders, and from Zebulun those who bear the lieutenant’s staff;

Judges 5:14, KJV: 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.

Judges 5:14, NASB: From Ephraim those whose root is in Amalek came down, Following you, Benjamin, with your peoples; From Machir commanders came down, And from Zebulun those who wield the staff of office.

Judges 5:14, NLT: They came down from Ephraim--a land that once belonged to the Amalekites; they followed you, Benjamin, with your troops. From Makir the commanders marched down; from Zebulun came those who carry a commander's staff.

Judges 5:14, CSB: Those with their roots in Amalek came from Ephraim; Benjamin came with your people after you. The leaders came down from Machir, and those who carry a marshal's staff came from Zebulun.

What does Judges 5:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Deborah, in a song commemorating the Lord's victory over the Canaanites (Judges 5:1), now describes the volunteers from the various tribes of Israel who offered themselves to follow Barak into battle. These are the people of the Lord who answered the call to come and fight.

In the previous chapter, Scripture described these events in a straightforward way, using prose instead of poetry. No mention was made of any tribes except Naphtali and Zebulun. Now it becomes clear that several tribes contributed to Barak's sizable army (Judges 4:10).

Deborah first mentions the people of her own tribe, Ephraim. They marched down into the valley, either from the hill country where they lived or from Mount Tabor after the entire army had gathered there. Those of the tribe of Benjamin came next.

She also mentions a group of commanders from Machir. Machir was the name of Manasseh's oldest son (Genesis 50:23); this likely means those occupying the western part of the territory of Manasseh. The volunteers from Zebulun follow next. Deborah describes these as the ones who carry the lieutenant's staff. Apparently, both Machir and Zebulun contributed leaders or officers to the cause.