Amplified Bible

Judges 4

Deborah and Barak Rescue from Canaanites

1But the Israelites again did evil in the sight of the Lord, after Ehud died. So the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in [a]Harosheth-hagoyim. Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord [for help], for Jabin had nine hundred iron chariots and had oppressed and tormented the sons of Israel severely for twenty years.

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit [to hear and decide disputes] under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the Israelites came up to her for judgment. Now she sent word and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali, and said to him, “Behold, the Lord, the God of Israel, has commanded, ‘Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men [of war] from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun. I will draw out Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his infantry to meet you at the river Kishon, and I will hand him over to you.’” Then Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” She said, “I will certainly go with you; nevertheless, [b]the journey that you are about to take will not be for your honor and glory, because the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 And Barak summoned [the fighting men of the tribes of] Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh, and ten thousand men went up [c]under his command; Deborah also went up with him.

11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, from the sons of Hobab the [d]father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the [e]terebinth tree in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.

12 When someone told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 Sisera called together all his chariots, nine hundred iron chariots, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon. 14 Deborah said to Barak, “Arise! For this is the day when the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Has the Lord not gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. 15 And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and [confused] all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera dismounted from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16 But Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoyim, and the entire army of Sisera fell by the sword; not even one man was left.

17 But Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me! Have no fear.” So he turned aside to her [and went] into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19 And he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink because I am thirsty.” And she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink; then she covered him. 20 And he said to her, “Stand at the door of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, ‘Is there anyone here?’ tell him, ‘No.’” 21 But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and a hammer in her hand, and came up quietly to him and drove the peg through his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died. 22 And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” And he entered [her tent] with her, and behold Sisera lay dead with the tent peg in his temple.

23 So on that day God subdued and humbled Jabin king of Canaan before the sons of Israel. 24 And the hand of the sons of Israel pressed down heavier and heavier on Jabin king of Canaan, until they had destroyed him.

  1. Judges 4:2 I.e. a fortress or city of the Gentiles.
  2. Judges 4:9 Lit the road along which you are going.
  3. Judges 4:10 Or after him; Lit at his feet.
  4. Judges 4:11 Hobab is identified as the son of Moses’ father-in-law in Num 10:29.
  5. Judges 4:11 Or oak.