Sisera

(Egypt. Ses-Ra, "servant of Ra"). (1.) The captain of Jabin's army (Judg. 4:2), which was routed and destroyed by the army of Barak on the plain of Esdraelon. After all was lost he fled to the settlement of Heber the Kenite in the plain of Zaanaim. Jael, Heber's wife, received him into her tent with apparent hospitality, and "gave him butter" (i.e., lebben, or curdled milk) "in a lordly dish." Having drunk the refreshing beverage, he lay down, and soon sank into the sleep of the weary. While he lay asleep Jael crept stealthily up to him, and taking in her hand one of the tent pegs, with a mallet she drove it with such force through his temples that it entered into the ground where he lay, and "at her feet he bowed, he fell; where he bowed, there he fell down dead." The part of Deborah's song (Judg. 5:24-27) referring to the death of Sisera (which is a "mere patriotic outburst," and "is no proof that purer eyes would have failed to see gross sin mingling with Jael's service to Israel") is thus rendered by Professor Roberts (Old Testament Revision):

"Extolled above women be Jael,

The wife of Heber the Kenite,

Extolled above women in the tent.

He asked for water, she gave him milk;

She brought him cream in a lordly dish.

She stretched forth her hand to the nail,

Her right hand to the workman's hammer,

And she smote Sisera; she crushed his head,

She crashed through and transfixed his temples.

At her feet he curled himself, he fell, he lay still;

At her feet he curled himself, he fell;

And where he curled himself, there he fell dead."

(2.) The ancestor of some of the Nethinim who returned with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:53; Neh. 7:55).