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Then Deborah and Barak sang this song about the wonderful victory:

“Praise the Lord!
Israel’s leaders bravely led;
The people gladly followed!
Yes, bless the Lord!
Listen, O you kings and princes,
For I shall sing about the Lord,
The God of Israel.
When you led us out from Seir,
Out across the fields of Edom,
The earth trembled
And the sky poured down its rain.
Yes, even Mount Sinai quaked
At thepresence of the God of Israel!
In the days of Shamgar and of Jael,
The main roads were deserted.
Travelers used the narrow, crooked side paths.
Israel’s population dwindled,
Until Deborah became a mother to Israel.
When Israel chose new gods,
Everything collapsed.
Our masters would not let us have
A shield or spear.
Among forty thousand men of Israel,
Not a weapon could be found!
How I rejoice
In the leaders of Israel
Who offered themselves so willingly!
Praise the Lord!
10 Let all Israel, rich and poor,
Join in his praises—
Those who ride on white donkeys
And sit on rich carpets,
And those who ar poor and must walk.
11 The village musicians
Gather at the village well
To sing of the triumphs of the Lord.
Again and again they sing the ballad
Of how the Lord saved Israel
With an army of peasants!
The people of the Lord
Marched through the gates!
12 Awake, O Deborah, and sing!
Arise, O Barak!
O son of Abinoam, lead away your captives!
13-14 Down from Mount Tabor marched the noble remnant.
The people of the Lord
Marched down against great odds.
They came from Ephraim and Benjamin,
From Machir and from Zebulun.
15 Down into the valley
Went the princes of Issachar
With Deborah and Barak.
At God’s command they rushed into the valley.
(But the tribe of Reuben didn’t go.
16 Why did you sit at home among the sheepfolds,
Playing your shepherd pipes?
Yes, the tribe of Reuben has an uneasy conscience.
17 Why did Gilead remain across the Jordan,
And why did Dan remain with his ships?
And why did Asher sit unmoved
Upon the seashore,
At ease beside his harbors?)
18 But the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali
Dared to die upon the fields of battle.
19 The kings of Canaan fought in Taanach
By Megiddo’s springs,
But did not win the victory.
20 The very stars of heaven
Fought Sisera.
21 The rushing Kishon River
Swept them away.
March on, my soul, with strength!
22 Hear the stamping
Of the horsehoofs of the enemy!
See the prancing of his steeds!
23 But the Angel of Jehovah
Put a curse on Meroz.
‘Curse them bitterly,’ he said,
‘Because they did not come to help the Lord
Against his enemies.’
24 Blessed be Jael,
The wife of Heber the Kenite—
Yes, may she be blessed
Above all women who live in tents.
25 He asked for water
And she gave him milk in a beautiful cup!
26 Then she took a tent pin and a workman’s hammer
And pierced Sisera’s temples,
Crushing his head.
She pounded the tent pin through his head.
27 He sank, he fell, he lay dead at her feet.
28 The mother of Sisera watched through the window
For his return.
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why don’t we hear the sound of the wheels?’
29 But her ladies-in-waiting—and she herself—replied,
30 ‘There is much loot to be divided,
And it takes time.
Each man receives a girl or two;
And Sisera will get gorgeous robes,
And he will bring home
Many gifts for me.’
31 O Lord, may all your enemies
Perish as Sisera did,
But may those who love the Lord
Shine as the sun!”

After that there was peace in the land for forty years.

The Song of Deborah

On that day Deborah(A) and Barak son of Abinoam(B) sang this song:(C)

“When the princes in Israel take the lead,
    when the people willingly offer(D) themselves—
    praise the Lord!(E)

“Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers!
    I, even I, will sing to[a] the Lord;(F)
    I will praise the Lord, the God of Israel, in song.(G)

“When you, Lord, went out(H) from Seir,(I)
    when you marched from the land of Edom,
the earth shook,(J) the heavens poured,
    the clouds poured down water.(K)
The mountains quaked(L) before the Lord, the One of Sinai,
    before the Lord, the God of Israel.

