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Deborah, Barak and Yael

But Bnei-Yisrael again did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes after Ehud had died. So Adonai sold them over into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. His army commander was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-ha-goyim[a]. So Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai, for he had 900 iron chariots, and had harshly oppressed Bnei-Yisrael for 20 years.

Now Deborah, a woman who was a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and Bnei-Yisrael came up to her for judgment. Now she sent and summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “Hasn’t Adonai, God of Israel, commanded, ‘Go, march to Mount Tabor, and take with you 10,000 men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun? Then at the Kishon torrent, I will draw out to you Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army with his chariots and his multitude, and I will give him into your hand.’”

But Barak said to her, “If you are going with me, then I will go. But if you aren’t going with me, I won’t go.”

“Surely I will go with you,” she said. “However, no honor will be yours on the way that you are about to go—for Adonai will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” So Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Then Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh, and 10,000 men marched up after him, and Deborah went up with him.

11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, from the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.

12 They told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13 So Sisera ordered all his chariots—900 iron chariots—and all the troops that were with him, from Harosheth-ha-goyim to the Kishon.

14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Arise! For this is the day in which Adonai will deliver Sisera into your hand. Has Adonai not gone out before you?” So Barak came down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. 15 Adonai threw Sisera and all his chariots and all his army into confusion before Barak with the edge of the sword. Then Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16 But Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth-ha-goyim. The whole army of Sisera fell by the sword; not one was left.

17 Meanwhile Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Yael the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between King Jabin of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 So Yael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me! Don’t be afraid!” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a blanket.

19 He said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a skin of milk and made him drink some, and covered him. 20 Then he said to her, “Stand at the entrance of the tent, and if anyone comes and asks you saying, ‘Is there a man here?’ then you will say, ‘There’s no one.’”

21 Then Yael, Heber’s wife, took a tent pin and got a hammer in her hand, approached him stealthily and drove the pin into his temple until it pierced through into the ground—for he was exhausted and in a deep sleep. So he died. 22 Now behold, as Barak was pursuing Sisera, Yael came out to meet him and said to him, “Come, I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” So he entered with her, and behold, Sisera was lying dead, with a tent-pin in his temple!

23 So on that day God subdued King Jabin of Canaan before Bnei-Yisrael. 24 The hand of Bnei-Yisrael pressed hard on King Jabin of Canaan until they had cut off King Jabin of Canaan.


  1. Judges 4:2 Or Haroshet of the Nations.