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 seek. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples.
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(22) Behold, Sisera lay dead.—Thus the glory, such as it was, of having slain the general of the enemy passed to a woman (Judges 4:9). The scene which thus describes the undaunted murderess standing in the tent between the dead and the living chieftains—and glorying in the decision which had led her to fling to the winds every rule of Eastern morality and decorum—is a very striking one.

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.If we can overlook the treachery and violence which belonged to the morals of the age and country, and bear in mind Jael's ardent sympathies with the oppressed people of God, her faith in the right of Israel to possess the land in which they were now slaves, her zeal for the glory of Yahweh as against the gods of Canaan, and the heroic courage and firmness with which she executed her deadly purpose, we shall be ready to yield to her the praise which is her due. See Judges 3:30 note. 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. No text from Poole on this verse. And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera,.... Knowing the way he took, at least as he supposed:

Jael came out to meet him; as she did Sisera, but with greater pleasure:

and said unto him, come, and I will show thee the man whom thou seekest; for she full well knew whom he was in pursuit of:

and when he came into her tent; at her invitation:

behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples: which she did not attempt to draw out, but left it there, that it might be seen in what way she had dispatched him.

And, behold, 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 {l} dead, and the nail was in his temples.

(l) So he saw that a woman had the honour, as Deborah prophesied.

22. And, behold, as Barak pursued] hardly does justice to the original, ‘lo Barak, in pursuit of Sisera’; a remarkable coincidence! cf. Jdg 11:34, Genesis 29:6. According to Jdg 4:16 Barak with his tribesmen pursued the Canaanites to Harosheth; Sisera’s hiding-place must have lain more or less on the route. On the difficulties of the narrative as it stands see above Jdg 4:17 n.

23, 24 give Rd’s conclusion of the story; Jdg 5:31 b is the finishing touch.

God subdued] Instead of God (Elohim) the narrative uses regularly the Lord (Jehovah). For subdued see on Jdg 3:30. It is generally supposed that the stories of the Judges were closed with a brief notice of the subjugation of the oppressors, before the Dtc. redactor expanded these conclusions in his own manner; perhaps the words Elohim subdued … formed part of this pre-Deuteronomic editorial work.

Jabin the king of Canaan] See on Jdg 4:2.

prevailed more and more against] bore harder and harder upon, cf. Jdg 3:10."And the Lord discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his army, with the edge of the sword before Barak." ויּהם, as in Exodus 14:24 and Joshua 10:10, denotes the confounding of the hostile army by a miracle of God, mostly by some miraculous phenomenon of nature: see, besides Exodus 14:24; 2 Samuel 22:15; Psalm 18:15, and Psalm 144:6. The expression ויּהם places the defeat of Sisera and his army in the same category as the miraculous destruction of Pharaoh and of the Canaanites at Gibeon; and the combination of this verb with the expression "with the edge of the sword" is to be taken as constructio praegnans, in the sense: Jehovah threw Sisera and his army into confusion, and, like a terrible champion fighting in front of Israel, smote him without quarter, Sisera sprang from his chariot to save himself, and fled on foot; but Barak pursued the routed foe to Harosheth, and completely destroyed them. "All Sisera's army fell by the edge of the sword; there remained not even to one," i.e., not a single man.
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