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The Lord Calls Barak Through Deborah

After Ehud died, the people of Israel again did what Yahweh considered evil. So Yahweh used King Jabin of Canaan, who ruled at Hazor, to defeat them. The commander of King Jabin’s army was Sisera, who lived at Harosheth Haggoyim. The people of Israel cried out to Yahweh for help. King Jabin had 900 chariots made of iron and had cruelly oppressed Israel for 20 years.

Deborah, wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet. She was the judge in Israel at that time. She used to sit under the Palm Tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. The people of Israel would come to her for legal decisions.

Deborah summoned Barak, son of Abinoam, from Kedesh in Naphtali. She told him, “Yahweh Elohim of Israel has given you this order: ‘Gather troops on Mount Tabor. Take 10,000 men from Naphtali and Zebulun with you. I will lead Sisera (the commander of Jabin’s army), his chariots, and troops to you at the Kishon River. I will hand him over to you.’”

Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I’ll go. But if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”

Deborah replied, “Certainly, I’ll go with you. But you won’t win any honors for the way you’re going about this, because Yahweh will use a woman to defeat Sisera.”

Barak Defeats Jabin

So Deborah started out for Kedesh with Barak. 10 Barak called the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali together at Kedesh. Ten thousand men went to fight under his command. Deborah also went along with him.

11 Heber the Kenite had separated from the other Kenites (the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ father-in-law). Heber went as far away as the oak tree at Zaanannim near Kedesh and set up his tent.

12 The report reached Sisera that Barak, son of Abinoam, had come to fight at Mount Tabor. 13 So Sisera summoned all his chariots (900 chariots made of iron) and all his troops from Harosheth Haggoyim to come to the Kishon River.

14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Attack! This is the day Yahweh will hand Sisera over to you. Yahweh will go ahead of you.”

So Barak came down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men behind him. 15 The Lord threw Sisera, all his chariots, and his whole army into a panic in front of Barak’s deadly assault. Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot. 16 Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth Haggoyim. So Sisera’s whole army was killed in combat. Not one man survived.

17 Meanwhile, Sisera fled on foot toward the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. Sisera did this because King Jabin of Hazor and Heber’s family were on peaceful terms. 18 When Jael came out of her tent, she met Sisera. She told him, “Sir, come in here! Come into my tent. Don’t be afraid.” So he went into her tent, and she hid him under a tent curtain.

19 Sisera said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink. I’m thirsty.” But instead she gave him milk to drink and covered him up again.

20 He said to her, “Stand at the door of the tent. If anyone comes and asks if there has been a man around here, tell them no.”

21 When Sisera had fallen sound asleep from exhaustion, Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and walked quietly toward him with a hammer in her hand. She hammered the tent peg through his temples into the ground. So Sisera died.

22 Barak was still pursuing Sisera. When Jael came out of her tent, she met him. She said to him, “Come in! I have something to show you—the man you’ve been looking for.” So Barak went into her tent. He saw Sisera lying there dead with the tent peg through his temples.

23 So on that day, Elohim used the people of Israel to crush the power of King Jabin of Canaan. 24 The Israelites became stronger and stronger until they destroyed him.