Jael
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Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary
Jael

he that ascends; a kid

Smith's Bible Dictionary
Jael

(mountain goat), the wife of Heber the Kenite. (B.C. 1316.) In the headlong rout which followed the defeat of the Canaanites by Barak, at Megiddo on the plain of Esdraelon, Sisera, their general, fled to the tent of the Kenite chieftainess, at Kedesh in Naphtali, four miles northwest of Lake Merom. He accepted Jael's invitation to enter, and she flung a mantle over him as he lay wearily on the floor. When thirst prevented sleep, and he asked for water, she brought him buttermilk in her choicest vessel. At last, with a feeling of perfect security, he feel into a deep sleep. Then it was that Jael took one of the great wooden pins which fastened down the cords of the tent, and with one terrible blow with a mallet dashed it through Sisera's temples deep into the earth. (Judges 5:27) She then waited to meet the pursuing Barak, and led him into her tent that she might in his presence claim the glory of the deed! Many have supposed that by this act she fulfilled the saying of Deborah, (Judges 4:9) and hence they have supposed that Jael was actuated by some divine and hidden influence. But the Bible gives no hint of such an inspiration.

ATS Bible Dictionary
Jael

Wife of Heber the Kenite, slew Sisera, general of the Canaanitish army, who had fled to her tent, which was then temporarily on the western border of the plain of Esdraelon. Jael took her opportunity, and while he was sleeping, drove a large nail or tent-pin through his temples, Jud 4:17-23. The life of Sisera was undoubtedly forfeited to the Israelites by the usages of war, and probably to society by his crimes. Besides this, the life or honor of Jael may have been in danger, or her feelings of hospitality may have been overpowered by a sudden impulse to avenge the oppressed Israelites, with whom she was allied by blood. The song of Deborah celebrates the act as one of justice and heroism, and as a divine judgement which, as well as the defeat of Sisera's host, was the more disgraceful to him for being wrought by a woman, Jud 5:1; 21:25,25.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Mountain-goat, the wife of Heber the Kenite (Judges 4:17-22). When the Canaanites were defeated by Barak, Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, fled and sought refuge with the friendly tribe of Heber, beneath the oaks of Zaanaim. As he drew near, Jael invited him to enter her tent. He did so, and as he lay wearied on the floor he fell into a deep sleep. She then took in her left hand one of the great wooden pins ("nail") which fastened down the cords of the tent, and in her right hand the mallet, or "hammer," used for driving it into the ground, and stealthily approaching her sleeping guest, with one well-directed blow drove the nail through his temples into the earth (Judges 5:27). She then led Barak, who was in pursuit, into her tent, and boastfully showed him what she had done. (see SISERA; DEBORAH.)
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
JAEL

ja'-el (ya`el, "a wild or mountain goat," as in Psalm 104:18; Iael): The wife of Heber the Kenite and the slayer of Sisera (Judges 4:17-22; Judges 5:2-31). Jael emerges from obscurity by this single deed, and by the kindest construction can hardly be said to have reached an enviable fame. The history of this event is clear. For years Jabin the king of Canaan had oppressed Israel. For twenty years the Israelites had been subject to him, and, in largest measure, the instrument of their subjugation had been Sisera, the king's general, the "man of the iron chariots." Deborah, a prophetess of Israel, by her passion for freedom, had roused the tribes of Israel to do battle against Sisera. They defeated him at "Taanach by the waters of Megiddo," but Sisera sought in flight to save himself. He came to the "oaks of the wanderers," where the tribe of Heber lived. Here he sought, and was probably invited, to take shelter in the tent of Jael (Judges 4:17-18). There are two accounts of the subsequent events-one a prose narrative (Judges 4:19-22), the other a poetic one, found in Deborah's song of triumph (Judges 5:24-27). The two accounts are as nearly in agreement as could be expected, considering their difference in form.

It is evident that the tribe of Heber was regarded by both parties to the struggle as being neutral. They were descendants of Jethro, and hence, had the confidence of the Israelites. Though they had suffered somewhat at the hands of the Canaanites they had made a formal contract of peace with Jabin. Naturally Sisera could turn to the tents of Heber in Kedesh-naphtali with some confidence. The current laws of hospitality gave an added element of safety. Whether Jael met Sisera and urged him to enter her tent and rest (Judges 4:18), or only invited him after his appeal for refuge, the fact remains that he was her guest, was in the sanctuary of her home, and protected by the laws of hospitality: She gave him milk to drink, a mantle for covering, and apparently acquiesced in his request that she should stand guard at the tent and deny his presence to any pursuers. When sleep came to the wearied fugitive she took a "tent-pin, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the pin into his temples" (Judges 4:21), and having murdered him, goes forth to meet Barak the Israelite general and claims the credit for her deed. Some critics suggest that Sisera was not asleep when murdered, and thus try to convert Jael's treachery into strategy. But to kill your guest while he is drinking the milk of hospitality is little less culpable than to murder him while asleep. There is no evidence that Sisera offered Jael any insult or violence, and but little probability that she acted under any spiritual or Divine suggestion. It is really impossible to justify Jael's act, though it is not impossible to understand it or properly to appreciate Deborah's approval of the act as found in Judges 5:24. The motive of Jael may have been a mixed one. She may have been a sympathizer with Israel and with the religion of Israel. But the narrative scarcely warrants the interpretation that she felt herself as one called to render "stern justice on an enemy of God" (Expositor's Bible). Jael was unquestionably prudential. Sisera was in flight and Barak in pursuit. Probably her sympathy was with Barak, but certainly reflection would show her that it would not be wisdom to permit Barak to find Sisera in her tent. She knew, too, that death would be Sisera's portion should he be captured-therefore she would kill him and thus cement a friendship with the conqueror.

