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The Song of Deborah and Barak

(A)Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying,

(B)When [a]the leaders led in Israel,
When (C)the people volunteered,
Bless Yahweh!
Hear, O kings; give ear, O rulers!
(D)As for me, to Yahweh, I will sing;
I will sing praise to Yahweh, the God of Israel.
(E)O Yahweh, when You went out from Seir,
When You marched from the field of Edom,
(F)The earth quaked, the heavens also dripped,
Even the clouds dripped water.
(G)The mountains [b]flowed at the presence of Yahweh,
(H)This Sinai, at the presence of Yahweh, the God of Israel.

“In the days of (I)Shamgar the son of Anath,
In the days of (J)Jael, the paths had ceased,
So travelers [c]went by [d]roundabout paths.
The peasantry ceased; they ceased in Israel,
Until I, Deborah, arose,
Until I arose, a mother in Israel.
[e](K)God chose new leaders;
Then war was in the gates.
Not a shield or a spear was seen
Among forty thousand in Israel.
My heart goes out to (L)the commanders of Israel,
The volunteers among the people;
Bless Yahweh!
10 (M)You who ride on [f]white donkeys,
You who sit on rich carpets,
And you who travel on the road—muse aloud!
11 At the sound of those who divide flocks among (N)the watering places,
There they shall [g]commemorate (O)the righteous deeds of Yahweh,
The righteous deeds for His [h]peasantry in Israel.
Then the people of Yahweh went down (P)to the gates.

12 (Q)Awake, awake, Deborah;
Awake, awake, [i]utter a song!
Arise, Barak, and (R)take away your captives, O son of Abinoam.
13 Then survivors came down to the mighty ones;
The people of Yahweh came down to me as warriors.
14 From Ephraim those whose root is (S)in Amalek came down,
Following you, Benjamin, with your peoples;
From Machir commanders came down,
And from Zebulun those who wield the staff of a scribe.
15 And [j]the princes of Issachar were with Deborah;
As was Issachar, so was Barak;
Into the valley they rushed (T)at his [k]heels;
Among the divisions of Reuben
There was great persistence of the heart.
16 Why did you sit among (U)the [l]sheepfolds,
To hear the whistling for the flocks?
Among the divisions of Reuben
There were great probings of the heart.
17 (V)Gilead dwelt across the Jordan;
And why did Dan stay in ships?
Asher sat at the seashore,
And dwelt by its landings.
18 (W)Zebulun was a people who despised their lives even to death,
And Naphtali also, on the high places of the field.

19 (X)The kings came and fought;
Then fought the kings of Canaan
(Y)At Taanach near the waters of Megiddo;
(Z)They took no gain of silver.
20 (AA)The stars fought from heaven;
From their courses they fought against Sisera.
21 The river of Kishon swept them away,
The ancient river, the river Kishon.
(AB)O my soul, march on with strength.
22 (AC)Then the horses’ hoofs beat
From the dashing, the dashing of his [m]valiant steeds.
23 ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of Yahweh,
‘Utterly curse its inhabitants,
(AD)Because they did not come to the help of Yahweh,
To the help of Yahweh against the warriors.’

24 (AE)Most blessed of women is Jael,
The wife of Heber the Kenite;
Most blessed is she of women in the tent.
25 He asked for water, and she gave him milk;
In a mighty bowl she brought him curds.
26 She sent forth her hand for the tent peg,
And her right hand for the workmen’s hammer.
Then she beat Sisera; she smashed his head,
And she crushed and pierced his temple.
27 Between her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay;
Between her feet he bowed, he fell;
Where he bowed, there he fell violently devastated.

28 “Out of the window she looked and lamented,
The mother of Sisera through the [n]lattice,
‘Why does his chariot delay in coming?
Why do the [o]hoofbeats of his chariots tarry?’
29 Her wise princesses would answer her,
Indeed she repeats her words to herself,
30 (AF)Are they not finding, are they not dividing the spoil?
A maiden, two maidens for every mighty man;
To Sisera a spoil of dyed work,
A spoil of dyed work embroidered,
Dyed work of double embroidery on the [p]neck of the spoil?’
31 (AG)Thus let all Your enemies perish, O Yahweh;
(AH)But let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might.”

And the land was quiet for forty years.


  1. Judges 5:2 Or locks hung loose in
  2. Judges 5:5 Or trembled
  3. Judges 5:6 Lit walked
  4. Judges 5:6 Lit twisted
  5. Judges 5:8 Or New gods were chosen
  6. Judges 5:10 Or tawny
  7. Judges 5:11 Lit give
  8. Judges 5:11 Or rural dwellers
  9. Judges 5:12 Lit speak
  10. Judges 5:15 As in ancient versions; Heb My princes
  11. Judges 5:15 Lit feet
  12. Judges 5:16 Or saddlebags
  13. Judges 5:22 Lit mighty ones
  14. Judges 5:28 Or window
  15. Judges 5:28 Lit steps
  16. Judges 5:30 Lit necks