(4:1-16) Barak and God massacre the Canaanites
This is just another variation on the same old story. If you've been following along, you know what's going to happen.
(See Judges 2:14, 3:8,
6:1, and 10:7 for other versions of the same silly story.)
God's 46th Killing
1. The Israelites do evil in the sight of the Lord.
(4:1) "The children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD."
2. God sells them into slavery.
(4:2) "The Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan."
3. The Israelites cry out to the Lord.
(4:3) "The children of Israel cried unto the LORD."
4. Gold slaughters the people he sold the Israelites to.
(4:15-16) The LORD discomfited Sisera [the captain of King Jabinís army], and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword Ö
and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left."
Here are the details.
After Ehud dies, a woman became the leader of the Israelites. Her name is Deborah and she is called a prophetess and judge.
She sat under a palm tree and everyone "came up to her for judgment."
(4:4-5) "Deborah, a prophetess, ... dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah ... and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment."
One day, she summoned Barak and told him to take 10,000 soldiers to fight Sisera.
(4:6-7) "She sent and called Barak ... and said ... the LORD God of Israel commanded,
saying ... take with thee ten thousand men ... to ... Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army ... and I will deliver him into thine hand."
Barak, who was a bit of a chicken shit, said:
(4:8) "If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go."
Deborah said that she would go with him and that God would deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.
(4:9) "I will surely go with thee ... for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak."
(4:11) "Hobab the father in law of Moses"
Who was Moses' father-in-law?
(4:13) "Nine hundred chariots of iron"
Can God stop iron chariots?
So Deborah and Barak go off to fight in God's holy war. Guess what happens.
(4:15) "The LORD discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet."
(4:16) "But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host... and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left."
That's right. God confused ("discomfited") Sisera's army, forcing them to either kill each other or kill
themselves. No one survived -- except Sisera, and God will take care of him
in his next killing.
Jael pounds a tent stake through a sleeping man's skull
Jael (our heroine) offers food and shelter to a traveler (Sisera, Jabin's captain), saying "turn in my Lord ... fear not."
Then after giving him a glass of milk and tucking him in, she drives a tent stake through his head. "So God subdued on that day Jabin."
God's 47th Killing
(4:18) "Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in
unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle."
(4:19) "And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him."
(4:21) "Then Jael ... took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground:
for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died."
Was Sisera asleep when he was murdered?
(4:22) "As Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest.
And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples."
(4:23) "So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan."
(4:24) "The children of Israel ... prevailed against
Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan."
When was King Jabin killed?