Now Deborah,(A) a prophet,(B) the wife of Lappidoth, was leading[a] Israel at that time. She held court(C) under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah(D) and Bethel(E) in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided. She sent for Barak son of Abinoam(F) from Kedesh(G) in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali(H) and Zebulun(I) and lead them up to Mount Tabor.(J) I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s(K) army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River(L) and give him into your hands.(M)’”

Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”

“Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.(N) 10 There Barak summoned(O) Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him.

11 Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites,(P) the descendants of Hobab,(Q) Moses’ brother-in-law,[b] and pitched his tent by the great tree(R) in Zaanannim(S) near Kedesh.

12 When they told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor,(T) 13 Sisera summoned from Harosheth Haggoyim to the Kishon River(U) all his men and his nine hundred chariots fitted with iron.(V)

14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands.(W) Has not the Lord gone ahead(X) of you?” So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. 15 At Barak’s advance, the Lord routed(Y) Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot.

16 Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim, and all Sisera’s troops fell by the sword; not a man was left.(Z) 17 Sisera, meanwhile, fled on foot to the tent of Jael,(AA) the wife of Heber the Kenite,(AB) because there was an alliance between Jabin king of Hazor(AC) and the family of Heber the Kenite.

18 Jael(AD) went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come, my lord, come right in. Don’t be afraid.” So he entered her tent, and she covered him with a blanket.

19 “I’m thirsty,” he said. “Please give me some water.” She opened a skin of milk,(AE) gave him a drink, and covered him up.

20 “Stand in the doorway of the tent,” he told her. “If someone comes by and asks you, ‘Is anyone in there?’ say ‘No.’”

21 But Jael,(AF) Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep,(AG) exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died.(AH)

22 Just then Barak came by in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael(AI) went out to meet him. “Come,” she said, “I will show you the man you’re looking for.” So he went in with her, and there lay Sisera with the tent peg through his temple—dead.(AJ)

23 On that day God subdued(AK) Jabin(AL) king of Canaan before the Israelites. 24 And the hand of the Israelites pressed harder and harder against Jabin king of Canaan until they destroyed him.(AM)

Read full chapter


  1. Judges 4:4 Traditionally judging
  2. Judges 4:11 Or father-in-law

Love is patient,(A) love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.(B) It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,(C) it is not easily angered,(D) it keeps no record of wrongs.(E) Love does not delight in evil(F) but rejoices with the truth.(G) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.(H)

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies,(I) they will cease; where there are tongues,(J) they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part(K) and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes,(L) what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood(M) behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;(N) then we shall see face to face.(O) Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.(P)

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.(Q) But the greatest of these is love.(R)

Read full chapter

Bible Gateway Recommends