Judges 5:1-31

5 * And Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoʽam sang on that day 2 * “For untrimmed hair in Israel,for ready volunteers, bless Jehovah! 3  Listen, kings; give ear, potentates;I will sing to Jehovah, I!I will make music to Israel’s God Jehovah. 4 * Jehovah, when you came out from Seʽir,when you paced forth from the wolds of Edom,The earth quaked; aye, the heavens tossed;aye, the clouds dripped water, 5 * The mountains streamed at Jehovah’s presence,—this is Sinai,—at the presence of Israel’s God Jehovah. 6 * In the days of Shamgar the son of ʽAnath,in the days of Jaʽel, roads ceasedand wayfarers went by devious roads; 7  Prowess ceased in Israel, ceasedtill you arose, Deborah,till you arose, mother in Israel. 8 * He would choose new gods;then barley bread;Shield was not to be seen, nor spear,among forty thousand in Israel. 9  My heart goes out to the marshals of Israel, whovolunteered among the people;bless Jehovah! 10 * Riders of roan asses, sitters on carpets,walkers by the way, review it! 11 * At the sound of archers between the water-holesthere they shall celebrate Jehovah’s loyal work,his loyal work of prowess in Israel.Then Jehovah’s people went down to the gates! 12 ** Arouse, arouse, Deborah; rouse, rouse, chant your song;up, Barak; take your captives, son of Abinoʽam! 13 ** Then survivors came down for heroes,Jehovah’s people came down for me among champions: 14 ** Out of Ephraim those whose root is in the vale,your brother Benjamin among your kinsfolk;Out of Makir marshals came down,and out of Zebulun wielders of the mustering-baton. 15 ** And the chiefs in Issacar were with Deborah,and Issacar, so Barak;in the vale they poured along at his back.At Reuben’s water-channels great were the resolves of minds. 16  Why did you sit in the fork of the paths to hear thewhistles of the flocks?By Reuben’s water-channels great were the searchings of minds. 17 * Gilead was settled on the other side of the Jordan,and Dan was on foreign ships;Asher was living by the beach,settled at its landings. 18  Zebulun was a people that flouted their lives to die,and Naphtali, on the heights of the range. 19  Kings came, they fought; then fought the kings of the Canaanitesat Taʽanac by the Megiddo Water;no winnings of silver did they take. 20  The stars fought out of the sky,out of their orbits they fought with Sisera. 21 * The Kishon torrent swept them off,streaked with their blood was the Kishon torrent,stout souls were set on their way. 22  Then they pounded the ponies’ heels,his heroes went galloping, galloping. 23  Curse Meroz, says Jehovah’s Angel,curse its inhabitants with a downright curse,Because they did not come to help Jehovah,to help Jehovah among the champions. 24  Most blessed of women be Jaʽelthe wife of Heber the Cainite,of women in tents most blessed: 25  Water he asked, milk she has given,in a noble bowl she has brought clabber. 26  Her hand she puts to the peg,her right hand to the toilers’ mallet,And strikes Sisera, smashes his head,shatters and drives through his temple-bone. 27  Between her legs he plunged, fell, lay;between her legs he plunged, fell;where he plunged, there he fell smitten. 28  At the window, at the lattice,Sisera’s mother stood looking out and talking all the time:‘Why is it his chariotry is so long in coming?why is it the hoofbeats of his chariots are so late?’ 29  The wisest of her ladies answered her,she herself echoed back her words, 30 * ‘O, they are finding booty, dividing it,a slave-girl or two per man,A booty of dyed cloths for Sisera,a booty of dyed cloths, embroidery,a dyed cloth, double embroidery, for my neck—booty!’ 31  So may all your enemies perish, Jehovah!and may those who love him be like the risingof the sun at its brightest!” And the country was quiet forty years.


The song in chapter 5, being very ancient, has many words whose meaning is not now known, and many in which there has been made some mistake in copying that we cannot correct with any probability of being right, as well as many expressions which do not suit our present habits of thought. To make a translation of this song that will all read smoothly, it is necessary to guess wildly in mane places. The translation given here tries to do less wild guessing than is done in the translations heretofore most usual.
5:2 (untrimmed hair) Unc.
5:4 Var. the heavens dripped
5:5 Conj. presence, Sinai shook at the presence of
5:6 Or* caravans ceased
5:8 Or Then would Barley Bread choose new gods; or, retaining the points given in the Hebrew, copies, He would choose new gods; then was war (if that is what the word means) at the gates; conj. God’s sacrifices ceased, barley bread was gone
5:10 (carpets) Unc.
5:11 (archers) Unc.
5:12 Or* take as captives those who took you, son of Abinoʽam
5:12 (rouse, rouse, chant your song) Var. rouse the tens of thousands of your people
5:13 (survivors) Conj. Israel
5:13 (among champions) Or* as champions: var. Jehovah, bring down for me men mightier than I
5:14 (those whose root is) Susp.
5:14 (the vale) Var. ʽAmalek
5:15 Or* the princes in Issacar, the people of Deborah
5:15 Some copies do not have Issacar the second time; conj. Naphtali
5:17 Var. Dan, why was he on foreign ships?
5:21 Unc.; susp.; codd. torrent of brunts, the Kishon torrent; thou treadest, my soul, might
5:30 Var. for his neck; var. omits booty at end; there is probably some mistake in the words; perhaps instead of booty at end of line we ought to have a booty of at the beginning of the line, and arrange the dyed cloths and embroidery so that they and the slave-girls will make three lines with one or two in each line