Judges 5

Deborah's song

1 On that day Deborah sang this song, with Abinoam's son Barak:

2 ‘The leaders of Israel led their people out.

The people were happy to follow them to the battle.

Praise the Lord!

3 Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers!

I will sing to worship the Lord.

Yes, I will praise him with a song.

He is the Lord, Israel's God.

4 Lord, you came from Seir mountains.

Yes, you marched from the land of Edom.

5:4Seir and Edom were different names for the same country.

As you came, the earth shook.

Rain poured down from the clouds in the sky.

5 The mountains shook when you appeared,

as they shook at Sinai mountain when you showed your power.

You are the Lord, the God of Israel.

6 When Anath's son Shamgar ruled the land,

nobody travelled on the roads.

When Jael ruled, people walked on secret paths,

because they were afraid.

7 Nobody lived in the small villages.

Then I, Deborah, became their leader.

I became like a mother for Israel's people,

to keep them safe.

8 When the Israelites chose new gods to worship,

enemies attacked their cities.

No one in Israel was ready to fight.

Not one of their 40,000 soldiers had a shield or a spear.

9 I thank God for Israel's leaders,

and the people who are ready to fight our enemies.

Praise the Lord!

10 Listen to me, you rich people who ride on white donkeys,

with beautiful cloths to sit on.

And you people who walk along the road,

you should listen too!

11 Listen to the voices of the singers near the wells of water.

They sing about the great things that the Lord has done.

They tell how Israel's soldiers have won against their enemies.

Then the Lord's people marched down to the city gates.

12 “Wake up, Deborah! Wake up and sing a song!

Get up, Barak, son of Abinoam!

Take your enemies away as your prisoners.”

13 The faithful men who remained returned to their leaders.

The Lord's people came to me.

They were ready to fight against our enemies.

14 Some men of Ephraim's tribe came to help,

from the land where Amalek lived.

They followed men of Benjamin's tribe, with their soldiers.

Leaders also came from Makir.

Army officers came from Zebulun's tribe.

15 The leaders of Issachar's tribe were with Deborah.

Yes, the men of Issachar joined with Barak.

Barak led them into the valley.

But the men of Reuben's tribe could not decide what to do.

16 Instead, they stayed to take care of their sheep.

Did they want to listen to the shepherds as they called out to their sheep?

The clans of Reuben's tribe could not agree what they should do.

17 The men of Gilead stayed at home,

on the east side of the Jordan River.

The men of Dan's tribe stayed with their ships.

The men of Asher's tribe also stayed in their homes near the sea.

18 But the men of Zebulun's tribe were not afraid to die in war.

The men of Naphtali's tribe were also ready to attack the enemy.

19 Kings of Canaan came and they fought against us.

They attacked us at Taanach, near the stream at Megiddo.

But they could not take any valuable silver from us.

20 Even the stars fought against Sisera!

They travelled across the sky to attack him.

21 The Kishon river carried away Sisera's soldiers.

It used its power to stop them.

So I will be brave and I will continue to fight!

22 As for the horses of Sisera's army,

their feet made a loud noise as they ran away.

23 The Lord's angel says, “Punish Meroz!

Punish the people who live there,

because they did not come to help the Lord.

They did not agree to fight against the Lord's strong enemy.”

24 But Jael should receive great honour!

Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite,

should receive more honour than all other women who live in tents.

25 Sisera asked her for water to drink, and she gave him milk.

She gave him the best cream in a beautiful bowl.

26 She took a tent peg in her left hand.

She took a worker's hammer in her right hand.

She hit the peg through Sisera's head.

She broke his skull. She broke it completely.

She knocked the sharp peg through his head.

27 He fell to the floor at her feet.

He lay there and he did not move.

He died at the place where he fell.

Jael had killed him!

28 Sisera's mother looked out from the window of her house.

She waited for Sisera to return.

She said, “His chariot has taken a long time to come!

Why do I not yet hear the sound of his horse's feet?”

29 Her wise ladies replied,

and she herself thought the same thing:

30 “They are taking valuable things from their enemies.

They are sharing the things between them.

Each soldier will bring one or two women for himself.

Sisera's share will be some beautiful cloth.

Yes, he is bringing pieces of valuable cloth,

and a beautiful necklace for me!

That is why he is so late to return home.”

31 I pray that all your enemies will die as Sisera died, Lord!

But I pray that those who love you will shine brightly.

May they be strong like the sun at dawn.’

After that, there was peace in Israel for 40 years.