Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.
And again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of Yahweh, and Ehud died. So Yahweh sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, and he was living in Harosheth Haggoyim. And the Israelites cried to Yahweh, as he had nine hundred iron chariots, and he oppressed the Israelites cruelly for twenty years.
Now at that time Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel. And she used to sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the Israelites went up to her for judgment. She sent and called for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh Naphtali and said to him, "Has not Yahweh the God of Israel commanded you? ‘Go, march to Mount Tabor, and take ten thousand men from the descendants of Naphtali and Zebulun. I will draw out Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and troops, to the wadi of Kishon, and I will give him into your hand.’" Barak said to her, "If you go with me, I will go; but if you do not go with me, I will not go." She said, "Surely I will go with you; however, there will be no glory for you in the path you are taking, for Yahweh will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman." And Deborah stood up and went with Barak to Kedesh. Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and they went up behind him, ten thousand men, and Deborah went up with him.
And Heber the Kenite was separated from the other Kenites, that is, from the descendants of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses. And he was encamped at Elon-bezaanannim, which is near Kedesh.
When they reported to Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, Sisera summoned all his chariots—all nine hundred chariots of iron—and the entire army that was with him from Harosheth Haggoyim to the wadi of Kishon. And Deborah said to Barak, "Get up! This is the day that Yahweh has given Sisera into your hand. Has Yahweh not gone out before you?" So Barak went out from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. And Yahweh threw Sisera and all his chariots and army into confusion before the edge of Barak’s sword; and Sisera dismounted from his chariot and fled on foot. But Barak pursued after the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim, and all of Sisera’s army fell to the edge of the sword; no one was left.
Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there was peace between Jabin king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. And Jael came out to meet Sisera, and she said to him, "Turn aside, my lord; turn aside to me and do not be afraid." So he turned aside into her tent, and she covered him with a blanket. And he said to her, "Please, give me a drink of water, because I am thirsty." So she opened a skin vessel of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. And he said to her, "Stand at the doorway of the tent, and if anyone comes and asks you, and says, ‘Is there anyone here?’ You must answer, ‘No.’" But Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, took in her hand a tent peg and a hammer, and she went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through into the ground; he was fast asleep since he was exhausted, and he died. And behold, Barak was pursuing Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him, and she said to him, "Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking." And he came with her and saw that Sisera was lying dead with the peg in his temple. On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites. And the hand of the Israelites pressed harder and harder on Jabin king of Canaan, until they destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.
And Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang on that day:
"When long hair hangs loosely in Israel,
when the people willingly offer themselves,
Hear, O kings! Give ear, O princes!
I will sing to Yahweh;
I will sing praise to Yahweh,
the God of Israel.
Yahweh, when you went down from Seir,
when you marched from the region of Edom,
the earth trembled, the heavens poured down,
the clouds poured down water.
The mountains trembled before Yahweh,
this Sinai, at the presence of Yahweh, the God of Israel.
"In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
in the days of Jael, the caravans had ceased,
the travelers, they kept to the byways.
The warriors ceased;
they failed to appear in Israel,
until I, Deborah, arose;
I arose as a mother in Israel.
God chose new leaders,
then war was at the gates;
a small shield or a spear was not seen
among forty thousand in Israel.
My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel,
those offering themselves willingly among the people;
The riders of white female donkeys,
those sitting on saddle blankets,
and those going on the way, talk about it!
At the sound of those dividing the sheep
among the watering places,
there they will recount the righteous deeds of Yahweh,
the righteous deeds for his warriors in Israel.
Then the people of Yahweh went down to the gates.
"Wake up, wake up, Deborah!
Wake up, wake up, sing a song!
Get up, Barak!
Take captive your captives, O son of Abinoam.
Then the remnant went down to the nobles;
the people of Yahweh went down for him against the mighty.
From Ephraim is their root into Amalek,
after you, Benjamin, with your family;
from Makir the commanders went down,
and from Zebulun those carrying the scepter
of the military commander.
And the chiefs in Issachar were with Deborah;
and Issachar likewise was with Barak;
into the valley he was sent to get him from behind.
