5 On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:
2 “·The leaders led Israel [or When locks of hair grow in Israel; C referring to the keeping of a Nazirite vow (Num. 6:5); the Hebrew here is obscure]. The ·people [nation] ·volunteered to go to battle [answered the call; offered themselves willingly]. ·Praise [Bless] the Lord! 3 Listen, kings. Pay attention, rulers! I ·myself [even I] will sing to the Lord. I will ·make music [or sing praises] to the Lord, the God of Israel.
4 “Lord, when you came from Seir [C another name for Edom], when you marched from the ·land [or fields] of Edom, the earth shook, the ·skies [heavens] ·rained [poured; dropped], and the clouds ·dropped [poured] water. 5 The mountains ·shook [quaked] before the Lord, the God of Mount Sinai, before the Lord, the God of Israel!
6 “In the days of Shamgar son of Anath [3:31], in the days of Jael, the ·main roads were empty [highways were deserted; or caravans were no more]. Travelers went on ·the back roads [winding paths; C because of Canaanite robbers on the highways]. 7 ·There were no warriors in Israel [or The villagers/peasants would not fight; or The villagers deserted their villages] until ·I [or you], Deborah, arose, until ·I [or you] arose to be a mother to Israel. 8 At that time ·they chose to follow new gods [or God chose new leaders/warriors]. Because of this, ·enemies fought us at our [war came to the] city gates. ·No one could find a shield or a spear [L A shield, it could not be seen, nor a spear] among the forty thousand people of Israel. 9 My heart is with the ·commanders [leaders; princes] of Israel. ·They volunteered freely [or And with those who volunteered freely] from among the people. ·Praise [Bless] the Lord!
10 “You who ride on white [L female] donkeys and sit on ·saddle blankets [or rich carpets], and you who walk along the road, ·listen [ponder this; or tell of this]! 11 Listen to the sound of the ·singers [village musicians; or those who distribute the water; or those who divide the sheep] at the watering holes. There they tell about the ·victories [or righteous deeds/triumphs] of the Lord, the ·victories [or righteous deeds/triumphs] of the Lord’s ·warriors [or villagers; peasantry] in Israel. Then the Lord’s people went down to the city gates.
12 “Wake up, wake up, Deborah! Wake up, wake up, sing a song! Get up, Barak! ·Go capture your enemies [L Take captive your captives], son of Abinoam!
13 “Then ·those who were left [the remnant/survivors] ·came down to the important leaders [or of the nobles/leaders came down]. The Lord’s people came down to me ·with strong men [or against the mighty]. 14 They came from Ephraim ·in the mountains of [or whose roots were in; or who uprooted] Amalek. ·Benjamin was among the people who followed you [or They follow you, Benjamin, with your people/soldiers]. From ·the family group of Makir [L Makir], the commanders came down. And from Zebulun came those who ·lead [L carry the officer’s/commander’s staff]. 15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah. The people of Issachar were loyal to Barak and ·followed him [were sent under his command; L were sent at his feet] into the valley. ·The Reubenites [L Among the clans of Reuben they] ·thought hard about what they would do [greatly searched their hearts; or had great indecision]. 16 Why did you stay by the sheepfold? Was it to hear the ·music played [whistling] for your ·sheep [flocks]? ·The Reubenites [L Among the clans of Reuben they] ·thought hard about what they would do [greatly searched their hearts; or had great indecision]. 17 ·The people of Gilead [L Gilead; C the grandson of Manasseh, though the term is used for the tribe of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh east of the Jordan] stayed east of the Jordan River. ·People of Dan [L Dan; 1:34], why did you stay by the ships [C Dan remained on the Mediterranean coast rather than help in the battle]? The people of Asher stayed at the seashore, at their ·safe harbors [coves; landings]. 18 But the people of Zebulun ·risked their lives [L despised their lives even to death], as did the people of Naphtali on the ·battlefield [L heights of the field].
19 “The kings came, and they fought. At that time the kings of Canaan fought at Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo. But they took away no ·silver or possessions of Israel [plunder of silver]. 20 The stars fought from heaven [C personified as God’s army]; from their ·paths [courses], they fought Sisera. 21 The Kishon River swept Sisera’s men away, that ·old river [ancient torrent], the Kishon ·River [torrent; C a rainstorm sent from God swelled the river]. March on, my soul, with strength! 22 Then the horses’ hoofs ·beat [pounded] the ground. Galloping, galloping go Sisera’s ·mighty horses [stallions; steeds; L mighty ones]. 23 ‘·May the town of Meroz be cursed [L Curse Meroz],’ said the angel of the Lord. ‘·Bitterly curse [Utterly curse; L Curse a curse upon] its ·people [inhabitants], because they did not come to help the Lord. ·They did not fight the strong enemy [To help the Lord against the warriors/mighty ones].’
24 “Most blessed among women is Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, May she be blessed above all women who live in tents. 25 Sisera asked for water, but Jael gave him milk. In a bowl fit for a ·ruler [noble; king], she brought him ·cream [or curds]. 26 Jael reached out her hand and took the tent peg. Her right hand reached for the workman’s hammer. She ·hit [struck] Sisera! She ·smashed [crushed] his head! She ·crushed [shattered] and pierced ·the side of his head [his temple/or mouth]! 27 ·At [or Between] Jael’s feet he ·sank [bowed]. He fell, and he lay there. ·At [or Between] her feet he ·sank [bowed]. He fell. Where Sisera ·sank [bowed], there he fell, dead!
28 “Sisera’s mother looked out through the window. She looked through the ·curtains [lattice] and cried out, ‘Why is Sisera’s chariot so late in coming? Why are ·sounds of his chariots’ horses [L the chariots’ hoofbeats] delayed?’ 29 The wisest of her ·servant ladies [or princesses] answer her, ·and [indeed] Sisera’s mother says to herself, 30 ‘Surely they are ·robbing the people they defeated and dividing those things among themselves [L finding and dividing the spoil]! Each soldier is given a ·girl [L womb; C slang for women] or two. ·Maybe Sisera is taking [L For Sisera a plunder of] ·pieces of dyed cloth [or colorful garments]. ·Maybe they are even taking [L For spoil/plunder] pieces of dyed, embroidered cloth for the necks of the ·victors [plunderers]!’ 31 “·Let [May] all your enemies ·die [perish] this way, Lord! But ·let [may] all the people who love you be ·as strong as the rising sun [L like the sun rising in its strength]!”
Then there was ·peace [rest] in the land for forty years.
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