And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of JHVH so JHVH delivered them into the hands of the Canaanites. Now the name of the general of the Canaanite hosts was Sisera. He had nine hundred chariots with which to fight but the Israelites would fight on foot. The Israelites suffered the oppression of Sisera for a score of years. Then God had mercy on Israel and sent them Deborah to be a prophetess and the judge over Israel.

Then the word of JHVH came upon Deborah when she dwelled in Mount Ephraim, and she sent for her husband Barak. She said to him, "Go out now with the hosts of Israel, and JHVH has said that Sisera and his armies shall be delivered into your hands."

But Barak was faint-hearted and said to the judge of Israel, "Hear me now, my wife, If you go out with the hosts of Israel, then I shall lead them out to war. But if you do not go with us to the battle, then I shall not lead them out."

Deborah answered him, "Hear ME, husband. JHVH of the hosts of Israel has promised that Sisera will be delivered into your hands. But now you doubt the word of JHVH and His power. Indeed, I shall accompany you into the battle, but now the glory of victory shall not be yours -because you did not trust in JHVH and His promise. So shall the glory of victory now be given to a woman, by His will."

Then Barak led the infantry of Israel into battle against Sisera and his chariot hosts near Mount Tabor, and Deborah went with them too, to encourage the hearts of the Israelites with JHVH's promise of victory. Then JHVH discomforted Sisera and his army because his chariots could not maneuver in the hills and the Israelites drew them away from the plains. So the footmen of Israel overcame the Canaanites by God's will and slew the hosts of Sisera with the sword. But Sisera fell from his overturned chariot and fled on foot away from the scene of battle.

Sisera ran for his life till finally he came to the tent of Jael, the widow of Heber the Kenite. He said to Jael, "Hide me, I beg you, from the men of Israel, for they will surely kill me because I was their overlord these twenty years, and they hate me. Baal, my god, has failed me. He has not been stronger than YHWH. The Israelites fought on foot. Yet my chariots were overturned by YHWH. He sent the very powers of heaven to fight for the Israelites against me. The stars of heaven emanated all of their power against me. I was helpless before them. Now they seek to kill me."

Jael said, "Indeed YHWH is strong. He destroyed the army of Pharaoh in the Red Sea, and what is the army of Sisera in comparison? Israel is His people and they subdue the Land by His power. The inhabitants of the Land cannot stand against them when they obey His Law. Come now, my lord, into my tent, and I shall hide you for the Israelites shall indeed seek your life."

Sisera came into the tent and she bade him to lie down, and she covered him with a blanket. She also lie down in her own bed, waiting to see f he would fall asleep. But Sisera could not sleep. He knew that the men of Israel would eventually discover his whereabouts and kill him. And his fear was transformed into a passion wherein he wished to lose himself. So Sisera arose from his bed and slipped into the bed of Jael. When she protested, he silenced her by dint of his strength. She begged him, "My lord, do not so to a woman who has hidden you in her tent." He replied, "Ah, but I wish to hide in your arms. Am I not a man of valor? Have I not sped? Shall I not divide the prey? To every soldier a damsel or two. To Sisera a prey of the spoil. A prey of the softness of a woman. Be still and submit to me, for I am a mighty soldier. And you are meet for me."

And he poured all of his remaining strength into her body, for she was widowed young, and her face and body were still pleasing to men. Sisera was spent but he still trembled in fear for his life. He said to her, "I am thirsty. Give me please some water to drink." Jael said to him, "Now sleep, my lord, and you will be well hidden here with me." So she prepared milk for him into which she had poured a potion, and he drank. Shortly he was overcome with sleepiness. As he drifted off, he repeated, "Baal has failed me. He has not been strong against YHWH." He closed his eyes and as he fell into the trance, she said to him, "Yes, all the gods of Canaan are as non-gods to Him, for He is strong. My father's house left off from following the Baalim, for they wished to worship the God of Israel. So am I named for Him, for my name means 'YHWH is God', and I am the servant of YHWH, and you have defiled me before Him this day with your uncircumcision." Then she arose, and as he slept, she drove a spike through his head so that he died there in her tent. Then Jael went out and met Barak and Deborah and told them that Sisera lay dead in her tent. So the Israelites prevailed against the Canaanites after that day more and more, by JHVH's power, until they killed Jabin, king of Canaan.

Then Deborah composed a song of praise to God:

  "Praise ye JHVH for the avenging of Israel. I will sing praise to JHVH God of Israel. In the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied. The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until I Deborah arose and became a mother in Israel. JHVH made me have dominion over the mighty. And also Barak was sent on foot into the valley. The kings of Canaan came forth and fought in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo. Then the stars from heaven in their courses fought against Sisera. Then were the horsehoofs broken by the prancings of the mighty ones. Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be. Blessed shall she be above women in the tent. He asked water, and she gave him milk. She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer. With the hammer she smote Sisera. She pierced and struck through his temples. At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down. At her feet he bowed, he fell. Where he bowed, there he fell down dead. So let all thine enemies perish, O JHVH: but let them that love God be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might."

So the glory of victory was given to a woman, Jael, the widow of Heber the Kenite.

And the Land had rest for forty years.

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