Deborah, Barak, and Jael
1After Ehud had died, the Israelites again did things that the LORD saw as evil. 2So the LORD gave them over to King Jabin of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, and he was stationed in Harosheth-ha-goiim. 3The Israelites cried out to the LORD because Sisera#Or he had nine hundred iron chariots and had oppressed the Israelites cruelly for twenty years.
4Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth,#Or a woman of torches was a leader of Israel at that time. 5She would sit under Deborah’s palm tree between Ramah and Bethel in the Ephraim highlands, and the Israelites would come to her to settle disputes. 6She sent word to Barak, Abinoam’s son, from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, "Hasn’t the LORD, Israel’s God, issued you a command? ‘Go and assemble at Mount Tabor, taking ten thousand men from the people of Naphtali and Zebulun with you. 7I’ll lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, to assemble with his chariots and troops against you at the Kishon River, and then I’ll help you overpower him.’"
8Barak replied to her, "If you’ll go with me, I’ll go; but if not, I won’t go."
9Deborah answered, "I’ll definitely go with you. However, the path you’re taking won’t bring honor to you, because the LORD will hand over Sisera to a woman." Then Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10He summoned Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh, and ten thousand men marched out behind him. Deborah marched out with him too.
11Now Heber the Kenite had moved away from the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ father-in-law, and had settled as far away as Elon-bezaanannim, which is near Kedesh.
12When it was reported to Sisera that Barak, Abinoam’s son, had marched up to Mount Tabor, 13Sisera summoned all of his nine hundred iron chariots and all of the soldiers who were with him from Harosheth-ha-goiim to the Kishon River. 14Then Deborah said to Barak, "Get up! This is the day that the LORD has handed Sisera over to you. Hasn’t the LORD gone out before you?" So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men behind him. 15The LORD threw Sisera and all the chariots and army into a panic#MT adds before the edge of the sword. before Barak; Sisera himself got down from his chariot and fled on foot. 16Barak pursued the chariots and the army all the way back to Harosheth-ha-goiim, killing Sisera’s entire army with the sword. No one survived.
17Meanwhile, Sisera had fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there was peace between Hazor’s King Jabin and the family of Heber the Kenite. 18Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, "Come in, sir, come in here. Don’t be afraid." So he went with her into the tent, and she hid him under a blanket.
19Sisera said to her, "Please give me a little water to drink. I’m thirsty." So she opened a jug of milk, gave him a drink, and hid him again. 20Then he said to her, "Stand at the entrance to the tent. That way, if someone comes and asks you, ‘Is there a man here?’ you can say, ‘No.’"
21But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent stake and a hammer. While Sisera was sound asleep from exhaustion, she tiptoed to him. She drove the stake through his head and down into the ground, and he died. 22Just then, Barak arrived after chasing Sisera. Jael went out to meet him and said, "Come and I’ll show you the man you’re after." So he went in with her, and there was Sisera, lying dead, with the stake through his head.
23So on that day God brought down Canaan’s King Jabin before the Israelites. 24And the power of the Israelites grew greater and greater over Canaan’s King Jabin until they defeated him completely.