Judges 4:21
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New International Version
But Jael, Heber's wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died.

New Living Translation
But when Sisera fell asleep from exhaustion, Jael quietly crept up to him with a hammer and tent peg in her hand. Then she drove the tent peg through his temple and into the ground, and so he died.

English Standard Version
But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand. Then she went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple until it went down into the ground while he was lying fast asleep from weariness. So he died.

New American Standard Bible
But Jael, Heber's wife, took a tent peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died.

King James Bible
Then Jael Heber's wife 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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
While he was sleeping from exhaustion, Heber's wife Jael took a tent peg, grabbed a hammer, and went silently to Sisera. She hammered the peg into his temple and drove it into the ground, and he died.

International Standard Version
But Heber's wife Jael grabbed a tent peg in one hand and a hammer in the other, crept up to him quietly, and drove the tent peg right through his temple into the ground below after he had fallen sound asleep from exhaustion. That's how he died.

NET Bible
Then Jael wife of Heber took a tent peg in one hand and a hammer in the other. She crept up on him, drove the tent peg through his temple into the ground while he was asleep from exhaustion, and he died.

New Heart English Bible
Then Jael Heber's wife took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and struck the pin into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep; so he died.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When Sisera had fallen sound asleep from exhaustion, Jael, Heber's wife, took a tent peg and walked quietly toward him with a hammer in her hand. She hammered the tent peg through his temples into the ground. So Sisera died.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Then Jael Heber's wife took a tent-pin, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the pin into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep; so he swooned and died.

New American Standard 1977
But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Jael, Heber's wife, took the tent stake, and putting a hammer in her hand, went softly unto him and smote the stake into his temples and fastened it into the ground, for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

King James 2000 Bible
Then Jael, Heber's wife, took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and drove the peg into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

American King James Version
Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

American Standard Version
Then Jael Heber's wife took a tent-pin, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the pin into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep; so he swooned and died.

Douay-Rheims Bible
So Jahel Haber's wife took a nail of the tent, and taking also a hammer: and going in softly, and with silence, she put the nail upon the temples of his head, and striking it With the hammer, drove it through his brain fast into the ground: and so passing from deep sleep to death, he fainted away and died.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jael Heber's wife took a tent-pin, and took the hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and smote the pin into his temples, and it penetrated into the ground; for he had fallen into a deep sleep and was faint; and he died.

English Revised Version
Then Jael Heber's wife took a tent-pin, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the pin into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep; so he swooned and died.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then Jael, Heber's wife, took a nail of the tent, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep, and weary. So he died.

World English Bible
Then Jael Heber's wife took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and struck the pin into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep; so he swooned and died.

Young's Literal Translation
And Jael wife of Heber taketh the pin of the tent, and taketh the hammer in her hand, and goeth unto him gently, and striketh the pin into his temples, and it fasteneth in the earth -- and he hath been fast asleep, and is weary -- and he dieth.
Study Bible
Jael Kills Sisera
20He said to her, "Stand in the doorway of the tent, and it shall be if anyone comes and inquires of you, and says, 'Is there anyone here?' that you shall say, 'No.'" 21But Jael, Heber's wife, took a tent peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died. 22And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, "Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking." And he entered with her, and behold Sisera was lying dead with the tent peg in his temple.…
Cross References
Judges 4:9
She said, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the honor shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman." Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.

Judges 4:20
He said to her, "Stand in the doorway of the tent, and it shall be if anyone comes and inquires of you, and says, 'Is there anyone here?' that you shall say, 'No.'"

Judges 4:22
And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, "Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking." And he entered with her, and behold Sisera was lying dead with the tent peg in his temple.

Judges 5:26
"She reached out her hand for the tent peg, And her right hand for the workmen's hammer. Then she struck Sisera, she smashed his head; And she shattered and pierced his temple.
Treasury of Scripture

Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

took

Judges 3:21,31 And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right …

Judges 5:26 She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen's …

Judges 15:15 And he found a new jawbone of an donkey, and put forth his hand, …

1 Samuel 17:43,49,50 And the Philistine said to David, Am I a dog, that you come to me …

1 Corinthians 1:19,27 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will …

a nail. One of the spikes of the tent.

Exodus 35:18 The pins of the tabernacle, and the pins of the court, and their cords,

and took. Heb. and put. smote

Psalm 3:7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for you have smitten all my enemies …

he died

Judges 5:27 At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, …

(21) Then.--Many commentators have ventured to assume that at this instant Jael received a Divine intimation of what she was to do. To make such an assumption as a way of defending an act of assassination peculiarly terrible and peculiarly treacherous seems to be to the last degree unwarrantable. If any readers choose to adopt such methods for themselves they ought not to attempt the enforcement of such "private interpretations" on others. The mind which is unsophisticated by the casuistry of exegesis will find little difficulty in arriving at a fair estimate of Jael's conduct without resorting to dangerous and arbitrary interpolations of supposition into the simple Scripture narrative.

Heber's wife.--This addition, being needless, might be regarded as emphatic, and as involving an element of condemnation by calling prominent attention to the "peace between Jabin and the house of Heber," which has been mentioned where last his name occurs (Judges 4:17). It is, however, due in all probability to the very ancient and inartificial character of the narrative.

A nail of the tent.--Probably one of the great tent-pegs used to fasten down the cords which keep the tent in its place (Exodus 27:19; Isaiah 22:23; Isaiah 54:2, &c). Josephus says an iron nail, but there is nothing to show whether it was of iron or of wood, and the LXX., by rendering it passalon ("a wooden plug "), seem to have understood the latter.

