The Song of Deborah
1 On that day Deborah and Barak, son of Abinoam, sang this song:
2 ‘It is good when the leaders of Israel rule.
It is good when the people are happy to obey them.
Then we praise the Lord.
3 Hear this, you kings! Listen you rulers!
I will sing to the Lord. Yes, I will praise him with a song.
He is the God of Israel.
4 Lord, you went out from Seir.
You marched from the land of Edom.
5:4Seir and Edom were different names for the same land.
Then the earth shook. You sent lots of rain from the clouds.
5 When you came, the mountains shook.
You showed that you are the Lord who came down at Sinai mountain.
You are the God of Israel.
6 When Shamgar ruled, nobody travelled on the roads.
When Jael ruled, the roads were empty.
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 to Israel's people.
8 When Israel's people chose new gods, fighting came to the city.
No one in Israel was ready to fight, not one of their 40,000 soldiers.
9 I want to help the leaders of Israel.
I want to help the people who are ready to fight.
Praise the Lord!
10 Listen to me, you rich people who ride on donkeys.
You have beautiful cloths to sit on.
And you people that walk along the road should also listen.
11 Hear the songs near the wells, as the shepherds give water to the sheep.
They sing about all the great things that the Lord has done.
They sing about how Israel's soldiers have won against their enemies.
Then the people of the Lord went down to the city gates.
12 Wake up, Deborah! Wake up and sing!
Get up Barak, son of Abinoam! Catch your enemies and take them away.
13 The men who remained returned to their leaders.
These people of the Lord came to me,
to fight against our enemies.
14 Some men came from Ephraim's tribe. They came from the land where Amalek lived.
They followed men from Benjamin's tribe, with their soldiers.
Leaders also came from Makir and from Zebulun's tribe.
These men marched and carried sticks to fight with.
15 The leaders of Issachar's tribe were with Deborah.
Yes, the men of Issachar joined with Barak. They followed him into the valley.
But many men of Reuben's tribe could not decide. So they did not come to help.
16 Instead, they stayed to take care of their sheep.
Did they want to listen to the music of the shepherds?
The families of Reuben's tribe could not decide what to do.
17 The men of Gilead stayed in their land, on the east side of the Jordan river.
The men of Dan's tribe also stayed near their boats.
The men of Asher's tribe remained in their homes on the coast of the sea.
18 But the men of Zebulun's tribe were not afraid to fight.
The men of Naphtali's tribe were also ready to die in the battle.
19 Kings of Canaan came and they fought against us.
They fought at Taanach, near the stream at Megiddo.
But they could not take any valuable silver from us.
20 Even the stars fought against Sisera from their places in the sky.
21 The Kishon river carried away Sisera's soldiers. It stopped them with its power.
Because of that, 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.
They ran as fast as they could.
23 The Lord's angel said, “Punish Meroz.
Punish the people who live there.
They did not come to fight in the Lord's battle.
They did not help the Lord fight against his strong enemy.”
24 God will bless Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite.
She will be the happiest of all the woman who live in tents.
25 Sisera asked for water to drink, and she gave him milk.
She gave him the best milk in a beautiful bowl.
26 She took a sharp stick in her left hand and a hammer in her right hand.
She hit the stick through Sisera's head and she broke his skull.
27 He fell to the floor at her feet. He stayed there and he did not move.
Jael had killed him!
28 Far away, Sisera's mother looked out of the window. She waited for Sisera to return.
She cried out, “His chariot is so slow 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 finding valuable things to bring home for us.
They will bring one or two women to please each of our soldiers.
They will bring some valuable cloth for Sisera himself.
They will bring some beautiful cloth for me!
Yes, they are taking valuable things from our enemies.”
31 I want all your enemies to die like Sisera died, Lord!
But I pray that those who love you will be strong like the sun at dawn.’
After that, Israel had no more wars for 40 years.