And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And five of you shall chase an hundred.—This is a proverbial saying, corresponding to our phrase “A very small number, or a mere handful, shall be more than a match for a whole regiment.” The same phrase, with different proportions to the numbers, occurs in other parts of the Bible (Deuteronomy 32:30; Joshua 23:10; Isaiah 30:17).Leviticus 26:8-9. Five of you shall chase a hundred — A proverbial expression, signifying that a small number of them should be an over-match for many of their enemies. I will establish my covenant — Will actually perform all that I have promised in my covenant made with you.Deuteronomy 32:30; Isaiah 30:17.Five of you, i.e. a small number; a certain number for an uncertain.
and an hundred of you put ten thousand to flight; which, had it been in proportion to the other number, should have been two thousand, as in Deuteronomy 32:30; where there is a proportion observed; and Abendana observes, there are some that give the sense of it thus, an hundred of you, an hundred times five, that is, five hundred, and so it comes up to a right computation; but here it seems to be a certain number for an uncertain, and only a proverbial expression, signifying that a very few, under the blessing of divine Providence, should get the advantage over a large number, and oblige them to retire, and pursue them closely: instances we have of large bodies of the enemy being defeated by a small number of Israelites, Judges 7:21; and even many by a single person or two, 1 Samuel 14:13,
and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword; See Gill on Leviticus 26:7.And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 8. - And five of you shall chase an hundred. Cf. Joshua 23:10, "One man of you shall chase a thousand." For examples, see Judges 3:31; Judges 15:15; 1 Samuel 14:6-16; 2 Samuel 23:8. Leviticus 26:1 and Leviticus 26:2 form the introduction; and the essence of the whole law, the observance of which will bring a rich blessing, and the transgression of it severe judgments, is summed up in two leading commandments, and placed at the head of the blessing and curse which were to be proclaimed. Ye shall not make to you elilim, nugatory gods, and set up carved images and standing images for worship, but worship Jehovah your God with the observance of His Sabbaths, and fear before His sanctuary. The prohibition of elilim, according to Leviticus 19:4, calls to mind the fundamental law of the decalogue (Exodus 20:3-4, cf. Leviticus 21:23; Exodus 23:24-25). To pesel (cf. Exodus 20:4) and mazzebah (cf. Exodus 23:24), which were not to be set up, there is added the command not to put משׂכּית אבן, "figure-stones," in the land, to worship over (by) them. The "figure-stone" is a stone formed into a figure, and idol of stone, not merely a stone with an inscription or with hieroglyphical figures; it is synonymous with משׂכּית in Numbers 33:52, and consequently we are to understand by pesel the wooden idol as in Isaiah 44:15, etc. The construction of השׁתּחוה with על may be explained on the ground that the worshipper of a stone image placed upon the ground rises above it (for על in this sense, see Genesis 18:2). - In Leviticus 26:3 the true way to serve God is urged upon the Israelites once more, in words copied verbally from Leviticus 19:30.
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