Michael Bray

Author of A Time To Kill

All Hail Jael!

(Sisera, terminated, Judges 4)

He was the commander of King Jabin’s army (king of Canaan).  He ruled with 900 chariots in Canaan oppressing the Israelites for twenty years. 

In such appalling conditions, a woman, Deborah, was raised up as a prophetess to lead Israel.  Her place of administration was the shade of a palm tree in the hill country of Ephraim; no buildings; no desk.  There, under a palm tree, she would hear the legal cases of the people. 

She called upon a man named Barak to take up arms against the Canaanites; she told him to take 10,000 men from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulus to wage a war against Sisera (v. 6)

Barak said okay on the condition that she go with him.  (It was not necessarily out of amorous inclinations;  he wanted some real military assistance.   She must have been a daunting personality!)  Well, she said okay but noted that the honor would not be his, but would go to her – definitely a woman (v. 9).

In the meantime, Sisera had rounded up his army – 100 chariots and a whole lot of people (v. 13). 

Deborah said to Barak, “Arise!  For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hands” (4:14)

His army was scattered and Sisera ran to the tent of Jael, thinking that he would be protected by the Kenite clan.  Jael (unrecognized by Sisera) greeted him deceitfully and said, “Do not be afraid” and gave him a blanket for sleeping.  Yes, she consoled him and pretended (oh so deceitfully) to be looking out for his safety.  “Then she took a peg and a hammer and drove in INTO HIS TEMPLE right into the GROUND”  (4:21).

All, hail Jael!  (Any wicked in your neighborhood?)

28 Jan., 2021

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