Deborah and Barak Rescue from Canaanites
4 But the Israelites again did evil in the sight of the Lord, after Ehud died. 2 So the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in [a]Harosheth-hagoyim. 3 Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord [for help], for Jabin had nine hundred iron chariots and had oppressed and tormented the sons of Israel severely for twenty years.
4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5 She used to sit [to hear and decide disputes] under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the Israelites came up to her for judgment. 6 Now she sent word and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali, and said to him, “Behold, the Lord, the God of Israel, has commanded, ‘Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men [of war] from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun. 7 I will draw out Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his infantry to meet you at the river Kishon, and I will hand him over to you.’” 8 Then Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” 9 She said, “I will certainly go with you; nevertheless, [b]the journey that you are about to take will not be for your honor and glory, because the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 And Barak summoned [the fighting men of the tribes of] Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh, and ten thousand men went up [c]under his command; Deborah also went up with him.
11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, from the sons of Hobab the [d]father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the [e]terebinth tree in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.
12 When someone told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 Sisera called together all his chariots, nine hundred iron chariots, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon. 14 Deborah said to Barak, “Arise! For this is the day when the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Has the Lord not gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. 15 And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and [confused] all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera dismounted from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16 But Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoyim, and the entire army of Sisera fell by the sword; not even one man was left.
17 But Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me! Have no fear.” So he turned aside to her [and went] into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19 And he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink because I am thirsty.” And she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink; then she covered him. 20 And he said to her, “Stand at the door of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, ‘Is there anyone here?’ tell him, ‘No.’” 21 But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and a hammer in her hand, and came up quietly to him and drove the peg through his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died. 22 And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” And he entered [her tent] with her, and behold Sisera lay dead with the tent peg in his temple.
23 So on that day God subdued and humbled Jabin king of Canaan before the sons of Israel. 24 And the hand of the sons of Israel pressed down heavier and heavier on Jabin king of Canaan, until they had destroyed him.
The Song of Deborah and Barak
5 Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying,
“For the leaders who took the lead in Israel,
For the people who volunteered [for battle],
Bless the Lord!
“Hear, O kings; listen, O rulers!
I will sing to the Lord,
I will sing praise to the Lord, the God of Israel.
“Lord, when You went out from Seir,
When You marched from the field of Edom,
The earth quaked, the heavens also dripped,
Yes, the clouds dripped water.
“The mountains quaked at the presence of the Lord,
Yes, this Sinai, at the presence of the Lord, the God of Israel.
“In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath,
In the days of Jael, the highways were deserted,
And travelers went by roundabout ways.
“The villagers ceased to be; they ceased in Israel
Until I, Deborah, arose,
Until I arose, a mother in Israel.
“They chose new gods;
Then war was in the gates.
Was there a shield or spear seen
Among forty thousand in Israel?
“My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel,
The volunteers among the people;
Bless the Lord!
“Sing of it, you who ride on white donkeys,
You who sit on rich carpets,
And you who walk by the way.
“At the sound of those who divide flocks among the watering places,
There they shall recount the righteous acts of the Lord,
The righteous acts toward His villagers in Israel.
Then the people of the Lord went down to the gates.
“Awake, awake, Deborah;
Awake, awake, sing a song!
Arise, Barak, and lead away your captives, you son of Abinoam.
“Then down marched the survivors to the nobles;
The people of the Lord marched down for Me against the mighty.
“From Ephraim those whose root is in Amalek came down,
After you, Benjamin, with your relatives;
From Machir came down commanders and rulers,
And from Zebulun those who [f]handle the scepter of the [office of] scribe.
“And the heads of Issachar came with Deborah;
As Issachar, so was Barak;
Into the valley they rushed at his heels;
Among the divisions of Reuben
There were great searchings of heart.
“Why [Reuben] did you linger among the [g]sheepfolds,
To hear the piping for the flocks?
Among the divisions of Reuben
There were great searchings of heart.
“Gilead remained beyond the Jordan;
And why did Dan live as an alien on ships?
Asher sat [still] on the seacoast,
And remained by its landings.
[These did not come to battle for God’s people.]
“But Zebulun was a people who risked their lives to the [point of] death;
Naphtali also, on the heights of the field.
“The kings came and fought;
Then the kings of Canaan fought
At Taanach by the waters of Megiddo.
Spoils of silver they did not obtain.
“From the heavens the stars fought,
From their courses they fought against Sisera.
“The torrent Kishon swept the enemy away,
The ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon.
O my soul, march on with strength.
“Then the horses’ hoofs beat [loudly]
Because of the galloping—the galloping of his valiant and powerful steeds.
‘Curse [h]Meroz,’ said the messenger of the Lord,
‘Utterly curse its inhabitants;
Because they did not come to the help of the Lord,
To the help of the Lord against the mighty.’
“Most blessed of women is Jael,
The wife of Heber the Kenite;
Most blessed is she of women in the tent.
“Sisera asked for water and she gave him milk;
She brought him curds in a magnificent bowl.
“She reached out her [left] hand for the tent peg,
And her right hand for the workmen’s hammer.
Then she struck Sisera, she smashed his head;
And she shattered and pierced his temple.
“He bowed, he fell, he lay [still] at her feet;
At her feet he bowed, he fell;
Where he bowed, there he fell dead.
