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Judges 4 Modern English Version (MEV)

Deborah

When Ehud was dead, the children of Israel once more did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. The Lord sold them into the hands of King Jabin of Canaan, who ruled in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera. He lived in Harosheth Haggoyim. The children of Israel cried out to the Lord, for Sisera had nine hundred iron chariots and had forcefully oppressed the children of Israel for twenty years.

Now Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophetess. She judged Israel at that time. She would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim. The children of Israel would go up to her for her to render judgment. She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord God of Israel commands you, ‘Go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor, and take ten thousand men from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun with you. I will draw Sisera, the commander of the army of Jabin, with his chariots and large army to you at the River Kishon and give him into your hands.’ ”

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.”

She said, “I will indeed go with you. However, the way you are going will gain you no glory, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. Ten thousand men went up on foot with him, and Deborah went up with him also.

11 Now Heber the Kenite had moved away from the Kenites, who were descendants of Hobab, Moses’ father-in-law. He pitched his tent at the oak in Zaanannim, near Kedesh.

12 Then they told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13 So Sisera summoned all his nine hundred iron chariots and all the people with him, from Harosheth Haggoyim to the River Kishon.

14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Get up, for this is the day that the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men behind him. 15 The Lord routed Sisera and all of his chariots and all of his army with the edge of the sword in front of Barak. Sisera dismounted his chariot and fled on foot.

16 Barak chased after the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim. The whole army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword. Not a single man survived. 17 Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between King Jabin of Hazor and the family of Heber the Kenite.

18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord. Turn aside to me. Do not be afraid.” So he turned aside 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.” So she opened a leather milk container, gave it to him to drink, and covered him.

20 He said to her, “Stand in the entrance to the tent, and if anyone comes and asks you, ‘Is there a man here?’ then you say, ‘No.’ ”

21 Then Jael the wife of Heber took a tent peg and a hammer in her hand and went quietly to him, for he was fast asleep and tired. She drove the tent peg into his temple, and it went down into the ground, so he died.

22 Now as Barak had been chasing Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you seek.” When he came in, there was Sisera fallen dead with a tent peg in his temple.

23 So God humbled King Jabin of Canaan before the children of Israel that day. 24 The children of Israel grew more and more powerful over King Jabin of Canaan until he was no more.

Modern English Version (MEV)

The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

Judges 4 New International Version (NIV)

Deborah

Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead. So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commander of his army, was based in Harosheth Haggoyim. Because he had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help.

Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading[a] Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided. She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’”

Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”

“Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 There Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him.

11 Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law,[b] and pitched his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh.

12 When they told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 Sisera summoned from Harosheth Haggoyim to the Kishon River all his men and his nine hundred chariots fitted with iron.

14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. 15 At Barak’s advance, the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot.

16 Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim, and all Sisera’s troops fell by the sword; not a man was left. 17 Sisera, meanwhile, fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there was an alliance between Jabin king of Hazor and the family of Heber the Kenite.

18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come, my lord, come right in. Don’t be afraid.” So he entered her tent, and she covered him with a blanket.

19 “I’m thirsty,” he said. “Please give me some water.” She opened a skin of milk, gave him a drink, and covered him up.

20 “Stand in the doorway of the tent,” he told her. “If someone comes by and asks you, ‘Is anyone in there?’ say ‘No.’”

21 But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died.

22 Just then Barak came by in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him. “Come,” she said, “I will show you the man you’re looking for.” So he went in with her, and there lay Sisera with the tent peg through his temple—dead.

23 On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites. 24 And the hand of the Israelites pressed harder and harder against Jabin king of Canaan until they destroyed him.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 4:4 Traditionally judging
  2. Judges 4:11 Or father-in-law
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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