Judges 4 – Deborah and Barak

Mount Tabor

Judges 4 is a riveting story of the wisdom and courage of two women who served God.  When the people next “did what was evil in the sight of the Lord,” they came under the oppression of Jabin, the king of Hazor, whose army was commanded by Sisera.  Deborah was the next judge, and she gave Barak the command to gather 10,000 men from Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor.  Barak’s response seems a bit less than heroic in verse 8, so she goes with him.  But she lets him know that he will not get glory for the victory, but that the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.

They routed Sisera and his 900 iron chariots, but Sisera fled to the house of Heber the Kenite, who was at peace with Hazor.  Heber was a descendant of the father-in-law of Moses, and his wife was Jael.  After Sisera was asleep, Jael drove a tent peg through Sisera’s temple into the ground.  Verses 23-24 tell how God made their victory over Jabin utterly complete.

Jael Smote Sisera, and Slew Him, circa 1896-19...

Jael Smote Sisera, and Slew Him, circa 1896-1902, by James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French, 1836-1902) or follower, gouache on board, 5 7/16 x 7 3/8 in. (13.9 x 18.8 cm), at the Jewish Museum, New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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