Judges 5
Deborah and Barak sing for the LORD
1After the battle was over that day, Deborah and Barak sang this song:
2We praise you, LORD!
Our soldiers volunteered,
ready to follow you.
3Listen, kings and rulers,
while I sing for the LORD,
the God of Israel.
4-5Our LORD, God of Israel,#Ex 19.18.
when you came from Seir,
where the Edomites live,
rain poured from the sky,
the earth trembled,
and mountains shook.
6In the time of Shamgar
son of Anath,
and now again in Jael's time,
roads were too dangerous
for caravans.
Travellers had to take
the back roads,
7and villagers couldn't work
in their fields.#5.7 villagers…fields: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Then Deborah#5.7 Deborah: Or “I, Deborah”. took command,
protecting Israel as a mother
protects her children.
8The Israelites worshipped
other gods,
and the gates of their towns
were then attacked.#5.8 The Israelites…attacked: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
But they had no shields
or spears to fight with.
9I praise you, LORD,
and I am grateful
for those leaders and soldiers
who volunteered.
10Listen, everyone!
Whether you ride a donkey
with a padded saddle
or have to walk.
11Even those who carry water#5.11 Even…water: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
to the animals will tell you,
“The LORD has won victories,
and so has Israel.”
Then the LORD's people marched
down to the town gates
12and said, “Deborah, let's go!
Let's sing as we march.
Barak, capture our enemies.”
13The LORD's people who were left
joined with their leaders
and fought at my side.#5.13 side: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 13.
14Troops came from Ephraim,
where Amalekites once lived.
Others came from Benjamin;
officers and leaders came
from Machir and Zebulun.
15The rulers of Issachar
came along with Deborah,
and Issachar followed Barak
into the valley.
But the tribe of Reuben
was no help at all!#5.15 But…at all: Or “But the people of Reuben couldn't make up their minds.”
16Reuben, why did you stay
among your sheep pens?#5.16 sheep pens: Or “campfires”.
Was it to listen to shepherds
whistling for their sheep?
No one could understand
why Reuben wouldn't come.#5.16 No…come: Or “The people of Reuben couldn't make up their minds.”
17The people of Gilead stayed
across the Jordan.
Why did the tribe of Dan
remain on their ships
and the tribe of Asher
stay along the coast
near the harbours?
18But soldiers of Zebulun
and Naphtali
risked their lives
to attack the enemy.#5.18 to attack the enemy: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
19Canaanite kings fought us
at Taanach by the stream
near Megiddo#5.19 stream near Megiddo: Probably refers to one of the streams that flow into the River Kishon.
but they couldn't rob us
of our silver.#5.19 rob us of our silver: The army that won a battle would take everything of value from the dead enemy soldiers.
20From their pathways in the sky
the stars#5.20 stars: In ancient times, the stars were sometimes regarded as supernatural beings. fought Sisera,
21and his soldiers were swept away
by the ancient River Kishon.
I will march on and be brave.
22Sisera's horses galloped off,
their hoofs thundering
in retreat.
23The LORD's angel said,
“Put a curse on Meroz Town!
Its people refused
to help the LORD fight
his powerful enemies.”
24But honour Jael,
the wife of Heber
from the Kenite clan.
Give more honour to her
than to any other woman
who lives in tents.
Yes, give more honour to her
than to any other woman.
25Sisera asked for water,
but Jael gave him milk—
cream in a fine cup.
26She reached for a tent peg
and held a hammer
in her right hand.
And with a blow to the head,
she crushed his skull.
27Sisera sank to his knees
and fell dead at her feet.
28Sisera's mother looked out
through her window.
“Why is he taking so long?”
she asked.
“Why haven't we heard
his chariots coming?”
29She and her wisest women
gave the same answer:
30“Sisera and his troops
are finding treasures
to bring back—
a woman, or perhaps two,
for each man,
and beautiful dresses
for those women to wear.”#5.30 and beautiful…wear: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
31Our LORD, we pray
that all your enemies
will die like Sisera.
But let everyone who loves you
shine brightly like the sun
at dawn.