Deborah and Barak Defeat Sisera
41 And the children of Israel again did evil in the eyes of the Lord when Ehud was dead. 2 And the Lord gave them up into the hands of Jabin, king of Canaan, who was ruling in Hazor; the captain of his army was Sisera, who was living in Harosheth of the Gentiles. 3 Then the children of Israel made prayer to the Lord; for he had nine hundred iron war-carriages, and for twenty years he was very cruel to the children of Israel.
4 Now Deborah, a woman prophet, the wife of Lapidoth, was judge of Israel at that time. 5 (And she had her seat under the palm-tree of Deborah between Ramah and Beth-el in the hill-country of Ephraim; and the children of Israel came up to her to be judged.) 6 And she sent for Barak, the son of Abinoam, from Kedesh-naphtali, and said to him, Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, given orders saying, Go and get your force into line in Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? 7 And I will make Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his war-carriages and his forces, come against you at the river Kishon, where I will give him into your hands. 8 And 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 And she said, I will certainly go with you: though you will get no honour in your undertaking, for the Lord will give Sisera into the hands of a woman. So Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh.
10 Then Barak sent for Zebulun and Naphtali to come to Kedesh; and ten thousand men went up after him, and Deborah went up with him. 11 Now Heber the Kenite, separating himself from the rest of the Kenites, from the children of Hobab, the brother-in-law of Moses, had put up his tent as far away as the oak-tree in Zaanannim, by Kedesh. 12 And word was given to Sisera that Barak, the son of Abinoam, had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13 So Sisera got together all his war-carriages, nine hundred war-carriages of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles as far as the river Kishon. 14 Then Deborah said to Barak, Up! for today the Lord has given Sisera into your hands: has not the Lord gone out before you? So Barak went down from Mount Tabor and ten thousand men after him. 15 And the Lord sent fear on Sisera and all his war-carriages and all his army before Barak; and Sisera got down from his war-carriage and went in flight on foot. 16 But Barak went after the war-carriages and the army as far as Harosheth of the Gentiles; and all Sisera's army was put to the sword; not a man got away.
17 But Sisera went in flight on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin, king of Hazor, and the family of Heber the Kenite. 18 And Jael went out to Sisera, and said to him, Come in, my lord, come in to me without fear. So he went into her tent, and she put a cover over him. 19 Then he said to her, Give me now a little water, for I have need of a drink. And opening a skin of milk, she gave him drink, and put the cover over him again. 20 And he said to her, Take your place at the door of the tent, and if anyone comes and says to you, Is there any man here, say, No. 21 Then Jael, Heber's wife, took a tent-pin and a hammer and went up to him quietly, driving the pin into his head, and it went through his head into the earth, for he was in a deep sleep from weariness; and so he came to his end. 22 Then Jael went out, and meeting Barak going after Sisera, said to him, Come, and I will let you see the man you are searching for. So he came into her tent and saw, and there was Sisera stretched out dead with the tent-pin in his head. 23 So that day God overcame Jabin, king of Canaan, before the children of Israel. 24 And the power of the children of Israel went on increasing against Jabin, king of Canaan, till he was cut off.
The Song of Deborah and Barak
51 At that time Deborah and Barak, the son of Abinoam, made this song, saying: 2 Because of the flowing hair of the fighters in Israel, because the people gave themselves freely, give praise to the Lord. 3 Give attention, O kings; give ear, O rulers; I, even I, will make a song to the Lord; I will make melody to the Lord, the God of Israel. 4 Lord, when you went out from Seir, moving like an army from the field of Edom, the earth was shaking and the heavens were troubled, and the clouds were dropping water. 5 The mountains were shaking before the Lord, before the Lord, the God of Israel.
