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Judges 4:4-5:31Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Now D’vorah, a woman and a prophet, the wife of Lapidot, was judging Isra’el at that time. She used to sit under D’vorah’s Palm between Ramah and Beit-El, in the hills of Efrayim; and the people of Isra’el would come to her for judgment. She sent for Barak the son of Avino‘am, from Kedesh in Naftali, and said to him: “Adonai has given you this order: ‘Go, march to Mount Tavor, and take with you 10,000 men from the people of Naftali and Z’vulun. I will cause Sisra, the commander of Yavin’s army, to encounter you at the Kishon River with his chariots and troops; and I will hand him over to you.’”

Barak answered her: “If you go with me, I’ll go; but if you won’t go with me, I won’t go.” She replied, “Yes, I will gladly go with you; but the way you are doing it will bring you no glory; because Adonai will hand Sisra over to a woman.” Then D’vorah set out and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Barak summoned Z’vulun and Naftali to come to Kedesh. Ten thousand men followed him, and D’vorah went up with him.

11 Now Hever the Keini had cut himself off from the rest of Kayin, the descendants of Hovav Moshe’s father-in-law; he had pitched his tent near the oak at Tza‘ananim, which is close to Kedesh. 12 Sisra was informed that Barak the son of Avino‘am had gone up to Mount Tavor. 13 So Sisra rallied his chariots, all 900 iron chariots, and all the troops he had with him, from Haroshet-HaGoyim to the Kishon River.

14 D’vorah said to Barak: “Get going! This is the day when Adonai will hand Sisra over to you! Adonai has gone out ahead of you!” So Barak went down from Mount Tavor with 10,000 men following him; 15 and Adonai threw Sisra, all his chariots and his entire army into a panic before Barak’s sword; so that Sisra got down from his chariot and fled on foot. 16 But Barak pursued the chariots and the army all the way to Haroshet-HaGoyim. Sisra’s entire army was put to the sword; not one man was left.

17 However, Sisra ran on foot to the tent of Ya‘el the wife of Hever the Keini, because there was peace between Yavin the king of Hatzor and the family of Hever the Keini. 18 Ya‘el went out to meet Sisra and said to him, “Come in, my lord; stay here with me; and don’t be afraid.” So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a blanket. 19 He said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink — I’m thirsty.” She opened a goatskin of milk, gave him some to drink, and covered him up again. 20 He said to her, “Stand at the entrance to the tent; and if anyone asks you if somebody is here, say, ‘No.’” 21 But when he was deeply asleep, Ya‘el the wife of Hever took a tent peg and a hammer in her hand, crept in to him quietly and drove the tent peg into his temple, right through to the ground; so that he died without waking up. 22 So here is Barak pursuing Sisra, and Ya‘el steps out to meet him and says, “Come, I will show you the man you are looking for.” He goes into her tent; and there is Sisra, lying dead with the tent peg through his temple.

23 Thus God on that day defeated Yavin the king of Kena‘an in the presence of the people of Isra’el. 24 The hand of the people of Isra’el came down more and more heavily against Yavin the king of Kena‘an, until they had completely destroyed Yavin the king of Kena‘an.

On that day D’vorah and Barak the son of Avino‘am sang this song:

“When leaders in Isra’el dedicate themselves,
and the people volunteer,
you should all bless Adonai.
Hear, kings; listen, princes;
I will sing to Adonai!
I will sing praise to Adonai
the God of Isra’el.

Adonai, when you went out from Se‘ir,
when you marched out from the field of Edom;
the earth quaked, and the sky shook;
yes, the clouds poured down torrents.
The mountains melted at the presence of Adonai,
at Sinai, before Adonai the God of Isra’el.

“In the days of Shamgar the son of ‘Anat,
in the days of Ya‘el, the main roads were deserted;
travelers walked the byways.
The rulers ceased in Isra’el, they ceased,
until you arose, D’vorah,
arose a mother in Isra’el.

“They chose new gods when war was at the gates.
Was there a shield or spear to be seen
among Isra’el’s forty thousand men?
My heart goes out to Isra’el’s leaders
and to those among the people who volunteer.
All of you, bless Adonai.

10 “You who ride white donkeys,
sitting on soft saddle-blankets,
and you walking on the road,
talk about it!
11 Louder than the sound of archers at the watering-holes
will they sound as they retell
the righteous acts of Adonai,
the righteous acts of his rulers in Isra’el.

“Then Adonai’s people marched down to the gates.

12 “Awake, awake, D’vorah!
Awake, awake, break into song!
Arise, Barak! Lead away your captives,
son of Avino‘am!

13 “Then a remnant of the nobles marched down;
the people of Adonai marched down to me like warriors.
14 From Efrayim came those rooted in ‘Amalek.
Behind you, Binyamin is with your peoples.
From Makhir the commanders marched down,
and from Z’vulun those holding the musterer’s staff.
15 The princes of Yissakhar were with D’vorah,
Yissakhar, along with Barak;
into the valley they rushed forth behind him.
Among the divisions of Re’uven
they made great resolutions in their hearts.
16 But why did you stay at the pens for the sheep,
and listen to the shepherd’s flute playing for the flocks?
Concerning the divisions of Re’uven
there were great searchings of heart.
17 Gil‘ad lives beyond the Yarden.
Dan — why does he stay by the ships?
Asher stayed by the shore of the sea,
remaining near its bays.
18 The people of Z’vulun risked their lives,
Naftali too, on the open heights.

19 “Kings came; they fought.
Yes, the kings of Kena‘an fought
at Ta‘anakh, by the waters of Megiddo;
but they took no spoil of silver.
20 They fought from heaven, the stars in their courses;
yes, they fought against Sisra.
21 The Kishon River swept them away,
that ancient river, the Kishon River.
O my soul, march on with strength!
22 Then the horses’ hoofs pounded the ground,
their mighty steeds galloping at full speed.

23 “‘Curse Meroz!’ said the angel of Adonai,
‘Curse the people living there with a bitter punishment
for not coming to help Adonai,
to help Adonai against the mighty warriors.’

24 “Ya‘el will be blessed more than all women.
The wife of Hever the Keini
will be blessed more than any woman in the tent.
25 He asked for water, and she gave him milk;
In an elegant bowl she brought him curds.
26 Then she took a tent peg in her left hand
and a workman’s hammer in her right;
with the hammer she struck Sisra, pierced his skull,
yes, she shattered and crushed his temple.
27 He sank down at her feet, he fell and lay there;
he sank at her feet, he fell —
where he sank down, there he fell dead.

28 “Sisra’s mother looks out the window;
peering out through the lattice she wonders,
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why are his horses so slow to return?’
29 The wisest of her ladies answer her,
and she repeats it to herself,
30 ‘Of course! They’re collecting and dividing the spoil —
a girl, two girls for every warrior,
for Sisra booty of dyed clothing,
a plunder of colorfully embroidered garments,
two embroidered scarves for every soldier’s neck.’

31 “May all your enemies perish like this, Adonai;
but may those who love him be like the sun
going forth in its glory!”

Then the land had rest for forty years.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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