THE SONG OF DEBORAH
On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:
When the princes in Israel take the lead,
when the people willingly offer themselves -
praise the LORD!
Hear this, you kings!Listen, you rulers!
I will sing to the Lord, I will sing;
I will make music to the Lord, the God of Israel.
O Lord, when you went out from Seir,
when you marched nfrom the land of Edom,
the earth shook, the heavens poured,
the clouds poured down water.
The mountains quaked before the Lord, One of Sinai,
before the Lord, the God of Israel.
In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
in the days of Jael, the roads were abandoned;
travelers took to winding paths.
Village life in Israel ceased,
ceased until I, Deborah, arose,
arose a mother in Israel.
When they chose new gods,
war came to the city gates,
and not a shield or spear was seen
among forty thousand in Israel.
My heart the willing volunteers among the people.
Praise the LORD!
You who ride on white donkeys,
sitting on your saddle blankets,
and you who walk along the road,
consider the voice of the singers at the watering places.
They recite the righteous acts of warriors in Israel.
Then the people of the LORD
went down to the city gates.
Wake up, make up, break out in song!
Arise, O Barak!
Take captive your captives, O son of Abinoam.
Then the men who were left
came down to the nobles;
the people of the LORD
came to me with the mighty.
Some came from Ephraim, whose roots were in Amalek;
Benjamin was with the people who followed you.
From Makir captains came down,
from Zebulun those who bear a commander's staff.
The princes of Issachar were with Deborah;
yes, Issachar was with Barak,
rushing after him into the valley.
In the districts of Reuben
there was much searching of heart.
Why did you stay among the campfires
to hear the whistling for the flocks?
In the districts of Reuben
there was much searching of heart
Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan.
And Dan, why did he linger by the ships?
Asher remained on the coast
and stayed in his coves.
The people of Zebulun risked their very lives;
so did Naphtali on the heigts of the field.
Kings came, they fought
at Taanach by the waters of Megiddo
but they carried off no silver, no plunder.
From the heavens the stars fought,
from their courses they fought against Sisera.
The river Kishon swept them away,
the age-old river, the river Kishon.
March on, my soul; be strong!
Then thundered the horses' hoofs -
galloping, galloping go his mighty steeds.
"Curse Meroz," said the angel of the LORD.
"Curse its peoples bitterly,
because they did not come to help the LORD,
to help the LORD,
to help the LORD against the mighty."
Most blessed of women be Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite,
most blessed of tent-dwelling women.
He asked for water, and she gave him milk;
in a bowl fit for nobles she brought him curdled milk.
Her hand reached for the workman's hammer.
She struck Sisera, she crushed his head,
she shattered and pierced his temple.
At her feet he sank,
he fell;there he lay.
At her feet he ank, he fell;
where he sank, there he fell-dead.
Trough the window peered Sisera's mother;
behind the lattice she cried out,
Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why is chariot so long in coming?
Why is the clatter of his chariots delayed?
The wisest of her ladies answer her;
indeed, she keeps saying to herself,
Are they not finding and dividing the spoils:
a girl or two for each man,
colorful garments as plunder for Sisera,
colorful garments embroidered garments for my neck -
all this as plunder?
So may all your enemies perish, O LORD!
But may they who love be like the sun
when it rises in its strength.
Then the land had peace forty years.
Dated at approximately 1200 B.C., Deborah served as a judge at "the palm tree of Deborah" in southern Ephraim between Ramah and Bethel, thereby possibly making her of the tribe of Ephraim, as was Joshua earlier.She was referred to as the "MOTHER OF ISRAEL".