The Book of Judges

Chapter 4

Deborah and Barak deliver Israel from Jabin and Sisera, 1-16. Jael kills Sisera, 17-24.

1 And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD after Ehud was dead. 2 And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan who reigned in Hazor, the captain of whose host was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles. 3 And the children of Israel cried to the LORD, for he had nine hundred chariots of iron. And twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.

4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. 5 And she dwelt under the palm-tree of Deborah, between Ramah and Beth-el in the mountains of Ephraim, and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. 6 And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali, and said to him, "Has the LORD God of Israel not commanded, saying, 'Go, and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun, 7 And I will draw to you, to the Kishon River, Sisera the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude, and I will deliver him into your hand'?" 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. Nevertheless, the journey that you take shall not be for your honor, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman." And Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 And Barak called 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, who was of the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, had severed himself from the Kenites and pitched his tent to the plain of Zaanaim, which is by Kedesh.

12 And they reported to Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to mount Tabor. 13 And Sisera collected all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles to the river of Kishon. 14 And Deborah said to Barak, "Arise, for this is the day in which the LORD has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has the LORD not gone out before you?" So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. 15 And the LORD completely defeated Sisera and all his chariots and all his host with the edge of the sword before Barak. And Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled away on his feet. 16 But Barak pursued the chariots and the host to Harosheth of the Gentiles. And all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword, and there was not a man left.

17 But Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, "Turn in, my lord, turn in to me. Do not fear." And when he had turned in to her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle. 19 And he said to her, "Give me, I pray you, a little water to drink, for I am thirsty." And she opened a bottle of milk and gave him drink and covered him. 20 Again he said to her, "Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man comes and inquires of you, asking if there is any man here, that you shall say, 'No.'" 21 Then Jael, Heber's wife, took a nail of the tent and took a hammer in her hand, went softly to him, and smote the nail into his temples and fastened it into the ground, for he was fast asleep and weary. 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 seek." And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples.

23 So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. 24 And the hand of the children of Israel prospered and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Judges, Chapter 4[➚]


[v.9] - "into the hand of a woman" - This comes to pass in verse 21.