Amplified Bible

Judges 5

The Song of Deborah and Barak

1Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying,

“For the leaders who took the lead in Israel,
For the people who volunteered [for battle],
Bless the Lord!

“Hear, O kings; listen, O rulers!
I will sing to the Lord,
I will sing praise to the Lord, the God of Israel.

Lord, when You went out from Seir,
When You marched from the field of Edom,
The earth quaked, the heavens also dripped,
Yes, the clouds dripped water.

“The mountains quaked at the presence of the Lord,
Yes, this Sinai, at the presence of the Lord, the God of Israel.

“In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath,
In the days of Jael, the highways were deserted,
And travelers went by roundabout ways.

“The villagers ceased to be; they ceased in Israel
Until I, Deborah, arose,
Until I arose, a mother in Israel.

“They chose new gods;
Then war was in the gates.
Was there a shield or spear seen
Among forty thousand in Israel?

“My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel,
The volunteers among the people;
Bless the Lord!
“Sing of it, you who ride on white donkeys,
You who sit on rich carpets,
And you who walk by the way.
“At the sound of those who divide flocks among the watering places,
There they shall recount the righteous acts of the Lord,
The righteous acts toward His villagers in Israel.
Then the people of the Lord went down to the gates.

“Awake, awake, Deborah;
Awake, awake, sing a song!
Arise, Barak, and lead away your captives, you son of Abinoam.
“Then down marched the survivors to the nobles;
The people of the Lord marched down for Me against the mighty.
“From Ephraim those whose root is in Amalek came down,
After you, Benjamin, with your relatives;
From Machir came down commanders and rulers,
And from Zebulun those who [a]handle the scepter of the [office of] scribe.
“And the heads of Issachar came with Deborah;
As Issachar, so was Barak;
Into the valley they rushed at his heels;
Among the divisions of Reuben
There were great searchings of heart.
“Why [Reuben] did you linger among the [b]sheepfolds,
To hear the piping for the flocks?
Among the divisions of Reuben
There were great searchings of heart.
“Gilead remained beyond the Jordan;
And why did Dan live as an alien on ships?
Asher sat [still] on the seacoast,
And remained by its landings.
[These did not come to battle for God’s people.]
“But Zebulun was a people who risked their lives to the [point of] death;
Naphtali also, on the heights of the field.

“The kings came and fought;
Then the kings of Canaan fought
At Taanach by the waters of Megiddo.
Spoils of silver they did not obtain.
“From the heavens the stars fought,
From their courses they fought against Sisera.
“The torrent Kishon swept the enemy away,
The ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon.
O my soul, march on with strength.
“Then the horses’ hoofs beat [loudly]
Because of the galloping—the galloping of his valiant and powerful steeds.
‘Curse [c]Meroz,’ said the messenger of the Lord,
‘Utterly curse its inhabitants;
Because they did not come to the help of the Lord,
To the help of the Lord against the mighty.’

“Most blessed of women is Jael,
The wife of Heber the Kenite;
Most blessed is she of women in the tent.
“Sisera asked for water and she gave him milk;
She brought him curds in a magnificent bowl.
“She reached out her [left] hand for the tent peg,
And her right hand for the workmen’s hammer.
Then she struck Sisera, she smashed his head;
And she shattered and pierced his temple.
“He bowed, he fell, he lay [still] at her feet;
At her feet he bowed, he fell;
Where he bowed, there he fell dead.

“Out of the window she looked down and lamented (cried out in a shrill voice),
The mother of Sisera through the lattice,
‘Why is his chariot delayed in coming?
Why have the hoofbeats of his chariots delayed?’
“Her wise ladies answered her,
Indeed, she repeated her words to herself,
‘Are they not finding and dividing the spoil?
A maiden (concubine) or two for every man;
A spoil of dyed garments for Sisera,
A spoil of dyed garments embroidered,
Two pieces of dyed garments embroidered for the neck of the plunderer?’
“So let all Your enemies perish, O Lord;
But let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might.”

And the land was at rest for forty years.


  1. Judges 5:14 Writing developed in Mesopotamia during the 4th millennium b.c. It began as a system of accounting to record financial matters and trading transactions.
  2. Judges 5:16 Or saddlebags
  3. Judges 5:23 A place in the territory of Naphtali.

