Judges 5

The Song of Deborah and Barak

Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying,

“For [a]the leaders leading in Israel,
For the people volunteering,
Bless the Lord!
Hear, you kings; listen, you dignitaries!
I myself—to the Lord, I myself will sing,
I will sing praise to the Lord, the God of Israel!
Lord, when You went out from Seir,
When You marched from the field of Edom,
The earth quaked, the heavens also dripped,
The clouds also dripped water.
The mountains [b]flowed with water at the presence of the Lord,
This Sinai, at the presence of the Lord, the God of Israel.

“In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath,
In the days of Jael, the roads [c]were deserted,
And travelers went by [d]roundabout ways.
The [e]peasantry came to an end, they came to an end in Israel,
Until I, Deborah, arose,
Until I arose, a mother in Israel.
New gods were chosen;
Then war was in the gates.
Not a shield or a spear was seen
Among forty thousand in Israel.
My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel,
The volunteers among the people;
Bless the Lord!
10 You who ride on [f]white donkeys,
You who sit on rich carpets,
And you who travel on the road—shout in praise!
11 At the sound of those who distribute water among the watering places,
There they will recount the righteous deeds of the Lord,
The righteous deeds for His [g]peasantry in Israel.
Then the people of the Lord went down to the gates.

12 “Awake, awake, Deborah;
Awake, awake, [h]sing a song!
Arise, Barak, and lead away your captives, son of Abinoam.
13 Then survivors came down to the nobles;
The people of the Lord came down to me as warriors.
14 From Ephraim those whose root is in Amalek came down,
Following you, Benjamin, with your peoples;
From Machir commanders came down,
And from Zebulun those who wield the staff of [i]office.
15 And the [j]princes of Issachar were with Deborah;
As was Issachar, so was Barak;
Into the valley they rushed at his [k]heels;
Among the divisions of Reuben
There were great determinations of heart.
16 Why did you sit among the [l]sheepfolds,
To hear the piping for the flocks?
Among the divisions of Reuben
There were great searchings of heart.
17 Gilead [m]remained across the Jordan;
And why did Dan stay on ships?
Asher sat at the seashore,
And [n]remained by its landings.
18 Zebulun was a people who risked their lives,
And Naphtali too, on the high places of the field.

19 “The kings came and fought;
Then the kings of Canaan fought
At Taanach near the waters of Megiddo;
They took no plunder in silver.
20 The stars fought from heaven,
From their paths they fought against Sisera.
21 The torrent of Kishon swept them away,
The ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon.
My soul, march on with strength!
22 Then the horses’ hoofs beat
From the galloping, the galloping of his mighty stallions.
23 ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the Lord,
‘Utterly curse its inhabitants,
Because they did not come to the help of the Lord,
To the help of the Lord against the warriors.’

24 “Most blessed of women is Jael,
The wife of Heber the Kenite;
Most blessed is she of women in the tent.
25 He asked for water, she gave him milk;
In a magnificent bowl she brought him curds.
26 She reached out her hand for the tent peg,
And her right hand for the workmen’s hammer.
Then she struck Sisera, she smashed his head;
And she shattered and pierced his temple.
27 Between her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay;
Between her feet he bowed, he fell;
Where he bowed, there he fell [o]dead.

28 “Out of the window she looked and wailed,
The mother of Sisera through the [p]lattice,
‘Why does his chariot delay in coming?
Why do the [q]hoofbeats of his chariots delay?’
29 Her wise princesses would answer her,
Indeed she repeats her words to herself,
30 ‘Are they not finding, are they not dividing the spoils?
A concubine, two concubines for every warrior;
To Sisera a spoil of dyed cloth,
A spoil of dyed cloth embroidered,
Dyed cloth of double embroidery on the [r]neck of the plunderer?’
31 May all Your enemies perish in this way, Lord;
But may those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might.”

And the land was at rest for forty years.


  1. Judges 5:2 Or the hair hanging free in
  2. Judges 5:5 As in MT; LXX quaked
  3. Judges 5:6 Lit had ceased
  4. Judges 5:6 Lit twisting
  5. Judges 5:7 Or rural dwellers
  6. Judges 5:10 Or tawny
  7. Judges 5:11 Or rural dwellers
  8. Judges 5:12 Lit speak
  9. Judges 5:14 Lit a scribe
  10. Judges 5:15 As in ancient versions; MT My princes
  11. Judges 5:15 Lit feet
  12. Judges 5:16 Or saddlebags
  13. Judges 5:17 Or dwelt
  14. Judges 5:17 Or dwelt
  15. Judges 5:27 Lit destroyed
  16. Judges 5:28 Or window
  17. Judges 5:28 Lit steps
  18. Judges 5:30 Lit necks of the spoil