1711.) Judges 5

“Deborah: Words, Women, and War” by Nathan Moskowitz

Judges 5 (New International Version)

The Song of Deborah

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

Judges chapter 5 tells the same story as Judges chapter 4, but in poetic form.  Scholars consider this to be one of the earliest examples of Hebrew poetry (12th century BCE).

2 “When the princes in Israel take the lead,
when the people willingly offer themselves—
praise the LORD!

3 “Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers!
I will sing to  the LORD, I will sing;
I will make music to  the LORD, the God of Israel.

Psalm 27:6 (ESV)

And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts ofjoy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “Deborah’s Theme”  by Italian composer  Ennio Morricone, conducting.  From the movie Once Upon a Time in America.

_________________________

4 “O LORD, when you went out from Seir,
when you marched from the land of Edom,
the earth shook, the heavens poured,
the clouds poured down water.

5 The mountains quaked before the LORD, the One of Sinai,
before the LORD, the God of Israel.

6 “In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
in the days of Jael, the roads were abandoned;
travelers took to winding paths.

7 Village life  in Israel ceased,
ceased until I, Deborah, arose,
arose a mother in Israel.

“I Arose a Mother in Israel” painting by Elspeth Young, who gave Deborah a sword as a symbol not of fighting, but of the Word of the Lord and His promise of deliverance.

8 When they chose new gods,
war came to the city gates,
and not a shield or spear was seen
among forty thousand in Israel.

9 My heart is with Israel’s princes,
with the willing volunteers among the people.
Praise the LORD!

10 “You who ride on white donkeys,
sitting on your saddle blankets,
and you who walk along the road,
consider 11 the voice of the singers  at the watering places.
They recite the righteous acts of the LORD,
the righteous acts of his warriors  in Israel.
“Then the people of the LORD
went down to the city gates.

12 ‘Wake up, wake up, Deborah!
Wake up, wake up, break out in song!
Arise, O Barak!
Take captive your captives, O son of Abinoam.’

Hebrews 11:32-33 (NLT)

How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets.  By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them.

13 “Then the men who were left
came down to the nobles;
the people of the LORD
came to me with the mighty.

14 Some came from Ephraim, whose roots were in Amalek;
Benjamin was with the people who followed you.
From Makir captains came down,
from Zebulun those who bear a commander’s staff.

15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah;
yes, Issachar was with Barak,
rushing after him into the valley.
In the districts of Reuben
there was much searching of heart.

16 Why did you stay among the campfires
to hear the whistling for the flocks?
In the districts of Reuben
there was much searching of heart.

17 Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan.
And Dan, why did he linger by the ships?
Asher remained on the coast
and stayed in his coves.

18 The people of Zebulun risked their very lives;
so did Naphtali on the heights of the field.

19 “Kings came, they fought;
the kings of Canaan fought
at Taanach by the waters of Megiddo,
but they carried off no silver, no plunder.

20 From the heavens the stars fought,
from their courses they fought against Sisera.

21 The river Kishon swept them away,
the age-old river, the river Kishon.
March on, my soul; be strong!

22 Then thundered the horses’ hoofs—
galloping, galloping go his mighty steeds.

23 ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the LORD.
‘Curse its people bitterly,
because they did not come to help the LORD,
to help the LORD against the mighty.’

“Jael and Sisero” by Artemisia Gentileschi, 1620 (Budapest Museum)

24 “Most blessed of women be Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite,
most blessed of tent-dwelling women.

25 He asked for water, and she gave him milk;
in a bowl fit for nobles she brought him curdled milk.

26 Her hand reached for the tent peg,
her right hand for the workman’s hammer.
She struck Sisera, she crushed his head,
she shattered and pierced his temple.

27 At her feet he sank,
he fell; there he lay.
At her feet he sank, he fell;
where he sank, there he fell—dead.

“The Mother of Sisera Looked Out a Window” by British painter Albert Joseph Moore. Ah, there are many victims in a war.

28 “Through the window peered Sisera’s mother;
behind the lattice she cried out,
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why is the clatter of his chariots delayed?’

29 The wisest of her ladies answer her;
indeed, she keeps saying to herself,

30 ‘Are they not finding and dividing the spoils:
a girl or two for each man,
colorful garments as plunder for Sisera,
colorful garments embroidered,
highly embroidered garments for my neck—
all this as plunder?’

31 “So may all your enemies perish, O LORD!
But may they who love you be like the sun
when it rises in its strength.”
Then the land had peace forty years.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Moskowitz.    http://www.womeninthebible.net/1.8.De1.jpg
quill pen.    http://mozziestar.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/ink.jpg
music staff.    http://www.clipartbest.com/cliparts/di7/gz6/di7gz67i9.gif
Young.    http://alyoung.com/Art_Gallery/Elspeth_Young/Women_in_Scripture/Deborah.jpg
walk by faith.     http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2332/2330771133_84e0a2570e.jpg
Gentileschi.     https://www.sartle.com/sites/default/files/images/artwork/1000125.jpg
Moore.    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5b/Moore_Albert_Joseph_The_Mother_of_Sisera_Looked_out_a_Window.jpg
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