Judges 5

1On the day that the people of Israel defeated Sisera, Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song: 2The men of Israel prepared for battle. They volunteered to go to war! Bless the Lord! 3Listen, kings. Pay attention, rulers. I will sing. I myself will sing to the Lord. I will make music to the Lord, to the God of the people of Israel. 4Lord, in the past you came from Seir. You marched from the land of Edom. You marched and the earth shook. The skies rained. The clouds dropped water. 5The mountains shook before the Lord, the God of Mount Sinai, before the Lord, the God of Israel! 6In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, and in the days of Jael, the main roads were empty. Caravans and travelers traveled on the back roads. 7There were no soldiers. There were no soldiers in Israel until you came, Deborah, until you came to be a mother to Israel. 8God chose new ˻leaders˼ to fight at the city gates. No one could find a shield or a spear among the 40,000 soldiers of Israel. 9My heart is with the commanders of Israel who volunteered to go to war! Bless the Lord! 10Pay attention you people riding on white donkeys, sitting on saddle blankets, and walking along the road! 11At the watering holes for the animals, we hear the music of cymbals. People sing about the victories of the Lord, the victories of his soldiers in Israel when the Lord’s people fought at the city gates ˻and won˼! 12Wake up, wake up, Deborah! Wake up, wake up, sing the song! Get up, Barak! Go capture your enemies, son of Abinoam! 13Now, survivors, go to the leaders. People of the Lord, come with me and the soldiers. 14The men of Ephraim came from the hill country of Amalek. Benjamin, those men followed you and your people. And there were commanders from the family of Makir. Leaders from the family group of Zebulun came with their bronze clubs. 15The leaders of Issachar were with Deborah. The family of Issachar was true to Barak. Those men marched to the valley on foot. Reuben, there are many brave soldiers in your army groups. 16So why did you sit there against the walls of your sheep pens? The brave soldiers of Reuben thought hard about war. But they stayed home listening to the music they played for their sheep. 17The people of Gilead stayed in their camps on the other side of the Jordan River. As for you, people of Dan, why did you stay by your ships? The people of Asher remained by the sea, camped near their safe harbors. 18But the men of Zebulun and Naphtali risked their lives fighting on those hills. 19The kings of Canaan came to fight, but they didn’t carry any treasures home! They fought at the city of Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo. 20The stars fought ˻them˼ from heaven. From their paths ˻across the sky˼, they fought against Sisera. 21The Kishon River, that ancient river, swept Sisera’s men away. My soul, march on with strength! 22The horses’ hooves hammered the ground. Sisera’s mighty horses ran and ran. 23The Angel of the Lord said, ”Curse the city of Meroz. Curse its people! They did not come with soldiers to help the Lord.” 24Jael was the wife of Heber the Kenite. She will be blessed above all women. 25Sisera asked for water. Jael gave him milk. In a bowl fit for a ruler, she brought him cream. 26Then Jael reached out and took the tent peg. Her right hand reached for the hammer that a worker would use. Then she used the hammer on Sisera! She hit him on the head and made a hole through his temple! 27He sank between Jael’s feet. He fell. And there he lay. He sank between her feet. He fell. Where Sisera sank, there he fell. And there he lay, dead! 28Look, there is Sisera’s mother, looking out the window, looking through the curtains and crying. “Why is Sisera’s chariot so late? Why can’t I hear his wagons?” 29Her wisest servant girl answers her. Yes, the servant gives her an answer: 30“I’m sure they won the war and they are now taking things from the people they defeated! They are dividing those things among themselves! Each soldier is taking a girl or two. Maybe Sisera found a piece of dyed cloth. That’s it! Sisera found a piece of fancy cloth —or maybe two— for Sisera the Conqueror to wear.” 31May all your enemies die like this, Lord! And may all the people who love you be strong like the rising sun! So there was peace in the land for 40 years.

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