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Judges 5:19

ESV “The kings came, they fought; then fought the kings of Canaan, at Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo; they got no spoils of silver.
NIV Kings came, they fought, the kings of Canaan fought. At Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo, they took no plunder of silver.
NASB 'The kings came and fought; Then the kings of Canaan fought At Taanach near the waters of Megiddo; They took no plunder in silver.
CSB Kings came and fought. Then the kings of Canaan fought at Taanach by the Waters of Megiddo, but they did not plunder the silver.
NLT 'The kings of Canaan came and fought, at Taanach near Megiddo’s springs, but they carried off no silver treasures.
KJV The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money.

What does Judges 5:19 mean?

Deborah's song (Judges 5:1) about God's victory over the oppressors of Israel (Judges 4:1–3) finally arrives at the battle itself (Judges 4:12–16). Only Sisera, the commander of Canaan's army, is mentioned in the previous chapter. Now, though, Deborah adds that the kings of Canaan fought alongside Sisera.

Jabin of the city of Hazor was the king over all the Canaanites. Lesser kings would have ruled over their own city-states under Jabin's authority. These would have participated in the battle against the Israelites with the fighters from their own towns. This passage describes them gathering for the fight at a fortified city called Taanach. This was just southeast of Megiddo. Many famous battles have taken place on or near the plain of Megiddo, which some commentators have described as an ideally suited field of battle. Pivotal conflicts are yet to occur there, as well: Revelation 16:16 refers to the spot using a term which has come into English as Armageddon, which means "Mount Megiddo."

The last line of this verse foreshadows Canaan's defeat. The kings received no spoils of silver from this battle. One of the motivations for ancient soldiers in war was the loot that could be taken from the enemy if you were successful. These rewards would have included material possessions, such as silver, as well as human slaves and women to molest (Judges 5:30). The kings received no spoils because Canaan was utterly defeated.
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