10-11 You who ride on prize donkeys
comfortably mounted on blankets
And you who walk down the roads,
Gather at the town well
and listen to them sing,
Chanting the tale of God’s victories,
his victories accomplished in Israel.
Then the people of God
went down to the city gates.
12 Wake up, wake up, Deborah!
Wake up, wake up, sing a song!
On your feet, Barak!
Take your prisoners, son of Abinoam!
13-18 Then the remnant went down to greet the brave ones.
The people of God joined the mighty ones.
The captains from Ephraim came to the valley,
behind you, Benjamin, with your troops.
Captains marched down from Makir,
from Zebulun high-ranking leaders came down.
Issachar’s princes rallied to Deborah,
Issachar stood fast with Barak,
backing him up on the field of battle.
But in Reuben’s divisions there was much second-guessing.
Why all those campfire discussions?
Diverted and distracted,
Reuben’s divisions couldn’t make up their minds.
Gilead played it safe across the Jordan,
and Dan, why did he go off sailing?
Asher kept his distance on the seacoast,
safe and secure in his harbors.
But Zebulun risked life and limb, defied death,
as did Naphtali on the battle heights.