Judges 4:1-10 (1253-1224 B.C.?)
Deborah and Barak
And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died. And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, for he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years.
Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand’?”
Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.”
And she said, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. And Barak called out Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. And 10,000 men went up at his heels, and Deborah went up with him.
Judges 4:12-17, 11, 18-24
When Sisera was told that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13Sisera called out all his chariots, 900 chariots of iron, and all the men who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon.
And Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army before Barak by the edge of the sword. And Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot. And Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left.
But Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.
Now Heber the Kenite had separated from the Kenites, the descendants of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.
And Jael came out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord; turn aside to me; do not be afraid.” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug.
And he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him.
And he said to her, “Stand at the opening of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, ‘Is anyone here?’ say, ‘No.’”
But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand. Then she went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple until it went down into the ground while he was lying fast asleep from weariness. So he died.
And behold, as Barak was pursuing Sisera, Jael went out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” So he went in to her tent, and there lay Sisera dead, with the tent peg in his temple.
So on that day God subdued Jabin the king of Canaan before the people of Israel. And the hand of the people of Israel pressed harder and harder against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.
Judges 5:1-31 (1224-1184 B.C.?)
On the day that the Israelites defeated Sisera, Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:
“The men of Israel prepared for battle. They volunteered to go to war. Praise the Lord!
“Listen, kings. Pay attention, rulers. I will sing. I myself will sing to the Lord. I will make music to the Lord, to the God of the Israelites.
“Lord, in the past you came from Seir. You marched from the land of Edom. You marched and the earth shook. The skies rained. The clouds dropped water.
The mountains shook before the Lord, the God of Mount Sinai, before the Lord, the God of Israel!
“In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, and in the days of Jael, the main roads were empty. Caravans and travelers traveled on the back roads.
“There were no soldiers in Israel until you came, Deborah, until you came to be a mother to Israel.
“God chose new leaders to fight at the city gates. No one could find a shield or a spear among the 40,000 soldiers of Israel.
“My heart is with the commanders of Israel. They volunteered to go to war. Praise the Lord!
“Pay attention you people riding on white donkeys, sitting on saddle blankets, and walking along the road. At the watering holes for the animals, we hear the music of cymbals.
People sing about the victories of the Lord, the victories of his soldiers in Israel.
"When the Lord’s people fought at the city gates and won!
“Wake up, wake up, Deborah! Wake up, wake up, sing the song! Get up, Barak! Go capture your enemies, son of Abinoam!
“Now, survivors, go to the leaders. People of the Lord, come with me and the soldiers.
“The men of Ephraim came from the hill country of Amalek. Benjamin, those men followed you and your people. And there were commanders from the family of Makir. Leaders from the tribe of Zebulun came with their bronze clubs.
The leaders of Issachar were with Deborah. The family of Issachar was true to Barak. Those men marched to the valley on foot.
Reuben, there are many brave soldiers
in your army groups. So why did you sit there against the walls of your sheep pens? The brave soldiers of Reuben thought hard about war. But they stayed home listening
to the music they played for their sheep. The people of Gilead stayed in their camps
on the other side of the Jordan River. As for you, people of Dan,
why did you stay by your ships? The people of Asher remained by the sea, camped near their safe harbors.
But the men of Zebulun and Naphtali
risked their lives fighting on those hills.
The kings of Canaan came to fight, but they didn’t carry any treasures home. They fought at the city of Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo. The stars fought them from heaven. From their paths across the sky, they fought against Sisera. The Kishon River, that ancient river, swept Sisera’s men away. My soul, march on with strength! The horses’ hooves hammered the ground. Sisera’s mighty horses ran and ran.
“The angel of the Lord said, ‘Curse the city of Meroz. Curse its people! They did not come to help the Lord fight.’ They did not help the Lord against his powerful enemies.
"Jael was the wife of Heber the Kenite. She will be blessed above all women. Sisera asked for water. Jael gave him milk. In a bowl fit for a ruler, she brought him cream. Then Jael reached out and took a tent peg. Her right hand reached for a workman’s hammer. She put the peg against the side of Sisera’s head and hit it with the hammer. He sank down between Jael’s feet. He fell, and there he lay. He sank down between her feet. He fell there. Where Sisera sank, he fell, and there he lay, dead!
“There is Sisera’s mother, looking out the window, looking through the curtains and crying. ‘Why is Sisera’s chariot so late? Why can’t I hear his wagons?’
“Her wisest servant girl answers her. Yes, the servant gives her an answer: ‘I’m sure they won the war, and they are now taking things from the people they defeated. They are dividing those things among themselves. Each soldier is taking a girl or two. Maybe Sisera found a piece of dyed cloth. That’s it! Sisera found a piece of fancy cloth, or maybe two, to wear around his neck in victory.’
“May all your enemies die like this, Lord! But may all those who love you
be as strong as the rising sun!”
And there was peace in the land for 40 years.
Holy Bible, English Standard Version,
as arranged in chronological order by F. Legard Smith