“They chose new gods; then was warre in the gates: was there a shield or speare seene among fourtie thousand in Israel?”
1611 King James Version (KJV)
5:8 Chose - They did not only submit to idolatry when they were forced to it by tyrants, but they freely chose it. New gods - New to them, and unknown to their fathers, and new in comparison of the true and everlasting God of Israel, being but of yesterday. The gates - That is, in their walled cities, which have gates and bars; gates are often put for cities; then their strong holds fell into the hands of their enemies. Was there a shield - There was not, the meaning is not, that all the Israelites had no arms, but, either they had but few arms among them, being many thousands of them disarmed by the Canaanites and Philistines, or that they generally neglected the use of arms, as being without all hope of recovering their liberty.