The Song of Deborah and Barak
1On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:
2Praise the LORD!
The Israelites were determined to fight;
the people gladly volunteered.
3Listen, you kings!
Pay attention, you rulers!
I will sing, I will play music
to Israel's God, the LORD.
4 LORD, when you left the mountains of Seir,
when you came out of the region of Edom,
the earth shook, and rain fell from the sky.
Yes, water poured down from the clouds.
5 # Ex 19.18 The mountains quaked before the LORD of Sinai,
before the LORD, the God of Israel.
6In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
in the days of Jael,
caravans no longer went through the land,
and travellers used the side roads.
7The towns of Israel stood abandoned, Deborah;
they stood empty until you came,#5.7 abandoned, Deborah… you came; or abandoned; they stood empty until I, Deborah, came.
came like a mother for Israel.
8Then there was war in the land
when the Israelites chose new gods.
Of the 40,000 men in Israel,
did anyone carry shield or spear?
9My heart is with the commanders of Israel,
with the people who gladly volunteered.
Praise the LORD!
10Tell of#5.10 Tell of; or Think about. it, you that ride on white donkeys,
sitting on saddles,
and you that must walk wherever you go.
11Listen! The noisy crowds round the wells
are telling of the LORD's victories,
the victories of Israel's people!
Then the LORD's people marched down from their cities.#5.11 from their cities; or to their gates.
12Lead on, Deborah, lead on!
Lead on! Sing a song! Lead on!
Forward, Barak son of Abinoam,
lead your captives away!
13Then the faithful ones came down to their leaders;
the LORD's people came to him#5.13 One ancient translation him; Hebrew me. ready to fight.
14They came#5.14 Probable text They came; Hebrew Their root. from Ephraim into the valley,#5.14 One ancient translation into the valley; Hebrew in Amalek.
behind the tribe of Benjamin and its people.
The commanders came down from Machir,
the officers down from Zebulun.
15The leaders of Issachar came with Deborah;
yes, Issachar came and Barak too,
and they followed him into the valley.
But the tribe of Reuben was divided;
they could not decide whether to come.
16Why did they stay behind with the sheep?
To listen to shepherds calling the flocks?
Yes, the tribe of Reuben was divided;
they could not decide whether to come.
17The tribe of Gad stayed east of the Jordan,
and the tribe of Dan remained by the ships.
The tribe of Asher stayed by the coast;
they remained along the shore.
18But the people of Zebulun and Naphtali
risked their lives on the battlefield.
19At Taanach, by the stream of Megiddo,
the kings came and fought;
the kings of Canaan fought,
but they took no silver away.
20The stars fought from the sky;
as they moved across the sky,
they fought against Sisera.
21A flood in the Kishon swept them away —
the onrushing River Kishon.
I shall march, march on, with strength!
22Then the horses came galloping on,
stamping the ground with their hooves.
23“Put a curse on Meroz,” says the angel of the LORD,
“a curse, a curse on those who live there.
They did not come to help the LORD,
come as soldiers to fight for him.”
24The most fortunate of women is Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite —
the most fortunate of women who live in tents.
25Sisera asked for water, but she gave him milk;
she brought him cream in a beautiful bowl.
26She took a tent peg in one hand,
a workman's hammer in the other;
she struck Sisera and crushed his skull;
she pierced him through the head.
27He sank to his knees,
fell down and lay still at her feet.
At her feet he sank to his knees and fell;
he fell to the ground, dead.
28Sisera's mother looked out of the window;
she gazed#5.28 Some ancient translations gazed; Hebrew cried out. from behind the lattice.
“Why is his chariot so late in coming?” she asked.
“Why are his horses so slow to return?”
29Her wisest ladies answered her,
and she told herself over and over,
30“They are only finding things to capture and divide,
a woman or two for every soldier,
rich cloth for Sisera,
embroidered pieces for the neck of the queen.”#5.30 Probable text queen; Hebrew plunder.
31May all your enemies die like that, O LORD,
but may your friends shine like the rising sun!
And there was peace in the land for forty years.