Judges 5
English Standard Version

The Song of Deborah and Barak

1Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day:

2“That the leaders took the lead in Israel,
that the people offered themselves willingly,
bless the Lord!

3“Hear, O kings; give ear, O princes;
to the Lord I will sing;
I will make melody to the Lord, the God of Israel.

4Lord, when you went out from Seir,
when you marched from the region of Edom,
the earth trembled
and the heavens dropped,
yes, the clouds dropped water.
5The mountains quaked before the Lord,
even Sinai before the Lord, the God of Israel.

6“In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath,
in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned,
and travelers kept to the byways.
7The villagers ceased in Israel;
they ceased to be until I arose;
I, Deborah, arose as a mother in Israel.
8When new gods were chosen,
then war was in the gates.
Was shield or spear to be seen
among forty thousand in Israel?
9My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel
who offered themselves willingly among the people.
Bless the Lord.

10“Tell of it, you who ride on white donkeys,
you who sit on rich carpetsa
and you who walk by the way.
11To the sound of musiciansb at the watering places,
there they repeat the righteous triumphs of the Lord,
the righteous triumphs of his villagers in Israel.

“Then down to the gates marched the people of the Lord.

12“Awake, awake, Deborah!
Awake, awake, break out in a song!
Arise, Barak, lead away your captives,
O son of Abinoam.
13Then down marched the remnant of the noble;
the people of the Lord marched down for me against the mighty.
14From Ephraim their root they marched down into the valley,c
following you, Benjamin, with your kinsmen;
from Machir marched down the commanders,
and from Zebulun those who bear the lieutenant’sd staff;
15the princes of Issachar came with Deborah,
and Issachar faithful to Barak;
into the valley they rushed at his heels.
Among the clans of Reuben
there were great searchings of heart.
16Why did you sit still among the sheepfolds,
to hear the whistling for the flocks?
Among the clans of Reuben
there were great searchings of heart.
17Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan;
and Dan, why did he stay with the ships?
Asher sat still at the coast of the sea,
staying by his landings.
18Zebulun is a people who risked their lives to the death;
Naphtali, too, on the heights of the field.

19“The kings came, they fought;
then fought the kings of Canaan,
at Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo;
they got no spoils of silver.
20From heaven the stars fought,
from their courses they fought against Sisera.
21The torrent Kishon swept them away,
the ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon.
March on, my soul, with might!

22“Then loud beat the horses’ hoofs
with the galloping, galloping of his steeds.

23“Curse Meroz, says the angel of the Lord,
curse its inhabitants thoroughly,
because they did not come to the help of the Lord,
to the help of the Lord against the mighty.

24“Most blessed of women be Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite,
of tent-dwelling women most blessed.
25He asked for water and she gave him milk;
she brought him curds in a noble’s bowl.
26She sent her hand to the tent peg
and her right hand to the workmen’s mallet;
she struck Sisera;
she crushed his head;
she shattered and pierced his temple.
27Between her feet
he sank, he fell, he lay still;
between her feet
he sank, he fell;
where he sank,
there he fell—dead.

28“Out of the window she peered,
the mother of Sisera wailed through the lattice:
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why tarry the hoofbeats of his chariots?’
29Her wisest princesses answer,
indeed, she answers herself,
30‘Have they not found and divided the spoil?—
A womb or two for every man;
spoil of dyed materials for Sisera,
spoil of dyed materials embroidered,
two pieces of dyed work embroidered for the neck as spoil?’

31“So may all your enemies perish, O Lord!
But your friends be like the sun as he rises in his might.”

And the land had rest for forty years.


Footnotes:
a 10 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain; it may connote saddle blankets
b 11 Or archers; the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
c 14 Septuagint; Hebrew in Amalek
d 14 Hebrew commander’s
ESV® Text Edition: 2011.

The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.

The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) is adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved.

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