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Judges 4:1-5:31; Luke 22:35-53; Psalms 94:1-23; Proverbs 14:3-4 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Judges 4-5

The Lord Calls Barak Through Deborah

After Ehud died, the people of Israel again did what the Lord considered evil. So the Lord 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 the Lord 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, “The Lord God 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 the Lord 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 the Lord will hand Sisera over to you. The Lord 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, God 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.

The Victory Song of Deborah and Barak

On that day Deborah and Barak, son of Abinoam, sang this song:

Praise the Lord!
    Men in Israel vowed to fight,
        and people volunteered for service.

Listen, you kings!
Open your ears, you princes!
    I will sing a song to the Lord.
    I will make music to the Lord God of Israel.
O Lord,
    when you went out from Seir,
    when you marched from the country of Edom,
        the earth quaked,
        the sky poured,
        the clouds burst,
            and the mountains shook
                in the presence of the Lord God of Sinai,
                in the presence of the Lord God of Israel.

In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath,
in the days of Jael,
    roads were deserted.
Those who traveled took back roads.
Villages in Israel were deserted—
    deserted until I, Deborah, took a stand—
        took a stand as a mother of Israel.
When the people chose new gods,
    war broke out inside the city gates.
Not a weapon was seen among 40,000 in Israel.

My heart goes out to Israel’s commanders,
    to those people who volunteered.
Praise the Lord!
10 You people who ride on brown donkeys,
    who sit on saddle blankets,
        and who walk on the road—think.
11 Listen to the voices of those singing at the wells.[a]
Over and over again they repeat
    the victories of the Lord,
    the victories for his villages in Israel.
Then the Lord’s people went down to the city gates.

12 Get up! Get up, Deborah!
Get up! Get up and create a song!

Barak, attack! Take your prisoners, son of Abinoam.
13 Then those mighty men who were left came down.
The Lord’s people went into battle for me against the mighty soldiers.
14     Those who had settled in Amalek’s country
        came down from Ephraim.
    Benjamin came with its troops
        after Ephraim.
    Commanders from Machir went into battle.
    The officers from Zebulun also went.
15     Issachar’s commanders were with Deborah.
        They were also with Barak,
            sent into the valley under his command.

Among Reuben’s divisions important men had second thoughts.
16 Why did you sit between the saddlebags?
Was it to listen to the shepherds playing their flutes?
    Reuben’s divisions of important men had second thoughts.
17     Gilead remained east of the Jordan River.
    And Dan . . . Why did he stay by the ships?
    Asher sat on the seashore and remained along the inlets.
18         But Zebulun mocked death,
            and Naphtali risked his life on the battlefield.

19 Kings came and fought.
Then the kings of Canaan fought.
    They fought at Taanach by the waters of Megiddo.
        But they didn’t carry off any rich loot.
20 The stars fought from heaven.
    They fought against Sisera from their heavenly paths.
21 The Kishon River swept them away—
    that old river, the Kishon.

I must march on with strength!

22 Then the horses’ hoofs pounded.
    The mighty war horses galloped on and on.
23 “Curse Meroz!” said the Messenger of the Lord.
“Bitterly curse those who live there!
    They did not come to help the Lord,
        to help the Lord and his heroes.”
24 Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite,
    should be the most blessed woman,
    the most blessed woman living in a tent.
25 Sisera asked for water.
    She gave him milk.
    She offered him buttermilk in a royal bowl.
26     She reached for a tent peg with one hand,
        for a workman’s hammer with the other.
    She struck Sisera.
        She crushed his head.
            She shattered and pierced his temples.
27 He sank.
    He fell.
        He lay between her feet!
He sank.
    He fell between her feet.
        Where he sank, he fell dead.

28 Sisera’s mother looked through her window
    and cried as she peered through the lattice.
“Why is his chariot taking so long?
Why don’t I hear the clatter of his chariots?”
29     Her wisest servants gave her an answer.
But she kept repeating to herself,
30     “They’re really finding and dividing the loot:
        A girl or two for each soldier,
            colorful clothes for Sisera,
                colorful, embroidered clothes,
                    and two pieces of colorful, embroidered cloth
                        for the neck of the looter.”

