Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying…
May we not pause here to allow this oracular response to sink into the heart? How full it is in its manifold meaning! It asserts the sovereignty of God in disposing and ordering the work which His servants have to perform. It reminds us that every one is not to attempt everything; for Judah is to fight the enemy and the other tribes are to remain at home. It promises victory, not to every ardent soldier who might volunteer to take the field, but to the tribe whom the Lord shall order to the battle. It disturbs all rule-of-three calculations of success in proportion to the number of agents men may induce to go to work; success is for those whom the Lord shall send. It allows of no objection, no plea of incompetency, no deceitful humility, on the part of the called soldier: "Judah shall go up"; it is the word of a King. It hides pride from man, by declaring that although Judah would conquer, it would be only through Divine ordination and help.
(L. H. Wiseman, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?