New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:


Video presentations on this chapter:


Other material relevant to this chapter:

Jabin And Sisera

Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 4 Jun. 8 
Deborah Saves Israel
The children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, when Ehud was dead. 2Yahweh 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. 3The Israelites cried to Yahweh, for he had nine hundred iron chariots, and for twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel. 4Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, judged Israel at that time. 5She lived under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came up to her for judgment. 6She 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 to Mount Tabor and take with you ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and Zebulun? 7I 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’. 8Barak 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. 9She said, I will surely go with you; nevertheless the journey that you take will not be for your honour, for Yahweh will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh and he went with ten thousand men following him; and Deborah went with him. 11Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, from the children of Hobab the brother-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent by the oak in Zaanannim which is by Kedesh. 12They told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13Sisera gathered together all his chariots, nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles to the river Kishon. 14Deborah 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. 15Yahweh routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army with the sword before Barak, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16But Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth of the Gentiles, and all the army of Sisera fell by the sword; there was not a man left.
The Death of Sisera
17However Sisera fled away on foot 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. 18Jael 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. 19He said to her, Please give me a little water to drink for I am thirsty. She opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. 20He said to her, Stand at the door of the tent and when any man comes and asks you ‘Is there any man here?’ say ‘No’. 21Then Jael Heber’s wife took a tent peg and a hammer in her hand and went quietly to him and hammered the peg into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground, for he was in a deep sleep; so he died. 22As 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 there lay Sisera, dead; and the tent peg was in his temples. 23So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the Israelites. 24The hand of the Israelites prevailed more and more against Jabin the king of Canaan until they had destroyed him.


4:7 I will deliver him into your hand- It was God s desire to effect deliverance for Israel at the hands of a man, Barak; but he failed to live up to that potential, indeed the male leadership collapsed in Israel (5:7), and so God worked through a woman.
4:8,9 The incomplete faith of men like Baruch was counted as full faith by later inspiration (Heb. 11:32). God likewise counts our weak spirituality as total if we are in Christ, whose righteousness is counted to all those baptized into Him.
4:14 Deborah here quotes the words of Dt. 9:3 concerning the Angel going before Israel to drive out the nations to Barak, to inspire him with courage in fighting them. She recognized that the work the Angels did when they went out many years ago to do all the groundwork necessary for Israel to destroy all the tribes of Canaan was done for all time. It was not too late to make use of that work by making a human endeavour in faith. So with us, the smaller objectives in our lives as well as our main goal of reaching the Kingdom have all been made possible through the work of Christ and the Angels in the past. Deborah's recognition of this is shown in her song, when she says that the Angels fought against Sisera (5:20).
4:21 We have to piece together all Scripture to get an accurate picture of events. 5:27 suggests he arose and then fell down, as if she didn’t kill him with just one blow as he lay asleep but had some struggle with him.