Chapter 2

  1. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the Lord their God, and served Baalim and the groves. Therefore, the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the children of Israel served Chushan-Rishathaim eight years. And when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them — even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. And the spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel and went out to war. And the Lord delivered Chushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand, and his hand prevailed against Chushan-Rishathaim. And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.
  2. And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord. And the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord. And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees. So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. But when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a left-handed man. And by him, the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab. But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh. And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab. And Eglon was a very fat man. And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bore the present. But he himself turned again from the idols that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto you, O king — who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him. And Ehud came unto him, and he was sitting in a summer parlor which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto you. And he arose out of his seat. And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly. And the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly, and the waste came out. Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlor upon him, and locked them. When he was gone out, his servants came. And when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlor were locked, they said, Surely he covers his feet in his summer chamber. And they waited until they were ashamed, and behold, he opened not the doors of the parlor. Therefore, they took a key and opened them, and behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth. And Ehud escaped while they waited, and passed beyond the idols, and escaped unto Seirah. And it came to pass, when he had come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them. And he said unto them, Follow after me, for the Lord has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over. And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all robust and all men of valor. And there escaped not a man. So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest eighty years.
  3. And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad, and he also delivered Israel. And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord when Ehud was dead. And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor, the captain of whose host was Sisera, who dwelled in Harosheth of the gentiles.
  4. And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, for he had nine hundred chariots of iron and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel. And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelled under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Beth-el in Mount Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-Naphtali, and said unto him, Has not the Lord God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? And I will draw unto you, to the river Kishon, Sisera the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude, and I will deliver him into your hand. And Barak said unto her, If you will go with me, then I will go. But if you will not go with me, then I will not go. And she said, I will surely go with you, notwithstanding the journey that you take shall not be for your honor, for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh, and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet, and Deborah went up with him.
  5. Now Heber the Kenite, who was of the children of Hobab, the father-in-law of Moses, had severed himself from the Kenites and pitched his tent unto the plain of Zaanannim, which is by Kedesh.
  6. And they showed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to Mount Tabor. And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the gentiles unto the river of Kishon. And Deborah said unto Barak, Up, for this is the day in which the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hand. Is not the Lord gone out before you? So Barak went down from Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. And the Lord routed Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak, so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot and fled away on his feet. But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the gentiles. And all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword, and there was not a man left.
  7. Nevertheless, Sisera fled away on his feet 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. And Jael went out to meet Sisera and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her, into the tent, she covered him with a mantle. And he said unto her, Give me, I pray you, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man does come and inquire of you and say, Is there any man here? — that you shall say, No. Then Jael, Heber’s wife, took a nail of the tent, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground — for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will show you the man whom you seek. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples. So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. And the hand of the children of Israel prospered and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.
  8. Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying, Praise you the Lord for the avenging of Israel when the people willingly offered themselves. Hear, O you kings, give ear, O you princes; I, even I, will sing unto the Lord. I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.
  9. Lord, when you went out of Seir, when you marched out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled and the heavens dropped; the clouds also dropped water. The mountains melted from before the Lord, even that Sinai from before the Lord God of Israel.
  10. In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied and the travelers walked through byways. The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until I, Deborah, arose, that I arose a mother in Israel. They chose new gods, then was war in the gates. Was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel? My heart is toward the governors of Israel that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless the Lord.
  11. Speak, you that ride on white asses, you that sit in judgment and walk by the way. They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the Lord, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel. Then shall the people of the Lord go down to the gates. Awake, awake, Deborah, awake, awake, utter a song. Arise, Barak, and take captive your captors, you son of Abinoam.
  12. Then he made him that remained have dominion over the nobles among the people. The Lord made me have dominion over the mighty. Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after you, Benjamin, among your people. Out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer. And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah, even Issachar and also Barak. He was sent on foot into the valley, for the divisions of Reuben, there were great thoughts of heart. Why did you abide among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben, there were great searchings of heart. Gilead stayed beyond Jordan. And why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the seashore, and stayed in his shoreline breaks. Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that risked their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.
  13. The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money. They fought from heaven, the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, you have trodden down strength. Then were the horse hooves broken by the means of the galloping, the galloping of their mighty ones. Curse Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse bitterly the inhabitants thereof because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.
  14. Blessed above women shall Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, be; blessed shall she be above women in the tent. He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish. She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen’s hammer. And with the hammer she smote Sisera; she smote off his head when she had pierced and stricken through his temples. At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down. At her feet he bowed, he fell. Where he bowed, there he fell down dead.
  15. The mother of Sisera looked out at a window, and cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why delay the wheels of his chariots? Her wise ladies answered her, yea, she returned answer to herself, Have they not succeeded? Have they not divided the prey? To every man a damsel or two, to Sisera a prey of diverse colors, a prey of diverse colors of needlework, of diverse colors of needlework on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil?
  16. So let all your enemies perish, O Lord, but let them that love him be as the sun when he goes forth in his might.
  17. And the land had rest forty years.