As to Deborah's praise of Jael (Judges 5:24), there is no call to think that in her hour of triumph she was either capable of or intending to appraise the moral quality of Jael's deed. Her country's enemy was dead and that too at the hand of a woman. The woman who would kill Sisera must be the friend of Israel. Deborah had no question of the propriety of meting out death to a defeated persecutor. Her times were not such as to raise this question. The method of his death mattered little to her, for all the laws of peace were abrogated in the times of war. Therefore Jael was blessed among women by all who loved Israel. Whether Deborah thought her also to be worthy of the blessing of God we may not tell. At any rate there is no need for us to try to justify the treachery of Jael in order to explain the words of Deborah.

C. E. Schenk

Strong's Hebrew
3278. Yael -- a Canaanite woman
... Yael. 3279 . a Canaanite woman. Transliteration: Yael Phonetic Spelling:
(yaw-ale') Short Definition: Jael. ... Jael. The same as ya'el; Jael, a Canaanite -- ...
/hebrew/3278.htm - 6k
Library

The Marvels of Holy Scripture, --Moral and Physical. --Jael's Deed ...
... Seven Sermons. SERMON VII. THE MARVELS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE,"MORAL AND
PHYSICAL."JAEL'S DEED DEFENDED."MIRACLES VINDICATED. Mark 12:24. ...
/.../burgon/inspiration and interpretation/sermon vii the marvels of.htm

Love Makes Suns
... contrast with the tone of fierce enthusiasm for battle which throbs through the
rest of the chant, and with its stern approval of the deed of Jael when she ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture f/love makes suns.htm

Though Many Other Widows came Near to Judith in virtue...
... Barak, as he was bidden, led forth the army; Jael carried off the triumph, for the
prophecy of Deborah fought for her, who in a mystery revealed to us the ...
/.../ambrose/works and letters of st ambrose/chapter viii though many other.htm

Deborah's Song
... Men. In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, In the days of Jael, The highways
were unoccupied, And the travellers walked through byways; The rulers ceased in ...
/.../various/select masterpieces of biblical literature/iv deborahs song.htm

How the Canaanites Brought the Israelites under Slavery for Twenty ...
... At last Sisera, as soon as he saw himself beaten, fled away, and came to a woman
whose name was Jael, a Kenite, who received him, when he desired to be ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 5 how the canaanites.htm

Women who Saved a Nation
... Israel's God. "In the days of Anath's son, Shamgar, In Jael's days the roads
were unused, And travellers walked through byways. Leaders ...
/.../christianbookshelf.org/sherman/the childrens bible/women who saved a nation.htm

The Protevangelium.
... In a similar manner it is said, in the song of Deborah, concerning Jael, "Blessed
above women shall Jael be," Judges 5:24; for this does not imply that all ...
/.../hengstenberg/christology of the old testament/the protevangelium.htm

Inspiration and Interpretation
... SERMON VII. THE MARVELS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE,--MORAL AND PHYSICAL.--JAEL'S DEED
DEFENDED.--MIRACLES VINDICATED. APPENDIX A. APPENDIX B. APPENDIX C. APPENDIX D. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/burgon/inspiration and interpretation/

Subjects of the Sermons.
... p.183. VII"THE MARVELS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE, MORAL AND PHYSICAL"JAEL'S DEED
DEFENDED."MIRACLES VINDICATED p.221. PRAEVENERUNT OCULI ...
/.../burgon/inspiration and interpretation/subjects of the sermons.htm

Sin Slain
... Rev. CH SPURGEON,. At New Park Street, Southwark. "And, behold, as Barak pursued
Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 6 1860/sin slain.htm

Thesaurus
Jael (6 Occurrences)
... As he drew near, Jael invited him to enter her tent. He did so, and as he lay wearied
on the floor he fell into a deep sleep. ... Standard Bible Encyclopedia. JAEL. ...
/j/jael.htm - 14k