An hammer.--Rather, the hammer. The ponderous wooden mallet kept in every tent to beat down the cord-pegs. The word is Makkebeth, from which is derived the word Maccabee. The warrior-priests, to whom that title was given, were the "hammers" of their enemies, and Karl received the title of Martel for a similar reason.

Went softly unto him.--So as not to awake him. The description of Sisera's murder is exceedingly graphic, but as far as the prose account of it is concerned, the silence as to any condemnation of the worst and darkest features of it by no means necessarily excludes the idea of the most complete disapproval. The method of the narrative is the same as that found in all ancient literature, and is a method wholly different from that of the moderns, which abounds in subjective reflections. Thus Homer sometimes relates an atrocity without a word of censure, and sometimes indicates disapproval by a single casual adjective.

Smote.--With more than one blow, if we take the poet's account (Judges 5:26) literally.

Fastened it into the ground.--Rather, it (the nail) went down into the around. The verb used is rendered "lighted off" in Judges 1:14.

For he was fast asleep and weary.--The versions here vary considerably, but the English version seems to be perfectly correct. The verb for "he was fast asleep" is the same as in the forcible metaphor of Psalm 76:6 : "The horse and chariot are cast into a deep sleep." The description of his one spasm of agony is given in Judges 5:27. There is no authority in the original for the gloss found in some MSS. of the LXX.: "And he was convulsed (????????????) between her knees, and fainted and died." The words here used are only meant to account for his not being awakened by the approach or preparations of Jael (Kimchi), unless they involve a passing touch of pity or disapproval. Similarly it was, when Holofernes was "filled with wine," that Judith "approached to his bed, and took hold of the hair of his head . . . and smote twice upon his neck with all her might, and she took away his head from him." (Judith 13:2; Judith 13:7-8.)

Verse 21. - Then Jael, etc. Sisera, having taken every precaution, had lain him down to rest; not, like David, trusting to the Lord to make him dwell in safety, but confiding in Jael's friendship and his own crafty directions. But no sooner had he fallen into a deep sleep, than the crafty and courageous woman, into whose hands Sisera was to be sold, took a tent pin and the heavy hammer with which they drove the pin into the ground, and with a desperate blow forced it through his temples, and pinned him to the ground. Without a struggle, he swooned and died. Instead of and fastened it into the ground, it is better to translate, that it (the pin) came down to the ground. It is the same word as is translated lighted Joshua 15:18. In the last clause put the full-stop after asleep, and read, So he swooned and died. It is impossible for us to view Jael's act in the same light as her contemporaries did, on account of its treachery and cruelty; but we can admire her faith in the God of Israel, her lave for the people of God, and her marvellous courage and strength of mind in carrying out her purpose, and make allowance for the age in which she lived.



Then Jael, Heber's wife, took a nail of the tent,.... When she perceived he was fast asleep, and it being now put into her heart to kill him, having an impulse upon her spirit, which she was persuaded, by the effect it had upon her, that it was of God; not filling her with malice and revenge, but a concern for the glory of God, the interest of religion, and the good of Israel, she took this method to effect the death of this enemy of God, and his people; having no arms in the house, for the Kenites used none, she took up an iron pin, with which her tent was fastened to the ground:

and took a hammer in her hand; which perhaps she knew full well how to handle, being used to drive the pins of the tents into the ground with it:

and went softly unto him; lest she should awake him

and smote the nail into his temples: as he lay on one side, these being the tenderest part of the head, from whence they have their name in the Hebrew language, and into which therefore a nail, or iron pin, might be more easily driven:

and fastened it into the ground; she smote the nail with such force and violence, that she drove it through both his temples into the ground on which he lay; and then, as it seems, from Judges 5:26; cut off his head, to make sure work of it:

for he was fast asleep and weary; and so heard not; when she came to him:

so he died; not in the field of battle, but in a tent; not by the sword, but by a nail; not by the hand of a man, but of a woman, as Deborah foretold, Judges 4:9. 21. Then Jael took a nail of the tent—most probably one of the pins with which the tent ropes are fastened to the ground. Escape was almost impossible for Sisera. But the taking of his life by the hand of Jael was murder. It was a direct violation of all the notions of honor and friendship that are usually held sacred among pastoral people, and for which it is impossible to conceive a woman in Jael's circumstances to have had any motive, except that of gaining favor with the victors. Though predicted by Deborah [Jud 4:9], it was the result of divine foreknowledge only—not the divine appointment or sanction; and though it is praised in the song [Jud 5:24-27], the eulogy must be considered as pronounced not on the moral character of the woman and her deed, but on the public benefits which, in the overruling providence of God, would flow from it. 4:17-24 Sisera's chariots had been his pride and his confidence. Thus are those disappointed who rest on the creature; like a broken reed, it not only breaks under them, but pierces them with many sorrows. The idol may quickly become a burden, Isa 46:1; what we were sick for, God can make us sick of. It is probable that Jael really intended kindness to Sisera; but by a Divine impulse she was afterwards led to consider him as the determined enemy of the Lord and of his people, and to destroy him. All our connexions with God's enemies must be broken off, if we would have the Lord for our God, and his people for our people. He that had thought to have destroyed Israel with his many iron chariots, is himself destroyed with one iron nail. Thus the weak things of the world confound the mighty. The Israelites would have prevented much mischief, if they had sooner destroyed the Canaanites, as God commanded and enabled them: but better be wise late, and buy wisdom by experience, than never be wise.
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Alphabetical: a and asleep But died drove exhausted fast for ground hammer hand he Heber's her him his in into it Jael lay peg picked quietly secretly seized She So sound temple tent the through to took up was went while wife

OT History: Judges 4:21 Then Jael Heber's wife took a tent (Jd Judg. Jdg) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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