Among the clans of Reuben
were great decisions of the heart.
Why do you sit among the sheepfolds,
to hear the calling sounds of the herds?
For the clans of Reuben,
there were great searchings of the heart.
Gilead has remained beyond the Jordan.
Why did Dan dwell as a foreigner with ships?
Asher sat at the coast of the waters,
and by his coves he has been settling down.
Zebulun is a people who scorned death,
and Naphtali, on the heights of the field.
"The kings came, they fought;
then the kings of Canaan fought;
at Taanach by the waters of Megiddo,
they got no plunder in silver.
The stars fought from heaven;
from their courses they fought against Sisera.
The wadi torrent of Kishon swept them away,
the raging wadi torrent,
the wadi torrent of Kishon.
March on, my soul, with strength!
"Then the hooves of the horse beat loudly,
because of galloping, galloping of his stallions.
‘Curse Meroz,’ says the angel of Yahweh;
‘curse bitterly its inhabitants,
because they did not come to the help of Yahweh,
to the help of Yahweh against the mighty.’
"Most blessed of women is Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite;
most blessed is she of women among tent dwellers.
He asked for water, and she gave milk;
in a drinking bowl for nobles, she brought curds.
She reached out her hand to the peg,
and her right hand for the workman’s hammer;
and she struck Sisera, crushed his head,
and she shattered and pierced his temple.
Between her feet he sank, he fell, he lay.
Between her feet he sank down, he fell;
Where he sank down, there he fell—dead.
"Through the window she looked down;
the mother of Sisera cried out through the lattice,
‘Why is his chariot delayed in coming?
Why do the hoof beats of his chariot tarry?’
The wisest of her ladies answer her;
she also answers the question herself:
‘Are they not finding and dividing the plunder?
A bedmate or two bedmates for every man;
colorful garments for Sisera,
plunder of colorful garments,
beautifully finished colorful garments,
on the neck of the plunderer?’
So may all your enemies perish, O Yahweh,
but those who love him are like the rising sun at its brightest."
And the land had rest for forty years.
The Israelites did evil in the eyes of Yahweh, and Yahweh gave them into the hand of the Midianites for seven years. The hand of the Midianites prevailed over Israel; because of the presence of the Midianites, the Israelites made for themselves hiding places that were in the mountains, caves, and strongholds. And whenever Israel sowed seed, the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people of the east would come up against them. They would camp against them and destroy the produce of the land as far as Gaza; they left no produce in Israel, or sheep, ox, or donkey. For they, their livestock, and their tents would come up like a great number of locusts; they and their camels could not be counted; they came into the land and devoured it. Israel was very poor because of the presence of the Midianites, and the Israelites cried out to Yahweh.
When the Israelites cried out to Yahweh on account of the Midianites, Yahweh sent a prophet to the Israelites, and he said to them, "Thus says Yahweh the God of Israel: ‘I brought you up from Egypt; I brought you from the house of slavery. I delivered you from the hand of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors, and drove them out from before you; and I gave you their land. And I said to you, ‘I am Yahweh your God; do not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.’ But you have not listened to my voice."
The angel of Yahweh came and sat under the oak that was at Ophrah that belonged to Jehoash the Abiezrite; and Gideon his son was threshing wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. The angel of Yahweh appeared to him and said to him, "Yahweh is with you, you mighty warrior." Gideon said to him, "Excuse me, my lord. If Yahweh is with us, why then has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonderful deeds that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not Yahweh bring us up from Egypt?’ But now Yahweh has forsaken us; he has given us into the palm of Midian." And Yahweh turned to him and said, "Go in this your strength, and you will deliver Israel from the palm of Midian. Did I not send you?" He said to him, "Excuse me, my lord. How will I deliver Israel? Look, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house." And Yahweh said to him, "But I will be with you, and you will defeat Midian as if they are one man." And he said to him, "Please, if I have found favor in your eyes, show me a sign that you are speaking with me. Please, do not depart from here until I come back to you and bring out my gift and set it out before you." And he said, "I will stay until you return."
