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The Song of Deborah

That day Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang this song: “The leaders led in Israel. The people were willing to help them. For this we give thanks to the Lord! Hear, O kings! Listen, O rulers! I will sing to the Lord. I will sing praise to the Lord, the God of Israel. Lord, You went out from Seir. You walked from the field of Edom. And the earth shook. Water fell from the heavens. Yes, water fell from the clouds. The mountains shook before the Lord. Mount Sinai shook before the Lord, the God of Israel.

“In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the wide roads were empty. Travelers walked on the side roads. Country towns were empty. They were no more in Israel, until I, Deborah, came. I came as a mother in Israel. New gods were chosen. Then war was in the gates. No battle-covering or sword was seen among 40,000 in Israel. My heart is with the leaders of Israel, who were willing to help among the people. Thanks be to the Lord! 10 Tell of it, you who ride on white donkeys and you who sit on rich floor coverings. Tell of it, you who travel on the road. 11 They will tell of the right and good acts of the Lord at the sound of music beside the wells of water. They will tell of His right and good acts toward His towns people in Israel. Then the people of the Lord went down to the gates.

12 “Awake, awake, Deborah! Awake, awake, sing a song! Get up, Barak! Lead away the people you took in war, O son of Abinoam. 13 Those who were left came down to the rulers. The people of the Lord came down to me as soldiers. 14 The children of Amalek came down from Ephraim. They followed you, Benjamin, with your people. Leaders came down from Machir. Leaders came from Zebulun. 15 The rulers of Issachar came with Deborah. Issachar was faithful to Barak. They ran behind him into the valley. There was much thinking done among the families of Reuben. 16 Why did you sit among the sheep, to hear the horns blow for the flocks? There was much thought among the families of Reuben. 17 Gilead stayed on the other side of the Jordan. Why did Dan stay in ships? Asher sat beside the sea. He stayed by its rivers. 18 Zebulun is a people who put their lives in danger even to death. Naphtali did this also, on the high places of the field.

19 “The kings came and fought. The kings of Canaan fought at Taanach near the waters of Megiddo. They did not get any silver. 20 The stars fought from heaven. From their paths they fought against Sisera. 21 The fast river of Kishon took them away, the rushing river, the river Kishon. O my soul, walk on with strength. 22 The beating of the feet of horses was loud, because the strong horses went fast. 23 ’Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the Lord. ‘Curse its people, because they did not come to the help of the Lord. They did not help the Lord against the powerful soldiers.’

24 “The most respected of women is Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. She is the most respected of women in the tent. 25 Sisera asked for water and she gave him milk. She brought him milk in a fine pot. 26 She put out her hand to the big tent nail. And she put out her right hand for the servant’s heavy object. Then she hit Sisera. She crushed his head. She broke and cut through the side of his head. 27 He went down. He fell and lay without moving at her feet. He fell dead where he went down.

28 “The mother of Sisera looked out of the window. She looked through the window and cried in sorrow, ‘Why is his war-wagon so long in coming? Why do the steps of his horses wait?’ 29 Her wise ladies answered her. But she asked herself again and again, 30 ’Are they not finding and dividing the riches? Is there not a girl or two for every man? Is there not colored cloth for Sisera to take? Is there not colored cloth with beautiful sewing on it? Are there not two pieces of colored cloth with beautiful sewing on them for the neck of the one who takes them?’ 31 So let all those who hate You die, O Lord. But let those who love Him be like the sun as he rises in his power.” And the land had peace for forty years.