G J¹ 4:1-3. Oppression by Jabin. J² 4:4–5:31. Deliverance by Barak.
J¹ p 1. Evil wrought. q 2. Oppression. p 3-. Evil repented of. q -3. Oppression.
4) 1: And the sons of Israel again did the evil (i.e. idolatry) in the sight of the Lord, when Ehud was dead.
2: And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan (Heb. = whom God observes. Another king. Cp. Josh.11:1-10), that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, and he dwelt in Harosheth (= workmanship) of the Gentiles.
3: And the sons of Israel cried to the Lord: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron;
and twenty years he mightily oppressed the sons of Israel (A long time to wait for deliverance. #20 = redemption).
J² K 4:4,5. Deliverer raised up. L 4:6-24. Deliverance. K 5:1-31-. Deliverer's song. L 5:-31. Rest.
1285 to 1265 B.C.
4: And Deborah (= a bee, i.e. like a queen bee), a prophetess (not therefore a "ruler" in the strict sense of the title. Like Miram, Ex. 15:20; Huldah, 2 Kings 22:14. Cp. her prophecy in vv.7,9), the wife of Lapidoth, and she (note the 2 women connected with Barak, Deborah and Jael, vv.17-21. See note on v.17, and cp. 5:7,11,24,30) ruled Israel at that time (yet Israel was "mightily oppressed", contrary to 2:18. The words "she ruled" state a fact: but do they imply a Divine appointment to the office? She was a "prophetess", but was she "a ruler" in the proper sense of the word?).
5: And she sat (as ruler: near where her namesake, Rebekah's nurse, died. Gen.35:8) under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the sons of Israel came up to her for judgment.
L M 6. Command given by Yahaveh. N r 7-. Place of battle. s -7. Victory promised. t 8,9. Instruments. Barak and a woman. N r 10-13. Place of battle. s 14-16. Victory. Promise fulfilled. t 15-22. Instruments. Barak and a woman. M 23,24. Victory given by Yahaveh.
6: And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-naphtali (= sanctuary-wrestling), and said to him, “Has not the Lord God of Israel commanded, saying, ‘Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun?
7: And I will draw to you to the river Kishon Sisera (cp. Ps. 83:9,10), the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude;
and I will deliver him into your hands.’ ”
8: And Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go: but if you will not go with me, then I will not go.”
9: And she said, “I will surely go with you: notwithstanding the journey that you take shall not be for your honor; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.
10: And Barak called (i.e. by proclamation) Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.
11: Now Heber the Kenite (this refers to a geographical location only. Heber was NOT a Kenite = a son of Cain), which was of the sons of Hobab the father in law of Moses (cp. Num.10:29), had severed himself from the Kenites, and pitched his tent to the plain of Zaanaim (or, at the oak. Josh.19:33), which is by Kedesh.
12: And they shewed Sisera (Heb. = battle array) that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor.
13: And Sisera gathered together all his chariots (i.e. by proclamation. Cp. v.10), even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles to the river of Kishon.
14: And Deborah said to Barak, “Up; for this is the day in which the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hand: is not the Lord gone out before you?” So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.
15: And the Lord discomfited Sisera (cp. Ps.83:9. The word implies supernatural phenomena. Cp. 5:20-22. Ex. 14:24. Josh. 10:10. 2 Sam.22:15. Ps.18:15), and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet.
16: But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, to Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left.
t u 17. Flight of Sisera. v 18-. Jael meeting Sisera. w -18-20. Concealment. x 21. Sisera slain. u 22-. Pursuit of Barak. v -22-. Jael meeting Barak. w -22-. Discovery. x -22. Sisera dead.
17: However Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite (note, not of Heber: the woman's tent, which itself brought Sisera under the death penalty. But there is nothing to apologize for here. The Author and Giver of life came to Jael as on Ehud, and enabled her to have the daughters of Israel from a fate worse than death. Cp. 5:7,11,24,30): for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite (cp. v.11).
18: And Jael (= mountain goat) went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not.”
And when he had turned in to her into the tent, she covered him with a rug (Heb. semîkâh occ. only here).
19: And he said to her, “Give me, I pray you, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty.” And she opened a skin of buttermilk (much used in the East), and gave him drink, and covered him.
20: Again he said to her, “Stand in the entrance of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and inquire of you, and say, ‘Is there any man here?’ that you shall say, ‘There is not.’ ”
21: Then Jael Heber's wife took a tent peg (constantly tents are taken down and put up by women to the present day), and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and smote the tent peg into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died (the first of 10 recorded death at the hands of women: Sisera [here]; Abimelech [Judg.9:53. 2 Sam.11:21]; Sheba [2 Sam.20:22]; the harlot's child [1 Kings 3:19]; prophets [1 Kings 18:4]; Naboth [1 Kings 21:9,10]; a son by his mother [2 Kings 6:29]; seed royal [2 Kings 11:1. 2 Chron.22:10]; Haman's son [Est. 9:13,14]; John Baptist [Matt.14:8]. #10 = testimony, law and responsibility).
22: And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera,
Jael came out to meet him, and said to him,
“Come, and I will shew you the man whom you seek.”
And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent peg was in his temples.
23: So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the sons of Israel.
24: And the hand of the sons of Israel prospered (Heb. going on went on. R.V. = prevailed more and more), and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.