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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 5

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1 ON that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:

2‘For the leaders, the leaders in Israel a 5:2 For…Israel: or For those who had flowing locks in Israel. , for the people who answered the call, bless the LORD. 3Hear, you kings; princes, give ear! I shall sing, I shall sing to the LORD, making music to the LORD, the God of Israel.

4‘LORD, when you set forth from Seir, when you marched from the land of Edom, earth trembled; heaven quaked; the clouds streamed down in torrents. 5Mountains shook in fear before the LORD, the Lord of Sinai, before the LORD, the God of Israel. 6‘In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Jael, caravans plied no longer; travellers who had followed the high roads went round by devious paths. 7Champions there were none, none left in Israel, until you b 5:7 you: or I. , Deborah, arose, arose as a mother in Israel. 8They chose new gods, they consorted with demons. Not a shield was to be seen, not a lance among forty thousand Israelites.

9‘My heart goes out to you, the marshals of Israel; you among the people that answered the call, bless the LORD. 10You that sit on saddle-cloths riding your tawny she-donkeys, and you that take the road on foot, ponder on this. 11Hark, the sound of the merrymakers c 5:11 merrymakers: prob. rdg; Heb. obscure. at the places where they draw water! There they commemorate the victories of the LORD, his triumphs as the champion of Israel.

‘Down to the gates came the LORD's people: 12“Rouse yourself, rouse yourself, Deborah, rouse yourself, break into song. Up, Barak! Take prisoners in plenty, you son of Abinoam.”

13‘Then down marched the column d 5:13 column: prob. rdg; Heb. survivor. and its chieftains, the people of the LORD marching down e marching down: prob. rdg; Heb. adds to me. like warriors. 14The men of Ephraim rallied f 5:14 rallied: prob. rdg; Heb. their root. in the vale g the vale: so Gk; Heb. Amalek. , crying, “We are with you, Benjamin! Your clansmen are here!” Down came the marshals from Machir, from Zebulun the bearers of the musterer's staff. 15The princes of Issachar were with Deborah, Issachar with Barak; down into the valley they rushed in pursuit.

‘Reuben however was split into factions; great were their heart-searchings h 5:15 heart-searchings: so some MSS; others have an unknown word. . 16Why did you linger by the sheepfolds to listen to the shrill calling of the shepherds i 5:16 shepherds: prob. rdg; Heb. adds Reuben was split into factions; great were their heart-searchings. ? 17Gilead stayed beyond Jordan; and Dan, why did he tarry by the ships? Asher remained by the seashore, by its creeks he stayed. 18The people of Zebulun risked their lives; so did Naphtali on the heights of the battlefield.

19‘Kings came, they fought; then fought the kings of Canaan at Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; no plunder of silver did they take. 20The stars fought from heaven, the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. 21The torrent of Kishon swept him away, the torrent barred his flight, the torrent of Kishon. March on in might, my soul! 22Then hammered the hoofs of his horses, his chargers galloped, galloped away. 23‘A curse on Meroz, said the angel of the LORD; a curse, a curse on its inhabitants, because they did not come to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD and the fighting men.

24‘Blest above women be Jael wife of Heber the Kenite; blest above all women in the tents. 25He asked for water: she gave him milk, she offered him curds in a bowl fit for a chieftain. 26She reached out her hand for the tent-peg, her right hand for the workman's hammer. With the hammer she struck Sisera, crushing his head; with a shattering blow she pierced his temple. 27At her feet he sank, he fell, he lay prone; at her feet he sank down and fell. Where he sank down, there he fell, done to death.

28‘The mother of Sisera peered through the lattice, through the window she peered and cried, “Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why is the clatter of his chariots so delayed?” 29The wisest of her ladies answered her, yes, she found her own answer: 30“They must be finding spoil, taking their shares, a damsel for each man, two damsels, booty of dyed stuffs for Sisera, booty of dyed stuffs, dyed stuff and brocade, two lengths of brocade to grace the victor's neck.”

31‘So perish all your enemies, LORD; but let those who love you j 5:31 you: so Syriac; Heb. him. be like the sun rising in strength.’

The land was at peace for forty years.

Notes:

a 5:2 For…Israel: or For those who had flowing locks in Israel.

b 5:7 you: or I.

c 5:11 merrymakers: prob. rdg; Heb. obscure.

d 5:13 column: prob. rdg; Heb. survivor.

e marching down: prob. rdg; Heb. adds to me.

f 5:14 rallied: prob. rdg; Heb. their root.

g the vale: so Gk; Heb. Amalek.

h 5:15 heart-searchings: so some MSS; others have an unknown word.

i 5:16 shepherds: prob. rdg; Heb. adds Reuben was split into factions; great were their heart-searchings.

j 5:31 you: so Syriac; Heb. him.

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