6 In the days of Shamgar, the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were not used, and travellers went by side roads. 7 Country towns were no more in Israel, *** were no more, till you, Deborah, came up, till you came up as a mother in Israel. 8 They had no one to make arms, there were no more armed men in the towns; was there a body-cover or a spear to be seen among forty thousand in Israel? 9 Come, you rulers of Israel, you who gave yourselves freely among the people: give praise to the Lord. 10 Let them give thought to it, who go on white asses, and those who are walking on the road. 11 Give ear to the women laughing by the water-springs; there they will give again the story of the upright acts of the Lord, all the upright acts of his arm in Israel.
12 Awake! awake! Deborah: awake! awake! give a song: Up! Barak, and take prisoner those who took you prisoner, O son of Abinoam. 13 Then the chiefs went down to the doors; the Lord's people went down among the strong ones. 14 Out of Ephraim they came down into the valley; after you, Benjamin, among your tribesmen; from Machir came down the captains, and from Zebulun those in whose hand is the ruler's rod. 15 Your chiefs, Issachar, were with Deborah; and Naphtali was true to Barak; into the valley they went rushing out at his feet. In Reuben there were divisions, and great searchings of heart. 16 Why did you keep quiet among the sheep, hearing nothing but the watchers piping to the flocks? 17 Gilead was living over Jordan; and Dan was waiting in his ships; Asher kept in his place by the sea's edge, living by his inlets. 18 It was the people of Zebulun who put their lives in danger, even to death, with Naphtali on the high places of the field. 19 The kings came on to the fight, the kings of Canaan were warring; in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo: they took no profit in money. 20 The stars from heaven were fighting; from their highways they were fighting against Sisera. 21 The river Kishon took them violently away, stopping their flight, the river Kishon. Give praise, O my soul, to the strength of the Lord! 22 Then loudly the feet of the horses were sounding with the stamping, the stamping of their war-horses. 23 A curse, a curse on Meroz! said the angel of the Lord. A bitter curse on her townspeople! Because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord among the strong ones.
24 Blessings be on Jael, more than on all women! Blessings greater than on any in the tents! 25 His request was for water, she gave him milk; she put butter before him on a fair plate. 26 She put out her hand to the tent-pin, and her right hand to the workman's hammer; and she gave Sisera a blow, crushing his head, wounding and driving through his brow. 27 Bent at her feet he went down, he was stretched out; bent at her feet he went down; where he was bent down, there he went down in death. 28 Looking out from the window she gave a cry, the mother of Sisera was crying out through the window, Why is his carriage so long in coming? When will the noise of his wheels be sounding? 29 Her wise women gave answer to her, yes, she made answer again to herself, 30 Are they not getting, are they not parting the goods among them: a young girl or two to every man; and to Sisera robes of coloured needlework, worked in fair colours on this side and on that, for the neck of the queen? 31 So may destruction come on all your haters, O Lord; but let your lovers be like the sun going out in his strength. And for forty years the land had peace.
The Call of Gideon
61 And the children of Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord; and the Lord gave them up into the hand of Midian for seven years. 2 And Midian was stronger than Israel; and because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made holes for themselves in the mountains, and hollows in the rocks, and strong places. 3 And whenever Israel's grain was planted, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the east came up against them; 4 And put their army in position against them; and they took all the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, till there was no food in Israel, or any sheep or oxen or asses. 5 For they came up regularly with their oxen and their tents; they came like the locusts in number; they and their camels were without number; and they came into the land for its destruction. 6 And Israel was in great need because of Midian; and the cry of the children of Israel went up to the Lord.
7 And when the cry of the children of Israel, because of Midian, came before the Lord, 8 The Lord sent a prophet to the children of Israel, who said to them, The Lord the God of Israel, has said, I took you up from Egypt, out of the prison-house; 9 And I took you out of the hands of the Egyptians and out of the hands of all who were cruel to you, and I sent them out by force from before you and gave you their land; 10 And I said to you, I am the Lord your God; you are not to give worship to the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living, but you did not give ear to my voice.