New International Reader's Version

Judges 5

The Song of Deborah

1On that day Deborah and Barak sang a song. Barak was the son of Abinoam. Here is what Deborah and Barak sang.

“The princes in Israel lead the way.
    The people follow them just because they want to.
    When this happens, praise the Lord!

“Kings, hear this! Rulers, listen!
    I will sing to the Lord.
    I will praise the Lord in song. He is the God of Israel.

Lord, you went out from Seir.
    You marched out from the land of Edom.
The earth shook. The heavens poured.
    The clouds poured down their water.
The mountains shook because of the Lord. He was at Mount Sinai.
    They shook because of the Lord. He is the God of Israel.

“The main roads were deserted. So travelers used the winding paths.
    That happened in the days of Shamgar, the son of Anath.
    It happened in the days of Jael.
Those who lived in the villages of Israel would not fight.
    They held back until I, Deborah, came.
    I came as a mother in Israel.
    War came to the city gates. Then God chose new leaders.
But no shields or spears were seen anywhere.
    There weren’t any among 40,000 men in Israel.
My heart is with the princes in Israel.
    It’s with the people who follow them just because they want to.
    Praise the Lord!

10 “Some of you ride on white donkeys.
    Some of you sit on your saddle blankets.
    Some of you walk along the road.
Think about 11 the voices of the singers at the watering places.
    They sing about the victories of the Lord.
    They sing about the victories of his people who live in Israel’s villages.

“The people of the Lord
    went down to the city gates.
12 ‘Wake up, Deborah! Wake up!’ they said.
    ‘Wake up! Wake up! Begin to sing!
Barak, get up!
    Son of Abinoam, capture your prisoners!’

13 “The nobles who were left came down.
    The people of the Lord
    came down to me against the powerful enemy.
14 Some came from the part of Ephraim where some Amalekites lived.
    Some from Benjamin were with the people who followed Ephraim.
Captains came down from Makir.
    Those who rule like commanders came down from Zebulun.
15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah.
    The men of Issachar were with Barak.
    They went into the valley under his command.
In the territories of Reuben,
    men looked deeply into their hearts.
16 Why did they stay among the sheep pens?
    Why did they stay to hear shepherds whistling for the flocks?
In the territories of Reuben,
    men looked deeply into their hearts.
17 Gilead stayed east of the Jordan River.
    Why did Dan stay near the ships?
The men of Asher remained on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
    They stayed in their safe harbors.
18 The people of Zebulun put their very lives in danger.
    So did Naphtali on the hillside fields.

19 “Kings came and fought.
    The kings of Canaan fought
    at Taanach by the streams of Megiddo.
But they didn’t carry away any silver.
    They didn’t take anything at all.
20 From the heavens the stars fought.
    From the sky they fought against Sisera.
21 The Kishon River swept them away.
    The Kishon is a very old river.
    My spirit, march on! Be strong!
22 The hooves of the horses pounded like thunder.
    The powerful horses of our enemies galloped away.
23 ‘Let Meroz be cursed,’ said the angel of the Lord.
    ‘Let bitter curses fall on its people.
They did not come to help the Lord.
    They did not come to help him against our powerful enemies.’

24 “May Jael be the most blessed woman of all.
    May the wife of Heber, the Kenite, be blessed.
    May she be the most blessed woman of all those who live in tents.
25 Sisera asked for water. She gave him milk.
    In a bowl fit for nobles she brought him buttermilk.
26 Her hand reached out for a tent stake.
    Her right hand reached for a hammer.
She hit Sisera. She crushed his head.
    She drove the stake right through his head.
27 He sank down. He fell at her feet.
    He was lying there.
At her feet he sank down. He fell.
    He fell where he sank down.
    That’s where he died.

28 “Sisera’s mother looked out through the window.
    From behind the wooden screen she cried out.
‘Why is his chariot taking so long to get here?’ she said.
    ‘Why can’t I hear the noise of his chariots yet?’
29 Her wisest ladies answer her.
    And here’s what she keeps saying to herself.
30 She says, ‘They must be finding riches to bring back.
    They must be dividing them up.
Each man is getting a woman or two.
    They are giving colorful clothes to Sisera.
    The clothes are very beautiful.
He will bring some for me to wear.
    The men must be finding many things to bring home.’

31 Lord, may all your enemies be destroyed.
    But may all who love you be like the morning sun.
    May they be like the sun when it shines the brightest.”

So the land was at peace for 40 years.