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Now Deborah, a woman who was a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and Bnei-Yisrael came up to her for judgment. Now she sent and summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “Hasn’t Adonai, God of Israel, commanded, ‘Go, march to Mount Tabor, and take with you 10,000 men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun? Then at the Kishon torrent, I will draw out to you Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army with his chariots and his multitude, and I will give him into your hand.’”

But Barak said to her, “If you are going with me, then I will go. But if you aren’t going with me, I won’t go.”

“Surely I will go with you,” she said. “However, no honor will be yours on the way that you are about to go—for Adonai will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” So Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Then Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh, and 10,000 men marched up after him, and Deborah went up with him.

11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, from the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.

12 They told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13 So Sisera ordered all his chariots—900 iron chariots—and all the troops that were with him, from Harosheth-ha-goyim to the Kishon.

14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Arise! For this is the day in which Adonai will deliver Sisera into your hand. Has Adonai not gone out before you?” So Barak came down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. 15 Adonai threw Sisera and all his chariots and all his army into confusion before Barak with the edge of the sword. Then Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16 But Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth-ha-goyim. The whole army of Sisera fell by the sword; not one was left.

17 Meanwhile Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Yael the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between King Jabin of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 So Yael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me! Don’t be afraid!” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a blanket.

19 He said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a skin of milk and made him drink some, and covered him. 20 Then he said to her, “Stand at the entrance of the tent, and if anyone comes and asks you saying, ‘Is there a man here?’ then you will say, ‘There’s no one.’”

21 Then Yael, Heber’s wife, took a tent pin and got a hammer in her hand, approached him stealthily and drove the pin into his temple until it pierced through into the ground—for he was exhausted and in a deep sleep. So he died. 22 Now behold, as Barak was pursuing Sisera, Yael came out to meet him and said to him, “Come, I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” So he entered with her, and behold, Sisera was lying dead, with a tent-pin in his temple!

23 So on that day God subdued King Jabin of Canaan before Bnei-Yisrael. 24 The hand of Bnei-Yisrael pressed hard on King Jabin of Canaan until they had cut off King Jabin of Canaan.

Deborah’s Song

Then Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang on that day saying:

“When leaders take the lead in Israel,
when people freely offer themselves,
    bless Adonai!
Listen, O kings! Give ear, O rulers!
I, to Adonai I will sing,
I will sing praise to Adonai,
    the God of Israel.
Adonai, when You came out from Seir,
when You marched from Edom’s field,
    the earth trembled,
    the heavens also dropped,
    yes, the clouds dropped water.
The mountains quaked before Adonai,
this Sinai at the presence of Adonai,
    the God of Israel!
In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
    in the days of Yael,
the highways were deserted,
travelers walked by crooked paths.
Villages were deserted in Israel,
deserted, until I, Deborah, arose,
    a mother in Israel arose.
They chose new gods—
then war was in the gates.
No shield or spear was seen
    among 40,000 in Israel!
My heart is with Israel’s rulers,
who offer themselves freely among the people. Bless Adonai!
10 Riders on white donkeys,
sitting on saddle blankets,
traveling on the road, sing!
11 Louder than the sound of archers,
    at the watering places!
There let them rehearse
    the righteous acts of Adonai,
    the righteous deeds for His villages in Israel.
Then the people of Adonai
    went down to the gates.
12 Awake, awake, Deborah!
Awake, awake, utter a song!
Arise, Barak, lead away your captives,
    O son of Abinoam!
13 Then a remnant of nobles came down.
Adonai’s people came down to me
    with the mighty ones.
14 Those with root in Amalek
are from Ephraim, following you,
    Benjamin, with your peoples.
From Machir came down rulers,
and from Zebulun wielding
    the marshal’s staff.
15 Issachar’s chiefs were with Deborah.
Issachar was with Barak.
Into the valley they rushed at his heels.
Among the divisions of Reuben
    there were great resolves of heart.
16 Why did you stay in the sheepfolds—
to hear the piping for the flocks?
Among the clans of Reuben
    there was much searching of heart.
17 Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan,
and Dan, why did he stay by the ships?
Asher sat at the seacoast,
    dwelling by its docks.
18 Zebulun is a people who jeopardized
their lives to death, and Naphtali also,
    on the heights of the battlefield.
19 The kings came, they fought,
then the kings of Canaan fought,
at Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo,
but they took no spoil of silver.
20 From heaven, the stars fought,
in their courses they fought Sisera.
21 The Kishon torrent swept them away—
that ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon!
O my soul, march on with strength!
22 Then the horses’ hooves beat
from the dashing,
the dashing of his mighty steeds.
23 ‘Curse Meroz!’ said the angel of Adonai,
‘Utterly curse its inhabitants,
for they came not to the aid of Adonai,
to the aid of Adonai among the mighty.’
24 Blessed above women is Yael,
    the wife of Heber the Kenite,
above women in the tent is she blessed.
25 Water he asked, milk she gave him.
In a lordly bowl she brought him butter.
26 Her hand reached for the tent pin,
her right hand to the workmen’s hammer,
and with the hammer she struck Sisera,
she smashed his head—
yes, she crushed and pierced his temple.
27 At her feet he collapsed, he fell, he lay.
Between her feet he bowed, he fell.
Where he bowed, there he fell dead.
28 Through the window, Sisera’s mother
looked out, through the lattice.
    and lamented shrilly:
‘Why does his chariot delay in coming?
Why do the wheels of his chariots tarry?’
29 The wisest of her princesses answer her,
yes, she repeats the words to herself:
30 ‘Are they not finding, dividing the spoil?
A maiden, maidens for every warrior!
To Sisera a spoil of dyed garments—
a spoil of dyed garments of embroidery,
double-dyed garments of embroidery
    for the necks of every spoiler!’
31 So let all Your enemies perish, Adonai!
But may those who love Him be
like the rising of the sun in its might.”

Then the land had peace for 40 years.