11 Now the angel of the Lord came and took his seat under the oak-tree in Ophrah, in the field of Joash the Abiezrite; and his son Gideon was crushing grain in the place where the grapes were crushed, so that the Midianites might not see it. 12 And the angel of the Lord came before his eyes, and said to him, The Lord is with you, O man of war. 13 Then Gideon said to him, O my lord, if the Lord is with us why has all this come on us? And where are all his works of power, of which our fathers have given us word, saying, Did not the Lord take us out of Egypt? But now he has given us up, handing us over to the power of Midian. 14 And the Lord, turning to him, said, Go in the strength you have and be Israel's saviour from Midian: have I not sent you? 15 And he said to him, O Lord, how may I be the saviour of Israel? See, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. 16 Then the Lord said to him, Truly, I will be with you, and you will overcome the Midianites as if they were one man. 17 So he said to him, If now I have grace in your eyes, then give me a sign that it is you who are talking to me. 18 Do not go away till I come with my offering and put it before you. And he said, I will not go away before you come back. 19 Then Gideon went in and made ready a young goat, and with an ephah of meal he made unleavened cakes: he put the meat in a basket and the soup in which it had been cooked he put in a pot, and he took it out to him under the oak-tree and gave it to him there. 20 And the angel of God said to him, Take the meat and the unleavened cakes and put them down on the rock over there, draining out the soup over them. And he did so. 21 Then the angel of the Lord put out the stick which was in his hand, touching the meat and the cakes with the end of it; and a flame came up out of the rock, burning up the meat and the cakes: and the angel of the Lord was seen no longer. 22 Then Gideon was certain that he was the angel of the Lord; and Gideon said, I am in fear, O Lord God! for I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face. 23 But the Lord said to him, Peace be with you; have no fear: you are in no danger of death. 24 Then Gideon made an altar there to the Lord, and gave it the name Yahweh-shalom; to this day it is in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
25 The same night the Lord said to him, Take ten men of your servants and an ox seven years old, and after pulling down the altar of Baal which is your father's, and cutting down the holy tree by its side, 26 Make an altar to the Lord your God on the top of this rock, in the ordered way and take the ox and make a burned offering with the wood of the holy tree which has been cut down. 27 Then Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord had said to him; but fearing to do it by day, because of his father's people and the men of the town, he did it by night. 28 And the men of the town got up early in the morning, and they saw the altar of Baal broken down, and the holy tree which was by it cut down, and the ox offered on the altar which had been put up there. 29 And they said to one another, Who has done this thing? And after searching with care, they said, Gideon, the son of Joash, has done this thing. 30 Then the men of the town said to Joash, Make your son come out to be put to death, for pulling down the altar of Baal and cutting down the holy tree which was by it. 31 But Joash said to all those who were attacking him, Will you take up the cause of Baal? will you be his saviour? Let anyone who will take up his cause be put to death while it is still morning: if he is a god, let him take up his cause himself because of the pulling down of his altar. 32 So that day he gave him the name of Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal take up his cause against him because his altar has been broken down.
33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the east, banding themselves together, went over and put up their tents in the valley of Jezreel. 34 But the spirit of the Lord came on Gideon; and at the sound of his horn all Abiezer came together after him. 35 And he sent through all Manasseh, and they came after him; and he sent to Asher and Zebulun and Naphtali, and they came up and were joined to the others. 36 Then Gideon said to God, If you are going to give Israel salvation by my hand, as you have said, 37 See, I will put the wool of a sheep on the grain-floor; if there is dew on the wool only, while all the earth is dry, then I will be certain that it is your purpose to give Israel salvation by my hand as you have said. 38 And it was so: for he got up early on the morning after, and twisting the wool in his hands, he got a basin full of water from the dew on the wool. 39 Then Gideon said to God, Do not be moved to wrath against me if I say only this: let me make one more test with the wool; let the wool now be dry, while the earth is covered with dew. 40 And that night God did so; for the wool was dry, and there was dew on all the earth round it.