Judges 4
International Standard Version Par ▾ 

Deborah, Israel’s Fourth Judge

1After Ehud died, while the LORD was watching, the Israelis made the evil they had been practicing even worse, 2so the LORD turned them over to domination by Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commanding officer of his army, lived in Harosheth-haggoyim.a 3The Israelis cried out to the LORD, because of his 900 iron chariots. Jabinb oppressed the Israelis forcefully for twenty years.

4Deborah, a woman, prophet, and wife of Lappidoth, was herself judging Israel during that time. 5She regularly took her seatc under the Palm Tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountainous regiond of Ephraim, where the Israelis would approach her for decisions. 6She sent word to Abinoam’s son Barak from Kedesh-naphtali, summoning him. She asked him, “The LORD God of Israel has commanded you, hasn’t he? He told you,e ‘Go out, march to Mount Tabor, and take 10,000 men with you from the tribesf of Naphtali and Zebulun. 7I will draw out Sisera, the commanding officer of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and troops, to the Kishon River, where I will drop him right into your hands.’”

8“If you’ll go with me, I’ll go,” Barak replied. “But if you won’t go with me, then I’m not going.”

9She responded, “I will surely go with you, but the road that you’re about to take will not lead to honor for you. The LORD will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman.” Then Deborah got up and went with Barak toward Kedesh. 10Barak called out the army of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali to march on Kedesh, and 10,000 men went out to war with him, along with Deborah.

11Meanwhile, Heber the Kenite had been separated from the Kenites, the descendants of Moses’ father-in-law Hobab. He had pitched his tents far away, near the Elon-bezaanannim.g 12Furthermore, Sisera had been informed that Abinoam’s son Barak had marched on Mount Tabor. 13So Sisera gathered his iron chariots together from Harosheth-haggoyimh —all 900 of them, along with all the people who were assigned to them—and they assembled at the Kishon River.

14“Get going!” Deborah told Barak. “Because today’s the day when the LORD has dropped Sisera into your hands! Look! The LORD has already gone out ahead of you!” So Barak left Mount Tabor, followed by 10,000 men, 15and the LORD threw Sisera, all the chariots, and his entire army into a panic right in front of Barak. Then Sisera abandoned his chariot and escaped on foot 16while Barak chased the chariots and army as far as Harosheth-haggoyim.i Sisera’s entire army died in the battle—not even one soldierj remained.

Heber’s Wife Jael Kills Sisera

17Meanwhile, Sisera had escaped on foot to a tent belonging to Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite, since there was peace between Jabin king of Hazor and the household of Heber the Kenite. 18Jael went out to greet Sisera. “Turn aside, sir!” she told him. “Turn aside to me! Don’t be afraid.” So he turned aside to her and entered her tent, where she concealed him behind a curtain.k

19He asked her, “Please give me some water to drink, because I’m thirsty.” Instead, she opened a leather container of milk, gave him a drink, and then covered him up. 20He told her, “Stand in the doorway of the tent, and if anyone comes and asks ‘Is anybody here?’ say ‘No’.”

21But Heber’s wife Jael grabbed a tent peg in one hand and a hammer in the other,l crept up to him quietly, and drove the tent peg right through his temple into the ground below after he had fallen sound asleep from exhaustion. That’s howm he died.

22Meanwhile, as Barak continued chasing Sisera, Jael went out to meet him. “Come with me,” she told him, “and I’ll show you the man you’re looking for!” So he went with her, and there was Sisera, lying dead with the tent peg still embedded in his temple! 23That’s how God subdued Jabin, king of Canaan right in front of the Israelis that day. 24And the Israelis gained greater control over King Jabin of Canaan until they had eliminated him.

a 4:2 Or in the gentile district of Harosheth
b 4:3 Lit. he
c 4:5 i.e. in her capacity as governor
d 4:5 Or the hill country
e 4:6 The Heb. lacks He told you
f 4:6 Lit. children
g 4:11 Or the Plain of Zaanannim
h 4:13 Or from the gentile district of Harosheth
i 4:16 Or as the gentile district of Harosheth
j 4:16 The Heb. lacks soldier
k 4:18 Or she covered him with a blanket
l 4:21 The Heb. lacks in the other
m 4:21 The Heb. lacks That’s how

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

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