Judges 5:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 5:9, NIV: My heart is with Israel's princes, with the willing volunteers among the people. Praise the LORD!

Judges 5:9, ESV: My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel who offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless the LORD.

Judges 5:9, KJV: My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD.

Judges 5:9, NASB: My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel, The volunteers among the people; Bless the LORD!

Judges 5:9, NLT: My heart is with the commanders of Israel, with those who volunteered for war. Praise the LORD!

Judges 5:9, CSB: My heart is with the leaders of Israel, with the volunteers of the people. Blessed be the Lord!

What does Judges 5:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Deborah has been singing (Judges 5:1) of the dark times during Israel's cruelly oppressive captivity to Sisera and the Canaanites (Judges 5:6–7). In symbolic terms, she indicated there wasn't a single military weapon found among 40,000 Israelites. Likely, this meant Israel's armaments had been confiscated by the Canaanites or given up as the people despaired.

Now Deborah returns to the theme hinted at from the start of her song. The modern English phrase "my heart goes out" is mostly used as an expression of pity, or sympathy. In this case, Deborah means that her support—her love, her spirit, her approval—is for those leaders. Specifically, she means the commanders of Israel who volunteered to fight with Barak against the Canaanites. This was especially brave given that—at the time they were called—they didn't have much in the way of shields or spears (Judges 5:8).

Once again, Deborah blesses the Lord for this circumstance. She credits God for the willingness of brave men to offer themselves for battle.