Judges 3-5 World English Bible

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The Nations Left to Test Israel

3 1  Now these are the nations which Yahweh left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; 2  only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing of it: 3  namely, the five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entrance of Hamath. 4  They were left, to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would listen to the commandments of Yahweh, which he commanded their fathers by Moses. 5  The children of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites: 6  and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons and served their gods.

Othniel Delivers Israel from Chushan-rishathaim

7  The children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and forgot Yahweh their God, and served the Baals and the Asheroth.

8  Therefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Cushan Rishathaim eight years. 9  When the children of Israel cried to Yahweh, Yahweh raised up a savior to the children of Israel, who saved them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10  The Spirit of Yahweh came on him, and he judged Israel; and he went out to war, and Yahweh delivered Cushan Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand: and his hand prevailed against Cushan Rishathaim. 11  The land had rest forty years. Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

Ehud Delivers Israel from Moab

12  The children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: and Yahweh strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh. 13  He gathered to him the children of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and struck Israel, and they possessed the city of palm trees. 14  The children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. 15  But when the children of Israel cried to Yahweh, Yahweh raised them up a savior, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a man left-handed. The children of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab. 16  Ehud made him a sword which had two edges, a cubit in length; and he girded it under his clothing on his right thigh. 17  He offered the tribute to Eglon king of Moab: now Eglon was a very fat man. 18  When he had made an end of offering the tribute, he sent away the people who bore the tribute. 19  But he himself turned back from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret errand to you, king.”

The king said, “Keep silence!” All who stood by him went out from him. 20  Ehud came to him; and he was sitting by himself alone in the cool upper room. Ehud said, “I have a message from God to you.” He arose out of his seat. 21  Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his body: 22  and the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed on the blade, for he didn’t draw the sword out of his body; and it came out behind. 23  Then Ehud went forth into the porch, and shut the doors of the upper room on him, and locked them. 24  Now when he was gone out, his servants came; and they saw, and behold, the doors of the upper room were locked; and they said, “Surely he is covering his feet in the upper chamber.” 25  They waited until they were ashamed; and behold, he didn’t open the doors of the upper room: therefore they took the key, and opened them, and behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth. 26  Ehud escaped while they waited, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped to Seirah. 27  It happened, when he had come, that he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim; and the children of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he before them. 28  He said to them, “Follow me; for Yahweh has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” They followed him, and took the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites, and didn’t allow any man to pass over. 29  They struck of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, every lusty man, and every man of valor; and there escaped not a man. 30  So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. The land had rest eighty years.

Shamgar Delivers Israel from the Philistines

31  After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck of the Philistines six hundred men with an oxgoad: and he also saved Israel.

Deborah and Barak Defeat Sisera

4 1  The children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, when Ehud was dead. 2  Yahweh sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth of the Gentiles. 3  The children of Israel cried to Yahweh: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.

4  Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, she judged Israel at that time. 5  She lived under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. 6  She sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh Naphtali, and said to him, “Hasn’t Yahweh, the God of Israel, commanded, ‘Go and draw to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? 7  I will draw to you, to the river Kishon, Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into your hand.’” 8  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.” 9  She said, “I will surely go with you: nevertheless, the journey that you take shall not be for your honor; for Yahweh will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.

10  Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh; and there went up ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him. 11  Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, even from the children of Hobab the brother-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim, which is by Kedesh. 12  They told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to Mount Tabor. 13  Sisera gathered together 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 Kishon. 14  Deborah said to Barak, “Go; for this is the day in which Yahweh has delivered Sisera into your hand. Hasn’t Yahweh gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. 15  Yahweh confused Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his army, with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot, and fled away on his feet. 16  But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the army, to Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; there was not a man left.

17  However 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  Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; don’t be afraid.” He came in to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19  He said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink; for I am thirsty.”

She opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. 20  He said to her, “Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man comes and inquires of you, and says, ‘Is there any man here?’ that you shall say, ‘No.’” 21  Then Jael Heber’s wife took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and struck the pin into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep; so he swooned and died. 22  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.” He came to her; and behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent peg was in his temples. 23  So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. 24  The hand of the children of Israel prevailed more and more against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.

