The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Judges
When Aod was dead, Israel would defy the Lord yet again;
and the Lord put them at the mercy of Jabin, the Chanaanite king who ruled in Asor. The chieftain that commanded his army for him was called Sisara, and lived at Haroseth, in the pale of the Gentiles.
Small wonder if the Israelites cried out to the Lord against this king that had nine hundred scythed chariots, and for twenty years had grievously oppressed them.
At this time Israel was ruled by a prophetess called Debbora, the wife of Lapidoth,
that dwelt in the hill-country of Ephraim, between Rama and Bethel, by that palm-tree which long bore her name; here the people of Israel had recourse to her for the settlement of all their disputes.
And now she summoned Barac, son of Abinoem, from Cedes in Nephthali, and gave him a message from the Lord God of Israel: Go and muster an army on mount Thabor, of ten thousand warriors from Nephthali and Zabulon.
Then I will lure Sisara, the chieftain of Jabin’s army, out into the valley of Cison to meet thee, with his chariots and all his forces, and give thee the mastery over them.
If thou wilt go with me, I will go, Barac said, but not without thee.
Go with thee I will, she answered; and yet this part of thine is to win thee no renown. A woman’s hand is to vanquish Sisara. Then she set out with Barac on the journey to Cedes,
where he, with her aid, rallied Zabulon and Nephthali, and took the field with ten thousand fighting men.
(It was near Cedes that Haber the Cinite dwelt; he had separated from his fellow-Cinites, that sprang from Hobab, Moses’ kin by marriage, and lay encamped now at the foot of the valley called Sennim.)
Sisara, then, hearing that Barac, son of Abinoem, had occupied mount Thabor,
mustered his nine hundred chariots and all his men at the valley of Cison.
Bestir thyself, Debbora said to Barac; now it is that the Lord means to put Sisara in thy power; thou hast the Lord himself for thy leader. So Barac with his ten thousand men swept down from mount Thabor,
and when they came to close quarters, the Lord threw Sisara’s chariots and all his force into confusion at their onslaught. Sisara himself dismounted and fled away on foot;
and Barac pursued the routed chariots and troops all the way to Haroseth, till the enemy were slaughtered to the last man.
Sisara, in his flight, made for the tent of Jahel, wife of Haber the Cinite, whose tribe was then at peace with king Jabin of Asor.
And Jahel, going out to meet Sisara, bade him Turn in, my lord, turn in here in safety. So he came into the tent, where she covered him up with a cloak;
and when he asked for a drop of water, to relieve his great thirst, she opened a bottle of milk and gave him some to drink, then covered him up again.
And now Sisara bade her stand there at the tent door; if she were asked by passers-by whether any man was there within, she was to answer, Never a soul.
But Jahel, Haber’s wife, taking one of the tent-pegs and a mallet, too, with her, crept quietly in, put the peg close to his forehead and struck with the mallet, driving it right through his brain into the ground beneath. So he passed from the numbness of sleep into the numbness of death.
It was Barac who came up in pursuit of Sisara; and Jahel went out to meet him. Come in, was her greeting, and I will shew thee the man thou art looking for; and he went in to find Sisara lying there dead, with the peg through his temple.
So the Lord, that day, crushed the pride of the Chanaanite king Jabin before the sons of Israel;
and their strength ever increased, till they beat him down and at last made an end of him.
The Holy Bible