Judges 4

1After Ehud died, the people again did the things the Lord said are evil. 2So the Lord allowed Jabin king of Canaan to defeat the people of Israel. Jabin ruled in a city named Hazor. A man named Sisera was the commander of King Jabin’s army. Sisera lived in a town called Harosheth Haggoyim. 3Sisera had 900 iron chariots, and he was very cruel to the people of Israel for 20 years. So they cried to the Lord for help. 4There was a woman prophet named Deborah. She was the wife of a man named Lappidoth. She was judge of Israel at that time. 5One day, Deborah was sitting under the Palm Tree of Deborah. And the people of Israel came up to her to ask her what to do about Sisera. The Palm Tree of Deborah is between the cities of Ramah and Bethel, in the hill country of Ephraim. 6Deborah sent a message to a man named Barak. She asked him to come to meet with her. Barak was the son of a man named Abinoam. Barak lived in the city of Kedesh, which is in the area of Naphtali. Deborah said to Barak, “The Lord God of Israel commands you: 'Go and gather 10,000 men from the family groups of Naphtali and Zebulun. Lead those men to Mount Tabor. 7I will make Sisera, the commander of King Jabin’s army, come to you. I will make Sisera, his chariots and his army come to the Kishon River. I will help you to defeat Sisera there.’” 8Then Barak said to Deborah, “I will go and do this if you will go with me. But if you will not go with me, then I won’t go.” 9“Of course I will go with you,” Deborah answered. “But because of your attitude, you will not be honored when Sisera is defeated. The Lord will allow a woman to defeat Sisera.” So Deborah went with Barak to the city of Kedesh. 10At the city of Kedesh, Barak called the family groups of Zebulun and Naphtali together. Barak gathered 10,000 men to follow him from those family groups. Deborah also went with Barak. 11Now there was a man named Heber, that was from the Kenite people. Heber had left the other Kenite people. (The Kenite people were descendants of Hobab. Hobab was Moses’ father-in-law.) Heber had made his home by the oak tree in a place named Zaanannim. Zaanannim is near the city of Kedesh. 12Someone told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam was at Mount Tabor. 13So Sisera got together his 900 iron chariots. Sisera also got together all the men with him. They marched from the city of Harosheth Haggoyim to the Kishon River. 14Then Deborah said to Barak, “Today the Lord will help you defeat Sisera. Surely you know that the Lord has already cleared the way for you.” So Barak led the 10,000 men down from Mount Tabor. 15Barak and his men attacked Sisera. During the battle, the Lord confused Sisera and his army and chariots. They did not know what to do. So Barak and his men defeated Sisera’s army. But Sisera left his chariot and ran away on foot. 16Barak continued fighting Sisera’s army. Barak and his men chased Sisera’s chariots and army all the way to Harosheth Haggoyim. Barak and his men used their swords to kill all of Sisera’s men. Not one of Sisera’s men was left alive. 17But Sisera ran away. He came to the tent where a woman named Jael lived. Jael was the wife of a man named Heber. He was one of the Kenite people. Heber’s family was at peace with Jabin king of Hazor. So Sisera ran to Jael’s tent. 18Jael saw Sisera coming, so she went out to meet him. Jael said to Sisera, “Sir, come into my tent. Come in. Don’t be afraid.” So Sisera went into Jael’s tent, and she covered him with a carpet. 19Sisera said to Jael, “I am thirsty. Please give me a little water to drink.” Jael had a bottle made from animal skin. She kept milk in that bottle. Jael gave Sisera a drink of that milk. Then she covered Sisera up. 20Then Sisera said to Jael, “Go stand at the entrance to the tent. If someone comes by and asks you, 'Is anyone in there?’, tell him, 'No.’” 21But Jael found a tent peg and a hammer. Jael quietly went to Sisera. Sisera was very tired, so he was sleeping. Jael put the tent peg to the side of Sisera’s head and hit it with a hammer. The tent peg went through the side of Sisera’s head and into the ground! Sisera died. 22Just then Barak came by Jael’s tent, looking for Sisera. Jael went out to meet Barak and said, “Come in here, and I will show you the man that you are looking for.” So Barak entered the tent with Jael. There Barak found Sisera lying dead on the ground, with the tent peg through the side of his head. 23On that day God defeated Jabin king of Canaan for the people of Israel. 24So the people of Israel became stronger and stronger until they defeated Jabin king of Canaan. The people of Israel finally destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.

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