Judges 5
Contemporary English Version

Deborah and Barak Sing for the Lord

1After the battle was over that day, Deborah and Barak sang this song:

2We praise you, Lord!

Our soldiers volunteered,

ready to follow you.

3Listen, kings and rulers,

while I sing for the Lord,

the God of Israel.

4Our Lord, God of Israel,

when you came from Seir,

where the Edomites live,

5 rain poured from the sky,

the earth trembled,

and mountains shook.

6In the time of Shamgar

son of Anath,

and now again in Jael's time,

roads were too dangerous

for caravans.

Travelers had to take

the back roads,

7and villagers couldn't work

in their fields.+

Then Deborah+ took command,

protecting Israel as a mother

protects her children.

8The Israelites worshiped

other gods,

and the gates of their towns

were then attacked.+

But they had no shields

or spears to fight with.

9I praise you, Lord,

and I am grateful

for those leaders and soldiers

who volunteered.

10Listen, everyone!

Whether you ride a donkey

with a padded saddle

or have to walk.

11Even those who carry water+

to the animals will tell you,

“The Lord has won victories,

and so has Israel.”

Then the Lord's people marched

down to the town gates

12and said, “Deborah, let's go!

Let's sing as we march.

Barak, capture our enemies.”

13The Lord's people who were left

joined with their leaders

and fought at my side.+

14Troops came from Ephraim,

where Amalekites once lived.

Others came from Benjamin;

officers and leaders came

from Machir and Zebulun.

15The rulers of Issachar

came along with Deborah,

and Issachar followed Barak

into the valley.

But the tribe of Reuben

was no help at all!+

16Reuben, why did you stay

among your sheep pens?+

Was it to listen to shepherds

whistling for their sheep?

No one could figure out

why Reuben wouldn't come.+

17The people of Gilead stayed

across the Jordan.

Why did the tribe of Dan

remain on their ships

and the tribe of Asher

stay along the coast

near the harbors?

18But soldiers of Zebulun

and Naphtali

risked their lives

to attack the enemy.+

19Canaanite kings fought us

at Taanach by the stream

near Megiddo+

but they couldn't rob us

of our silver.+

20From their pathways in the sky

the stars+ fought Sisera,

21and his soldiers were swept away

by the ancient Kishon River.

I will march on and be brave.

22Sisera's horses galloped off,

their hoofs thundering

in retreat.

23The Lord's angel said,

“Put a curse on Meroz Town!

Its people refused

to help the Lord fight

his powerful enemies.”

24But honor Jael,

the wife of Heber

from the Kenite clan.

Give more honor to her

than to any other woman

who lives in tents.

Yes, give more honor to her

than to any other woman.

25Sisera asked for water,

but Jael gave him milk—

cream in a fancy cup.

26She reached for a tent-peg

and held a hammer

in her right hand.

And with a blow to the head,

she crushed his skull.

27Sisera sank to his knees

and fell dead at her feet.

28Sisera's mother looked out

through her window.

“Why is he taking so long?”

she asked.

“Why haven't we heard

his chariots coming?”

29She and her wisest women

gave the same answer:

30“Sisera and his troops

are finding treasures

to bring back—

a woman, or maybe two,

for each man,

and beautiful dresses

for those women to wear.”+

31Our Lord, we pray

that all your enemies

will die like Sisera.

But let everyone who loves you

shine brightly like the sun

at dawn.

Midian Steals Everything from Israel

There was peace in Israel for about 40 years.


5.7 villagers … fields: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
5.7 Deborah: Or “I, Deborah.”
5.8 The Israelites … attacked: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
5.11 Even … water: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
5.13 side: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 13.
5.15 But … at all: Or “But the people of Reuben couldn't make up their minds.”
5.16 sheep pens: Or “campfires.”
5.16 No … come: Or “The people of Reuben couldn't make up their minds.”
5.18 to attack the enemy: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
5.19 stream near Megiddo: Probably refers to one of the streams that flow into the Kishon River.
5.19 rob us of our silver: The army that won a battle would take everything of value from the dead enemy soldiers.
5.20 stars: In ancient times, the stars were sometimes regarded as supernatural beings.
5.30 and beautiful … wear: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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