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ESV — Chronological: Day 91
91
Reading
Judges 3-5

pNow these are the nations that the Lord left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan. It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before. These are the nations: qthe five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. They were for rthe testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. So the people of Israel lived samong the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. tAnd their daughters they took to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they served their gods.

Othniel

uAnd the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and vthe Asheroth. Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, wand he sold them into the hand of xCushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. But when the people of Israel ycried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a zdeliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, aOthniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. 10 bThe Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. And his hand prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. 11 cSo the land had rest forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

Ehud

12 dAnd the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord strengthened Eglon ethe king of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 13 He gathered to himself the Ammonites and the fAmalekites, and went and defeated Israel. And they took possession of gthe city of palms. 14 And the people of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

15 Then the people of Israel hcried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up for them ha deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, ia left-handed man. The people of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab. 16 And Ehud made for himself a sword with two edges, a cubit1 in length, and he bound it on his right thigh under his clothes. 17 And he presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18 And when Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he sent away the people who carried the tribute. 19 But he himself turned back jat the idols near Gilgal and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” And he commanded, “Silence.” And all his attendants went out from his presence. 20 And Ehud came to him as he was sitting alone in his kcool roof chamber. lAnd Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” And he arose from his seat. 21 And Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly. 22 And the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not pull the sword out of his belly; and the dung came out. 23 Then Ehud went out into the porch2 and closed the doors of the roof chamber behind him mand locked them.

24 When he had gone, the servants came, and when they saw that the doors of the roof chamber were locked, they thought, n“Surely he is relieving himself in the closet of the cool chamber.” 25 And they waited till they were embarrassed. But when he still did not open the doors of the roof chamber, they took the key and opened them, and there lay their lord dead on the floor.

26 Ehud escaped while they delayed, and he passed beyond othe idols and escaped to Seirah. 27 When he arrived, phe sounded the trumpet in qthe hill country of Ephraim. Then the people of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he was their leader. 28 And he said to them, “Follow after me, rfor the Lord has given your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” So they went down after him and seized sthe fords of the Jordan against the Moabites and did not allow anyone to pass over. 29 And they killed at that time about 10,000 of the Moabites, all strong, able-bodied men; not a man escaped. 30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. tAnd the land had rest for eighty years.

Shamgar

31 After him was uShamgar the son of Anath, who killed 600 of the Philistines vwith an oxgoad, and he also wsaved Israel.

Deborah and Barak

xAnd the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died. And the Lord ysold them into the hand of zJabin king of Canaan, who reigned in zHazor. The commander of his army was aSisera, who lived in bHarosheth-hagoyim. Then the people of Israel ccried out to the Lord for help, for he had d900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years.

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in ethe hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. She sent and summoned fBarak the son of Abinoam from gKedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount hTabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin's army, to meet you by ithe river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, jand I will give him into your hand’?” Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” And she said, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will ksell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 And Barak called out lZebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. And 10,000 men went up at his heels, and Deborah went up with him.

11 Now Heber mthe Kenite had separated from the Kenites, the descendants of nHobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the oak in oZaanannim, which is near Kedesh.

12 When Sisera was told that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 Sisera called out all his chariots, p900 chariots of iron, and all the men who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon. 14 And Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which qthe Lord has given Sisera into your hand. rDoes not the Lord go out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. 15 sAnd the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army before Barak by the edge of the sword. And Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16 And Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left.

17 But Sisera fled away on foot 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. 18 And Jael came out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord; turn aside to me; do not be afraid.” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19 And he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened ta skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. 20 And he said to her, “Stand at the opening of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, ‘Is anyone here?’ say, ‘No.’” 21 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. 22 And behold, as Barak was pursuing Sisera, Jael went out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” So he went in to her tent, and there lay Sisera dead, with the tent peg in his temple.

23 uSo on that day God subdued Jabin the king of Canaan before the people of Israel. 24 And the hand of the people of Israel pressed harder and harder against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.

The Song of Deborah and Barak

vThen sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day:

“That the leaders took the lead in Israel,

that wthe people offered themselves willingly,

bless the Lord!