“Out of the window she looked down and lamented (cried out in a shrill voice),
The mother of Sisera through the lattice,
‘Why is his chariot delayed in coming?
Why have the hoofbeats of his chariots delayed?’
“Her wise ladies answered her,
Indeed, she repeated her words to herself,
‘Are they not finding and dividing the spoil?
A maiden (concubine) or two for every man;
A spoil of dyed garments for Sisera,
A spoil of dyed garments embroidered,
Two pieces of dyed garments embroidered for the neck of the plunderer?’
“So let all Your enemies perish, O Lord;
But let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might.”
And the land was at rest for forty years.
- Judges 4:2 I.e. a fortress or city of the Gentiles.
- Judges 4:9 Lit the road along which you are going.
- Judges 4:10 Or after him; Lit at his feet.
- Judges 4:11 Hobab is identified as the son of Moses’ father-in-law in Num 10:29.
- Judges 4:11 Or oak.
- Judges 5:14 Writing developed in Mesopotamia during the 4th millennium b.c. It began as a system of accounting to record financial matters and trading transactions.
- Judges 5:16 Or saddlebags
- Judges 5:23 A place in the territory of Naphtali.
35 And He said to them, “When I sent you out without a money belt and [provision] bag and [extra] sandals, did you lack anything?” They answered, “Nothing.” 36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money belt is to take it along, and also his [provision] bag, and he who has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this [Scripture] which is written must be completed and fulfilled in Me: ‘And He was counted with the criminals’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment [and is settled].”(A) 38 They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”
The Garden of Gethsemane
39 And He came out and went, as was His habit, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed Him. 40 When He arrived at the place [called Gethsemane], He said to them, “Pray continually that you may not fall into temptation.”(B) 41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup [of divine wrath] from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done.” 43 [a]Now an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony [deeply distressed and anguished; almost to the point of death], He prayed more intently; and His [b]sweat became like drops of blood, falling down on the ground.(C) 45 When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, 46 and He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not fall into temptation.”
Judas Betrays Jesus
47 While He was still speaking, a crowd came, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve [disciples], was leading the way for them. He approached Jesus to [c]kiss Him.(D) 48 And Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When those who were around Him saw what was about to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” 50 And [d]one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.(E) 51 But Jesus replied, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched the ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders [of the Sanhedrin] who had come out against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a robber? 53 Day after day when I was with you in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power and authority of darkness are yours.”
- Luke 22:43 This particular encounter between Jesus and the ministering angel is found only in Luke’s gospel. Most early mss do not contain vv 43, 44.
- Luke 22:44 A potentially life-threatening physical response to extreme physical or mental stress, hematidrosis.
- Luke 22:47 A kiss on either the hand or cheek was usually an act of homage and a common gesture of greeting and reverence given to a rabbi by his disciples, but done here to identify Jesus.
- Luke 22:50 John names Peter as the assailant and Malchus as the victim.
The Lord Implored to Avenge His People.
94 O Lord God, You to whom vengeance belongs,
O God, You to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth [in judgment]!
Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
Give to the proud a fitting compensation.
O Lord, how long will the wicked,
How long will the wicked rejoice in triumph?
They pour out words, speaking arrogant things;
All who do evil boast proudly.(A)
They crush Your people, O Lord,
And afflict and abuse Your heritage.
[a]They kill the widow and the alien
And murder the fatherless.
Yet they say, “The Lord does not see,
Nor does the God of Jacob (Israel) notice it.”
Consider thoughtfully, you senseless (stupid ones) among the people;
And you [dull-minded] fools, when will you become wise and understand?
He who made the ear, does He not hear?
He who formed the eye, does He not see?
He who instructs the nations,
Does He not rebuke and punish,
He who teaches man knowledge?
The Lord knows the thoughts of man,
That they are a mere breath (vain, empty, futile).(B)
Blessed [with wisdom and prosperity] is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord,
And whom You teach from Your law,
That You may grant him [power to calm himself and find] peace in the days of adversity,
Until the pit is dug for the wicked and ungodly.
For the Lord will not abandon His people,
Nor will He abandon His inheritance.
For judgment will again be righteous,
And all the upright in heart will follow it.
Who will stand up for me against the evildoers?
Who will take a stand for me against those who do wickedness?
If the Lord had not been my help,
I would soon have dwelt in [the land of] silence.
If I say, “My foot has slipped,”
Your compassion and lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your comforts delight me.
Can a throne of destruction be allied with You,
One which frames and devises mischief by decree [under the sacred name of law]?
They band themselves together against the life of the righteous
And condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my high tower and defense,
And my God the rock of my refuge.
He has turned back their own wickedness upon them
And will destroy them by means of their own evil;
The Lord our God will wipe them out.
- Psalm 94:6 Widows, resident aliens, and the fatherless were particularly vulnerable members of ancient society, since they often had little or no economic means. The wicked could easily take advantage of them. God in several Old Testament passages commanded Israel to care especially for these helpless members of society. See, for example, Deut 24:17-22; Ps 146:9; Is 1:17; Zech 7:9, 10.
In the mouth of the [arrogant] [a]fool [who rejects God] is a rod for his back,
But the lips of the wise [when they speak with godly wisdom] will protect them.
Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
But much revenue [because of good crops] comes by the strength of the ox.
- Proverbs 14:3 See note 1:7.