Sisera (18 Occurrences)
...Jael, Heber's wife, received him into her tent with apparent hospitality, and "gave
him butter" (ie, lebben, or curdled milk) "in a lordly dish." Having drunk ...
/s/sisera.htm - 17k

Heber (13 Occurrences)
... (2.) The Kenite (Judges 4:11, 17; 5:24), a descendant of Hobab. His wife Jael received
Sisera (qv) into her tent and then killed him. (3.) 1 Chronicles 4:18. ...
/h/heber.htm - 12k

Nail (9 Occurrences)
... 15:3), more especially a tent-peg (Exodus 27:19; 35:18; 38:20), with one of which
Jael (qv) pierced the temples of Sisera (Judges 4:21, 22). ...
/n/nail.htm - 14k

Kenite (9 Occurrences)
... Judges 4:17 However Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of
Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the ...
/k/kenite.htm - 9k

Temples (17 Occurrences)
... Judges 4:21 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 ...
/t/temples.htm - 13k

Tent-pin (4 Occurrences)
... Judges 4:21 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 ...
/t/tent-pin.htm - 7k

Rechabites (4 Occurrences)
... dwelt among them. Moses married a Kenite wife (Judges 1:16), and Jael was
the wife of "Heber the Kenite" (4:17). Saul also showed ...
/r/rechabites.htm - 13k

Pin (10 Occurrences)
... Judges 4:21 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 ...
/p/pin.htm - 13k

Peg (8 Occurrences)
... Judges 4:21 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 ...
/p/peg.htm - 9k

Concordance
Jael (6 Occurrences)

Judges 4:17
However Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)

Judges 4:18
Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, "Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; don't be afraid." He came in to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)

Judges 4:21
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.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)

Judges 4:22
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." He came to her; and behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent peg was in his temples.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)

Judges 5:6
"In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied. The travelers walked through byways.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)

Judges 5:24
"Jael shall be blessed above women, the wife of Heber the Kenite; blessed shall she be above women in the tent.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)

Subtopics

Jael

Jael: Wife of Heber, and the One Who Killed Sisera

Related Terms

Sisera (18 Occurrences)

Heber (13 Occurrences)

Nail (9 Occurrences)

Kenite (9 Occurrences)

Temples (17 Occurrences)

Tent-pin (4 Occurrences)

Rechabites (4 Occurrences)

Pin (10 Occurrences)

Peg (8 Occurrences)

Deborah (10 Occurrences)

Barak (14 Occurrences)

Mantle (35 Occurrences)

Ja'el (6 Occurrences)

Hospitality (9 Occurrences)

Host (261 Occurrences)

You're (8 Occurrences)

Quietly (30 Occurrences)

Zaanaim (1 Occurrence)

Unoccupied (4 Occurrences)

Jadon (1 Occurrence)

Jabin (8 Occurrences)

Gently (19 Occurrences)

Weariness (44 Occurrences)

Winding (4 Occurrences)

Fasteneth (2 Occurrences)

Friendly (17 Occurrences)

Travelers (6 Occurrences)

Travellers (8 Occurrences)

Rechab (13 Occurrences)

Roundabout (3 Occurrences)

Roads (34 Occurrences)

Rug (1 Occurrence)

Exhausted (26 Occurrences)

Deserted (54 Occurrences)

Milk (66 Occurrences)

Paths (65 Occurrences)

Pursuit (35 Occurrences)

Pierced (63 Occurrences)

Pursuing (50 Occurrences)

Byways (2 Occurrences)

By-ways (1 Occurrence)

Bowl (44 Occurrences)

Crooked (31 Occurrences)

Coverlet (3 Occurrences)

Anath (4 Occurrences)

Abandoned (45 Occurrences)

Fastened (43 Occurrences)

Swooned (3 Occurrences)

Softly (10 Occurrences)

Striketh (19 Occurrences)

Shamgar (2 Occurrences)

Seekest (12 Occurrences)

Weary (77 Occurrences)

Heber's (1 Occurrence)

Picked (43 Occurrences)

Covereth (61 Occurrences)

Blessings (45 Occurrences)

Hazor (19 Occurrences)

Pursued (75 Occurrences)

Hammer (15 Occurrences)

Searching (111 Occurrences)

Secretly (104 Occurrences)

Asleep (50 Occurrences)

Judges (117 Occurrences)

Seized (118 Occurrences)

Turneth (249 Occurrences)

Walked (178 Occurrences)

Fled (181 Occurrences)

Dieth (192 Occurrences)

Relationships (1 Occurrence)

Clan (96 Occurrences)

Relations (92 Occurrences)

Stretched (234 Occurrences)

Sleep (136 Occurrences)

Driving (144 Occurrences)

Highways (14 Occurrences)

Fallen (233 Occurrences)

Covered (325 Occurrences)

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