Judges 4Expanded Bible (EXB)
Deborah, the Woman Judge
4 After Ehud died, the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] again did ·what the Lord said was wrong [L evil in the eyes/sight of the Lord]. 2 So he ·let them be defeated by [L sold them into the hands of] Jabin, a king of Canaan who ruled in the city of Hazor. Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim, was the commander of Jabin’s army. 3 Because he had nine hundred ·iron [iron-clad; iron-fitted; 1:19] chariots and ·was very cruel to [harshly oppressed] the ·people [L sons; T children] of Israel for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help.
4 A prophetess named Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was ·judging [leading; 2:16] Israel at that time. 5 Deborah would sit under the Palm Tree of Deborah, which was between the cities of Ramah and Bethel, in the ·mountains [hill country] of Ephraim. And the ·people [L sons; T children] of Israel would come to her ·to settle their arguments [L for judgment].
6 Deborah ·sent a message to [or sent for; summoned] Barak son of Abinoam. Barak lived in ·the city of Kedesh, which is in the area of Naphtali [L Kedesh-Naphtali]. Deborah said to Barak, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go and gather ten thousand ·men [L sons] of Naphtali and Zebulun [C two tribes covering most of Israel’s area north of the Jezreel Valley] and lead them to Mount Tabor [C a cone-shaped mountain in Jezreel Valley southwest of Lake Galilee]. 7 I will ·make [L draw/pull out] Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, and his chariots, and his army meet you at the Kishon River. I will ·hand Sisera over to you [L give him into your hand].’”
8 Then Barak said to Deborah, “I will go if you will go with me, but if you won’t go with me, I won’t go.”
9 “·Of course [Certainly; L Going] I will go with you,” Deborah answered, “but you will not get ·credit [honor; glory; fame] ·for the victory [L in the road/way/venture you are taking]. The Lord will ·let a woman defeat Sisera [L sell Sisera into the hand of a woman].” So Deborah [L arose and] went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 At Kedesh, Barak ·called [summoned] the people of Zebulun and Naphtali together. ·From them, he gathered ten thousand men to follow him [L Ten thousand men went up at his feet], and Deborah went with him also.
11 Now Heber the Kenite had ·left [separated/moved away from] the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ ·brother-in-law [or father-in-law]. Heber had put up his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim, near Kedesh [C this verse introduces the family of Jael, the woman alluded to by Deborah in v. 9; see v. 17].
12 When Sisera was told that Barak son of Abinoam had gone to Mount Tabor, 13 Sisera gathered his nine hundred ·iron [iron-clad; iron-fitted; v. 3] chariots and all the men with him, from Harosheth Haggoyim to the Kishon River.
14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Get up! Today is the day the Lord ·will hand over Sisera [L has given Sisera into your hand]. The Lord has ·already cleared the way for [L gone out before] you.” So Barak led ten thousand men down Mount Tabor. 15 As Barak approached, the Lord ·confused [caused to panic; or routed] Sisera and his army and chariots. The Lord defeated them with the [L edge of the] sword, but Sisera ·left [jumped out of] his chariot and ran away on foot. 16 Barak and his men chased Sisera’s chariots and army to Harosheth Haggoyim. ·With their swords [L By the edge of the sword] they killed all of Sisera’s men; not one of them was left alive.
17 But Sisera himself ran away to the tent where Jael lived. She was the wife of Heber, one of the Kenite family groups [v. 11]. ·Heber’s family [L The house of Heber] ·was at peace [or had an alliance] with Jabin king of Hazor. 18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “·Come into my tent [L Turn aside], master! Come in. Don’t be afraid.” So Sisera went into Jael’s tent, and she covered him with a ·rug [or blanket].
19 Sisera said to Jael, “I am thirsty. Please give me some water to drink.” So she opened a ·leather bag [goatskin] of milk and gave him a drink. Then she covered him up.
20 He said to her, “Go stand at the entrance to the tent. If anyone comes and asks you, ‘Is anyone here?’ say, ‘No.’”
21 But Jael, the wife of Heber, took a tent peg and a hammer and ·quietly [secretly] went to Sisera. Since he was very tired, he was in a deep sleep. She hammered the tent peg through the side of Sisera’s ·head [temple; or mouth] and into the ground. And so Sisera died.
22 ·At that very moment [T And behold] Barak came by Jael’s tent, chasing Sisera. Jael went out to meet him and said, “Come. I will show you the man you are looking for.” So Barak entered her tent, and there Sisera lay dead, with the tent peg in his ·head [temple; or mouth].
23 On that day God ·defeated [subdued; humiliated] Jabin king of Canaan ·in the sight of [L before the sons/T children of] Israel.
24 ·Israel became stronger and stronger [L The hand of sons/T children of Israel pressed harder and harder] against Jabin king of Canaan until finally they destroyed him.
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