The Song of Deborah and Barak

5 1  Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying, 2  “Because the leaders took the lead in Israel,
because the people offered themselves willingly,
be blessed, Yahweh! 3  “Hear, you kings!
Give ear, you princes!
I, even I, will sing to Yahweh.
I will sing praise to Yahweh, the God of Israel. 4  “Yahweh, when you went forth out of Seir,
when you marched out of the field of Edom,
the earth trembled, the sky also dropped.
Yes, the clouds dropped water. 5  The mountains quaked at the presence of Yahweh,
even Sinai, at the presence of Yahweh, the God of Israel.

6  “In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath,
in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied.
The travelers walked through byways. 7  The rulers ceased in Israel.
They ceased until I, Deborah, arose;
Until I arose a mother in Israel. 8  They chose new gods.
Then war was in the gates.
Was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel? 9  My heart is toward the governors of Israel,
who offered themselves willingly among the people.
Bless Yahweh! 10  “Tell of it, you who ride on white donkeys,
you who sit on rich carpets,
and you who walk by the way. 11  Far from the noise of archers, in the places of drawing water,
there they will rehearse the righteous acts of Yahweh,
Even the righteous acts of his rule in Israel.

“Then the people of Yahweh went down to the gates.

12  ‘Awake, awake, Deborah!
Awake, awake, utter a song!
Arise, Barak, and lead away your captives, you son of Abinoam.’ 13  “Then a remnant of the nobles and the people came down.
Yahweh came down for me against the mighty. 14  Those whose root is in Amalek came out of Ephraim,
after you, Benjamin, among your peoples.
Governors come down out of Machir.
Those who handle the marshal’s staff came out of Zebulun. 15  The princes of Issachar were with Deborah.
As was Issachar, so was Barak.
They rushed into the valley at his feet.
By the watercourses of Reuben,
there were great resolves of heart. 16  Why did you sit among the sheepfolds,
To hear the whistling for the flocks?
At the watercourses of Reuben
There were great searchings of heart. 17  Gilead lived beyond the Jordan.
Why did Dan remain in ships?
Asher sat still at the haven of the sea,
and lived by his creeks. 18  Zebulun was a people that jeopardized their lives to the deaths;
Naphtali also, on the high places of the field. 19  “The kings came and fought,
then the kings of Canaan fought at Taanach by the waters of Megiddo.
They took no plunder of silver. 20  From the sky the stars fought.
From their courses, they fought against Sisera. 21  The river Kishon swept them away,
that ancient river, the river Kishon.
My soul, march on with strength. 22  Then the horse hoofs stamped because of the prancings,
the prancings of their strong ones. 23  ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of Yahweh.
‘Curse bitterly its inhabitants,
because they didn’t come to help Yahweh,
to help Yahweh against the mighty.’

24  “Jael shall be blessed above women,
the wife of Heber the Kenite;
blessed shall she be above women in the tent. 25  He asked for water.
She gave him milk.
She brought him butter in a lordly dish. 26  She put her hand to the tent peg,
and her right hand to the workmen’s hammer.
With the hammer she struck Sisera.
She struck through his head.
Yes, she pierced and struck through his temples. 27  At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay.
At her feet he bowed, he fell.
Where he bowed, there he fell down dead. 28  “Through the window she looked out, and cried:
Sisera’s mother looked through the lattice.
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why do the wheels of his chariots wait?’ 29  Her wise ladies answered her,
Yes, she returned answer to herself, 30  ‘Have they not found, have they not divided the spoil?
A lady, two ladies to every man;
to Sisera a spoil of dyed garments,
a spoil of dyed garments embroidered,
of dyed garments embroidered on both sides, on the necks of the spoil?’ 31  “So let all your enemies perish, Yahweh,
but let those who love him be as the sun when it rises forth in its strength.”

Then the land had rest forty years.

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