And Gideon went and prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour; he put meat in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and he brought them to him under the oak and presented them. The angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and the unleavened cakes and put them on this rock; pour the broth over it." And he did so. Then the angel of Yahweh reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand, and he touched the meat and the unleavened cakes; and fire went up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of Yahweh went from his sight. And Gideon realized that he was the angel of Yahweh; and Gideon said, "Oh, my lord Yahweh! For now I have seen the angel of Yahweh face to face." And Yahweh said to him, "Peace be with you. Do not fear; you will not die." And Gideon built there an altar to Yahweh, and he called it "Yahweh is peace." To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
Now on that same night Yahweh said to him, "Take the bull of the cattle that belongs to your father, and a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it; and build an altar to Yahweh your God on the top of this stronghold in the proper arrangement, and take a second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you will cut down. Gideon took ten men from his servants, and he did just as Yahweh told him; and because he was too afraid of his father’s family and the men of the city to do it during the day, he did it during night.
When the men of the city got up early in the morning, look, the altar of Baal and the Asherah that was beside it were cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar that had been built. And they said to one another, "Who did this thing?" So they searched and inquired, and they said, "Gideon son of Jehoash did this thing." And the men of the city said to Jehoash, "Bring out your son so that he may die, for he has pulled down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah that was beside it." But Jehoash said to all who stood against him, "Will you contend for Baal? Will you rescue him? Whoever contends for him will be put to death by the morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself because his altar has been pulled down." Thus, on that day he was called Jerub-Baal, which means, "Let Baal contend against him," because he had pulled down his altar.
Then all the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people of the east gathered together and crossed the Jordan; and they camped in the valley of Jezreel. So the Spirit of Yahweh took possession of Gideon, and he blew on the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called to follow him. He sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and they were also called to follow him; and he sent messengers throughout Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they went up to meet them.
Then Gideon said to God, "In order to see that you will deliver Israel by my hand, just as you have said, I will place a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and all of the ground is dry, I will know that you will deliver Israel by my hand, just as you have said." And it was so. He arose early the next day and squeezed the fleece, and he wrung out dew from the fleece, a full drinking bowl of water. And Gideon said to God, "Do not let your anger burn against me; let me speak once more. Please let me test once more with the fleece; let the fleece be dry, and let there be dew on the ground." And God did so that night; only the fleece was dry, and dew was on all the ground.
And he looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the contribution box, and he saw a certain poor widow putting in there two small copper coins. And he said, "Truly I say to you that this poor widow put in more than all of them. For these all put gifts into the offering out of their abundance, but this woman out of her poverty put in all the means of subsistence that she had."
And while some were speaking about the temple, that it was adorned with precious stones and votive offerings, he said, "As for these things that you see—days will come in which not one stone will be left on another stone that will not be thrown down!"
And they asked him, saying, "Teacher, when therefore will these things happen, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?" And he said, Watch out that you are not deceived! For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them! And when you hear about wars and insurrections, do not be terrified, for these things must happen first, but the end will not be at once." Then he said to them, "nation will rise up against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and famines and plagues in various places. There will be terrible sights and great signs from heaven.
"But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will turn out to you for a time of witness. Therefore make up your minds not to prepare in advance to speak in your own defense, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom that all your opponents will not be able to resist or contradict. And you will be handed over even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put to death some of you. And you will be hated by all because of my name. Even a hair of your head will never perish! By your patient endurance you will gain your lives.
"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside it must depart, and those in the fields must not enter into it, because these are days of vengeance, so that all the things that are written can be fulfilled. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people, and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
"And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity from the noise of the sea and its surging, people fainting from fear and expectation of what is coming on the inhabited earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man arriving in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to happen, stand up straight and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near!"
And he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they put out foliage, now you see for yourselves and know that by this time the summer is near. So also you, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you that this generation will never pass away until all things take place! Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
"But take care for yourselves, lest your hearts are weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of daily life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who reside on the face of the whole earth. But be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to happen, and to stand before the Son of Man."
So throughout the days he was teaching in the temple courts, and throughout the nights he was going out and spending the night on the hill that is called the Mount of Olives. And all the people were getting up very early in the morning to come to him in the temple courts to listen to him.