“Hear, O kings; give ear, O princes;

to the Lord I will sing;

I will make melody to the Lord, the God of Israel.

Lord, xwhen you went out from Seir,

when you marched from the region of Edom,

ythe earth trembled

and the heavens dropped,

yes, the clouds dropped water.

The mountains zquaked before the Lord,

aeven Sinai before the Lord, the God of Israel.

“In the days of bShamgar, son of Anath,

in the days of cJael, dthe highways were abandoned,

and travelers kept to the byways.

The villagers ceased in Israel;

they ceased to be until I arose;

I, Deborah, arose as a mother in Israel.

eWhen new gods were chosen,

then war was in the gates.

fWas shield or spear to be seen

among forty thousand in Israel?

My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel

who goffered themselves willingly among the people.

Bless the Lord.

10  “Tell of it, hyou who ride on white donkeys,

you who sit on rich carpets3

and you who walk by the way.

11  To the sound of musicians4 at the watering places,

there they repeat the righteous triumphs of the Lord,

the righteous triumphs of his villagers in Israel.

“Then down to the gates marched the people of the Lord.

12  i“Awake, awake, Deborah!

Awake, awake, break out in a song!

Arise, Barak, jlead away your captives,

O son of Abinoam.

13  Then down marched the remnant of the noble;

the people of the Lord marched down for me against the mighty.

14  From kEphraim their root lthey marched down into the valley,5

following you, Benjamin, with your kinsmen;

from mMachir marched down the commanders,

and from Zebulun those who bear the lieutenant's6 staff;

15  the princes of Issachar came with Deborah,

and Issachar faithful to nBarak;

into the valley they rushed at his heels.

Among the clans of Reuben

there were great searchings of heart.

16  Why did you sit still oamong the sheepfolds,

to hear the whistling for the flocks?

Among the clans of Reuben

there were great searchings of heart.

17  pGilead stayed beyond the Jordan;

qand Dan, why did he stay with the ships?

rAsher sat still sat the coast of the sea,

staying by his landings.

18  tZebulun is a people who risked their lives to the death;

tNaphtali, too, on the heights of the field.

19  “The kings came, they fought;

then fought the kings of Canaan,

at uTaanach, by the waters of vMegiddo;

wthey got no spoils of silver.

20  xFrom heaven the stars fought,

from their courses they fought against Sisera.

21  yThe torrent Kishon swept them away,

the ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon.

March on, my soul, with might!

22  “Then loud beat the horses' hoofs

with the galloping, galloping of his steeds.

23  “Curse Meroz, says the angel of the Lord,

curse its inhabitants thoroughly,

zbecause they did not come to the help of the Lord,

to the help of the Lord against the mighty.

24  “Most blessed of women be aJael,

the wife of Heber the Kenite,

of tent-dwelling women most blessed.

25  bHe asked for water and she gave him milk;

she brought him curds in a noble's bowl.

26  cShe sent her hand to the tent peg

and her right hand to the workmen's mallet;

she struck Sisera;

she crushed his head;

she shattered and pierced his temple.

27  Between her feet

he sank, he fell, he lay still;

between her feet

he sank, he fell;

where he sank,

there he fell—dead.

28  d“Out of the window she peered,

the mother of Sisera wailed through ethe lattice:

‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?

Why tarry the hoofbeats of his chariots?’

29  Her wisest princesses answer,

indeed, she answers herself,

30  ‘Have they not found and fdivided the spoil?—

A womb or two for every man;

spoil of dyed materials for Sisera,

spoil of dyed materials embroidered,

two pieces of dyed work embroidered for the neck as spoil?’

31  g“So may all your enemies perish, O Lord!

But your friends be hlike the sun ias he rises in his might.”

jAnd the land had rest for forty years.

Footnotes

[1] 3:16 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
[2] 3:23 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[3] 5:10 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain; it may connote saddle blankets
[4] 5:11 Or archers; the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[5] 5:14 Septuagint; Hebrew in Amalek
[6] 5:14 Hebrew commander's