K O 1,2-. Praise of Yahaveh. Avenging of Israel. P y -2,3. Israel. People's voluntary service. z 4-8. Contrasted states of the country. y 9. Israel. Leaders' voluntary service. Q 10,11. Contrasted states of the country. Q 12-18. Contrasted conduct of the tribes. P a 19-22. Enemy. Battle and defeat. b 23-27. Contrasted succor for Israel. a 28-30. Enemy. Presumption and defeat. O 31-. Praise to Yahaveh. Avenging of Israel.
1: Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day (no singing until after the victory. Cp. Ex.15:1.Only weeping before. Cp. 2:4 with Ex. 2:23,24. See Ex. 15:1 for the 10 songs), saying,
2: “Praise you all the Lord for the avenging of Israel,
when the People willingly offered themselves.
3: Hear, O all you kings; give ear, O all you princes; I, even I, will sing to the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God) of Israel.
4: The Lord, when You went out of Seir (cp. Ex. 19:18), when You marched out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dripped, the clouds also dripped water.
5: From the mountains flowed down streams from before the Lord, even that Sinai from before the Lord God of Israel.
6: In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath (cp. 3:21), in the days of Jael, the highways were closed, and the travelers walked through byways.
7: The inhabitants of the villages ceased to be (why not supply the Ellipsis by the words "the women", considering the objects of Jabin's oppression? see 4:4,17; 5:7,11,24,30), they ceased to be in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.
8: They chose new gods (cp. Deut.32:16); then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?
9: My heart says to the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the People. Bless you all the Lord.
10: Speak, all you that ride on white asses, all you that sit in judgment, and walk by the way.
11: They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water (i.e. where the women were found. See 4:4,17; 5:7,30. Cp. Gen. 24:11. Ex.2:15-19.), there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the Lord, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of His villages in Israel: then shall the People of the Lord go down to the gates. (Translate v.11 thus: Instead of the shouting of the archers among the wells, there they laud the righteous acts of the Lord, the righteous acts of His rule over Israel. Then the People of Yahaveh hastened to the gates.)
Q c 12-15-. Warriors. d -15-17. Absentees. c 18. Warriors.
12: Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead captive your captive train, you son of Abinoam.
13: Then He made him that remains have dominion over the nobles among the People: the Lord made me have dominion over the mighty. (Some codices and the Sept. divide the two lines thus: Then came down a remnant of the nobles, And the Peoples of the Lord came down with me against the mighty ones)
14: Out of Ephraim was there came down whose root was Amalek (cp. 12:15. Or, according to Sept., "they who rooted them out in Amalek."); after you, Benjamin, among your people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that draw (in the sense of numbering, enrolling, or mustering, as in 4:6) the rod (used in numbering. Lev.27:32.Ezek.20:37. Nowhere else rendered pen) of the numberer (Heb. sâphar, translated scribe. Cp. 2 Kings 25:19. 2 Chron. 26:11).
15: But the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; yes Issachar, and also Barak: into the valley they rushed at his feet.
Among the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart.
16: Why abode you among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart.
17: Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his creeks (or bays).
18: Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeopardized their souls to the death in the high places of the field.
19: The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no plunder of money.
20: They fought from heaven (cp. Josh. 10:11); the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.
21: The torrent of Kishon swept them away (swollen by the heavy rains, v.4), that ancient river, the river Kishon (rising in Mount Tabor and running into the Mediterranean near Mount Carmel). O my soul, you have trodden down strength.
22: Then were the horse-hoofs broken by the means of the prancings, the prancings of their mighty ones.
b e 23-. Curse. f -23. Reason. e 24. Blessing. f 25-27. Reason.
23: ‘Curse you all Meroz’, said the Angel of the Lord, ‘Curse you all bitterly the inhabitants thereof;
because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.’
24: Blessed above women (cp. Luke 1:28, "among". See 4:4,17; 5:7,11,30) shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be (see note on 1:16), blessed shall she be above women in the tent.
25: He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth buttermilk in a lordly dish (see 4:19).
26: She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workman's hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.
27: At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down destroyed.
28: The mother of Sisera looked out at a window (a women active on each side, with other women involved, v.30), and cried through the lattice, ‘Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariots?’
29: Her wise ladies answered her, yes, she returned answer to herself,
30: ‘Have they not found? (i.e. the damsels they were fighting for: and while doing so they were defeated by a woman) have they not divided the prey; to every head of a strong man ("head" put for the whole person) a damsel or two (Heb. womb. Put by Fig., for the whole person, to emphasize the motive underneath. This was the object of Jabin's oppression. See 4:4,7; 5:7,11,24); to Sisera a prey of divers colors, a prey of divers colors of needlework, of divers colors of needlework on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil?’
31: So let all Your enemies perish, O Lord: but let them that love Him be as the sun when he goes forth in his might.”
And the land had rest forty years.