5
Deborah’s song
1At that time, Deborah and Barak, Abinoam’s son, sang:
2When hair is long in Israel,
when people willingly offer themselves—bless the Lord!
3Hear, kings!
Listen, rulers!
I, to the Lord,
I will sing.
I will make music to the Lord,
Israel’s God.
4Lord, when you set out from Seir,
when you marched out from Edom’s fields, the land shook,
the sky poured down,
the clouds poured down water.
5The mountains quaked
before the Lord, the one from Sinai,
before the Lord, the God of Israel.
6In the days of Shamgar, Anath’s son,
in the days of Jael, caravans ceased.
Those traveling by road
kept to the backroads.
7Villagers disappeared;
they disappeared in Israel,
until you,#Or I Deborah, arose,
until you arose as a mother in Israel.
8When they chose new gods,
then war came to the city gates.#Heb uncertain
Yet there wasn’t a shield or spear to be seen
among forty thousand in Israel!
9My heart is with Israel’s commanders,
who willingly offered themselves among the people—bless the Lord!
10You who ride white donkeys,
who sit on saddle blankets,#Heb uncertain
who walk along the road: tell of it.
11To the sound of instruments#Heb uncertain at the watering places,
there they repeat the Lord’s victories,
his villagers’ victories in Israel.
Then the Lord’s people marched down to the city gates.
12"Wake up, wake up, Deborah!
Wake up, wake up, sing a song!
Arise, Barak!
Capture your prisoners,
Abinoam’s son!"
13Then those who remained marched down against royalty;
the Lord’s people marched down#Heb adds for me. against warriors.
14From Ephraim they set out#Or From Ephraim their root into the valley,#LXX; MT in Amalek
after you, Benjamin, with your people!
From Machir commanders marched down,
and from Zebulun those carrying the official’s staff.
15The leaders of Issachar came along with Deborah;
Issachar was attached to Barak,
and was sent into the valley behind him.
Among the clans of Reuben
there was deep soul-searching.
16"Why did you stay back among the sheep pens,
listening to the music for the flocks?"
For the clans of Reuben
there was deep soul-searching.
17Gilead stayed on the other side of the Jordan,
and Dan, why did he remain with the ships?
Asher stayed by the seacoast,
camping at his harbors.
18Zebulun is a people that readily risked death;
Naphtali too in the high countryside.
19Kings came and made war;
the kings of Canaan fought
at Taanach by Megiddo’s waters,
but they captured no spoils of silver.
20The stars fought from the sky;
from their orbits they fought against Sisera.
21The Kishon River swept them away;
the advancing river, the Kishon River.
March on, my life, with might!
22Then the horses’ hooves pounded
with the galloping, galloping of their stallions.
23"Curse Meroz," says the Lord’s messenger,
"curse its inhabitants bitterly,
because they didn’t come to the Lord’s aid,
to the Lord’s aid against the warriors."
24May Jael be blessed above all women;
may the wife of Heber the Kenite
be blessed above all tent-dwelling women.
25He asked for water, and she provided milk;
she presented him cream in a majestic bowl.
26She reached out her hand for the stake,
her strong hand for the worker’s hammer.
She struck Sisera;
she crushed his head;
she shattered and pierced his skull.
27At her feet he sank, fell, and lay flat;
at her feet he sank, he fell;
where he sank, there he fell—dead.
28Through the window she watched,
Sisera’s mother looked longingly#LXX; MT cried through the lattice.
"Why is his chariot taking so long to come?
Why are the hoofbeats of his chariot horses delayed?"
29Her wisest attendants answer;
indeed, she replies to herself:
30"Wouldn’t they be finding and dividing the loot?
A girl or two for each warrior;
loot of colored cloths for Sisera;
loot of colored, embroidered cloths;
two colored, embroidered cloths
as loot for every neck."
31May all your enemies perish like this, Lord!
But may your allies be like the sun, rising in its strength.
And the land was peaceful for forty years.
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