“In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,(M)
    in the days of Jael,(N) the highways(O) were abandoned;
    travelers took to winding paths.(P)
Villagers in Israel would not fight;
    they held back until I, Deborah,(Q) arose,
    until I arose, a mother in Israel.
God chose new leaders(R)
    when war came to the city gates,(S)
but not a shield or spear(T) was seen
    among forty thousand in Israel.
My heart is with Israel’s princes,
    with the willing volunteers(U) among the people.
    Praise the Lord!

10 “You who ride on white donkeys,(V)
    sitting on your saddle blankets,
    and you who walk along the road,
consider 11 the voice of the singers[b] at the watering places.
    They recite the victories(W) of the Lord,
    the victories of his villagers in Israel.

“Then the people of the Lord
    went down to the city gates.(X)
12 ‘Wake up,(Y) wake up, Deborah!(Z)
    Wake up, wake up, break out in song!
Arise, Barak!(AA)
    Take captive your captives,(AB) son of Abinoam.’

13 “The remnant of the nobles came down;
    the people of the Lord came down to me against the mighty.
14 Some came from Ephraim,(AC) whose roots were in Amalek;(AD)
    Benjamin(AE) was with the people who followed you.
From Makir(AF) captains came down,
    from Zebulun those who bear a commander’s[c] staff.
15 The princes of Issachar(AG) were with Deborah;(AH)
    yes, Issachar was with Barak,(AI)
    sent under his command into the valley.
In the districts of Reuben
    there was much searching of heart.
16 Why did you stay among the sheep pens[d](AJ)
    to hear the whistling for the flocks?(AK)
In the districts of Reuben
    there was much searching of heart.
17 Gilead(AL) stayed beyond the Jordan.
    And Dan, why did he linger by the ships?
Asher(AM) remained on the coast(AN)
    and stayed in his coves.
18 The people of Zebulun(AO) risked their very lives;
    so did Naphtali(AP) on the terraced fields.(AQ)

19 “Kings came(AR), they fought,
    the kings of Canaan fought.
At Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo,(AS)
    they took no plunder of silver.(AT)
20 From the heavens(AU) the stars fought,
    from their courses they fought against Sisera.
21 The river Kishon(AV) swept them away,
    the age-old river, the river Kishon.
    March on, my soul; be strong!(AW)
22 Then thundered the horses’ hooves—
    galloping, galloping go his mighty steeds.(AX)
23 ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the Lord.
    ‘Curse its people bitterly,
because they did not come to help the Lord,
    to help the Lord against the mighty.’

24 “Most blessed of women(AY) be Jael,(AZ)
    the wife of Heber the Kenite,(BA)
    most blessed of tent-dwelling women.
25 He asked for water, and she gave him milk;(BB)
    in a bowl fit for nobles she brought him curdled milk.
26 Her hand reached for the tent peg,
    her right hand for the workman’s hammer.
She struck Sisera, she crushed his head,
    she shattered and pierced his temple.(BC)
27 At her feet he sank,
    he fell; there he lay.
At her feet he sank, he fell;
    where he sank, there he fell—dead(BD).

28 “Through the window(BE) peered Sisera’s mother;
    behind the lattice she cried out,(BF)
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
    Why is the clatter of his chariots delayed?’
29 The wisest of her ladies answer her;
    indeed, she keeps saying to herself,
30 ‘Are they not finding and dividing the spoils:(BG)
    a woman or two for each man,
colorful garments as plunder for Sisera,
    colorful garments embroidered,
highly embroidered garments(BH) for my neck—
    all this as plunder?(BI)

31 “So may all your enemies perish,(BJ) Lord!
    But may all who love you be like the sun(BK)
    when it rises in its strength.”(BL)

Then the land had peace(BM) forty years.


  1. Judges 5:3 Or of
  2. Judges 5:11 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  3. Judges 5:14 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  4. Judges 5:16 Or the campfires; or the saddlebags