31 May all your enemies die like that, O Lord.
But may those who love the Lord
    be like the sun when it rises in all its brightness.

So the land had peace for 40 years.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 5:11 Hebrew meaning of this line uncertain.
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Luke 22:35-53

35 Then Jesus said to them, “When I sent you out without a wallet, traveling bag, or sandals, you didn’t lack anything, did you?”

“Not a thing!” they answered.

36 Then he said to them, “But now, the person who has a wallet and a traveling bag should take them along. The person who doesn’t have a sword should sell his coat and buy one. 37 I can guarantee that the Scripture passage which says, ‘He was counted with criminals,’ must find its fulfillment in me. Indeed, whatever is written about me will come true.”

38 The disciples said, “Lord, look! Here are two swords!”

Then Jesus said to them, “That’s enough!”

Jesus Prays in the Garden of Gethsemane

39 Jesus went out of the city to the Mount of Olives as he usually did. His disciples followed him. 40 When he arrived, he said to them, “Pray that you won’t be tempted.”

41 Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42 “Father, if it is your will, take this cup of suffering away from me. However, your will must be done, not mine.”

43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. 44 So he prayed very hard in anguish. His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.[a]

45 When Jesus ended his prayer, he got up and went to the disciples. He found them asleep and overcome with sadness. 46 He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up, and pray that you won’t be tempted.”

Jesus Is Arrested

47 While he was still speaking to the disciples, a crowd arrived. The man called Judas, one of the twelve apostles, was leading them. He came close to Jesus to kiss him.

48 Jesus said to him, “Judas, do you intend to betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”

49 The men who were with Jesus saw what was going to happen. So they asked him, “Lord, should we use our swords to fight?” 50 One of the disciples cut off the right ear of the chief priest’s servant.

51 But Jesus said, “Stop! That’s enough of this.” Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed him.

52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, temple guards, and leaders who had come for him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a criminal? 53 I was with you in the temple courtyard every day and you didn’t try to arrest me. But this is your time, when darkness rules.”

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 22:44 Some manuscripts and translations omit verses 43 and 44.
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Psalm 94

Psalm 94

O Lord, God of vengeance,
    O God of vengeance, appear!
Arise, O Judge of the earth.
Give arrogant people what they deserve.
    How long, O Lord, will wicked people triumph?
    How long?

They ramble.
    They speak arrogantly.
        All troublemakers brag about themselves.
They crush your people, O Lord.
    They make those who belong to you suffer.
        They kill widows and foreigners, and they murder orphans.
            They say, “The Lord doesn’t see it.
                The God of Jacob doesn’t even pay attention to it.”

Pay attention, you stupid people!
When will you become wise, you fools?
    God created ears.
        Do you think he can’t hear?
    He formed eyes.
        Do you think he can’t see?
10     He disciplines nations.
        Do you think he can’t punish?
    He teaches people.
        Do you think he doesn’t know anything?
11             The Lord knows that people’s thoughts are pointless.

12 O Lord, blessed is the person
    whom you discipline and instruct from your teachings.
13         You give him peace and quiet from times of trouble
            while a pit is dug to trap wicked people.

14 The Lord will never desert his people
    or abandon those who belong to him.
15         The decisions of judges will again become fair,
            and everyone whose motives are decent will pursue justice.[a]

16 Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
Who will stand by my side against troublemakers?
17     If the Lord had not come to help me,
        my soul would have quickly fallen silent in death.

18 When I said, “My feet are slipping,”
    your mercy, O Lord, continued to hold me up.
19 When I worried about many things,
    your assuring words soothed my soul.

20 Are wicked rulers who use the law to do unlawful things
    able to be your partners?
21         They join forces to take the lives of righteous people.
        They condemn innocent people to death.
22 The Lord has become my stronghold.
My God has become my rock of refuge.
23     He has turned their own wickedness against them.
    He will destroy them because of their sins.
        The Lord our God will destroy them.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 94:15 English equivalent of this verse difficult.
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Proverbs 14:3-4

Because of a stubborn fool’s words a whip is lifted against him,
    but wise people are protected by their speech.

Where there are no cattle, the feeding trough is empty,
    but the strength of an ox produces plentiful harvests.

Read More
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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