March 19 Reading – Judges 3-5
1 Now these are the nations which Jehovah left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;
2 only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as beforetime knew nothing thereof:
3 namely, the five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baal-hermon unto the entrance of Hamath.
4 And they were left, to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of Jehovah, which he commanded their fathers by Moses.
5 And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites:
6 and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons and served their gods.
7 And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and forgat Jehovah their God, and served the Baalim and the Asheroth.
8 Therefore the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years.
9 And when the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah, Jehovah raised up a saviour to the children of Israel, who saved them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.
10 And the Spirit of Jehovah came upon him, and he judged Israel; and he went out to war, and Jehovah delivered Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand: and his hand prevailed against Cushan-rishathaim.
11 And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.
12 And the children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah: and Jehovah strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah.
13 And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and smote Israel, and they possessed the city of palm-trees.
14 And the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
15 But when the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah, Jehovah raised them up a saviour, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a man left-handed. And the children of Israel sent tribute by him unto Eglon the king of Moab.
16 And Ehud made him a sword which had two edges, a cubit in length; and he girded it under his raiment upon his right thigh.
17 And he offered the tribute unto Eglon king of Moab: now Eglon was a very fat man.
18 And when he had made an end of offering the tribute, he sent away the people that bare the tribute.
19 But he himself turned back from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king. And he said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.
20 And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting by himself alone in the cool upper room. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.
21 And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his body:
22 and the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, for he drew not the sword out of his body; and it came out behind.
23 Then Ehud went forth into the porch, and shut the doors of the upper room upon him, and locked them.
24 Now when he was gone out, his servants came; and they saw, and, behold, the doors of the upper room were locked; and they said, Surely he is covering his feet in the upper chamber.
25 And they tarried till they were ashamed; and, behold, he opened not the doors of the upper room: therefore they took the key, and opened them, and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.
26 And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirah.
27 And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the hill-country of Ephraim; and the children of Israel went down with him from the hill-country, and he before them.
28 And he said unto them, Follow after me; for Jehovah hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites, and suffered not a man to pass over.
29 And they smote of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, every lusty man, and every man of valor; and there escaped not a man.
30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.
31 And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who smote of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox-goad: and he also saved Israel.
1 And the children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, when Ehud was dead.
2 And Jehovah sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles.
3 And the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.
4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
5 And she dwelt under the palm-tree of Deborah between Ramah and Beth-el in the hill-country of Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
6 And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-naphtali, and said unto him, Hath not Jehovah, the God of Israel, commanded, saying, Go and draw unto mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?
7 And I will draw unto thee, to the river Kishon, Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thy hand.
8 And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go; but if thou wilt not go with me, I will not go.
9 And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding, the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honor; for Jehovah will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.
10 And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh; and there went up ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.
11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, even from the children of Hobab the brother-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim, which is by Kedesh.
12 And they told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor.
13 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 Kishon.
14 And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which Jehovah hath delivered Sisera into thy hand; is not Jehovah gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.
15 And Jehovah discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot, and fled away on his feet.
16 But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; there was not a man left.
17 Howbeit 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.
18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, Turn in to me; fear not. And he turned in unto her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug.
19 And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.
20 And he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and inquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No.
21 Then Jael Heber’s wife took a tent-pin, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the pin into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep; so he swooned and died.
22 And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will show thee the man whom thou seekest. And he came unto her; and, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent-pin was in his temples.
23 So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel.
24 And the hand of the children of Israel prevailed more and more against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.
1 Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying,
2 For that the leaders took the lead in Israel, For that the people offered themselves willingly, Bless ye Jehovah.
3 Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto Jehovah; I will sing praise to Jehovah, the God of Israel.
4 Jehovah, when thou wentest forth out of Seir, When thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, The earth trembled, the heavens also dropped, Yea, the clouds dropped water.
5 The mountains quaked at the presence of Jehovah, Even yon Sinai at the presence of Jehovah, the God of Israel.
6 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, In the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, And the travellers walked through byways.
7 The rulers ceased in Israel, they ceased, Until that I Deborah arose, That I arose a mother in Israel.
8 They chose new gods; Then was war in the gates: Was there a shield or spear seen Among forty thousand in Israel?
9 My heart is toward the governors of Israel, That offered themselves willingly among the people: Bless ye Jehovah.
10 Tell of it, ye that ride on white asses, Ye that sit on rich carpets, And ye that walk by the way.
11 Far from the noise of archers, in the places of drawing water, There shall they rehearse the righteous acts of Jehovah, [Even] the righteous acts of his rule in Israel. Then the people of Jehovah went down to the gates.
12 Awake, Awake, Deborah; Awake, Awake, utter a song: Arise, Barak, and lead away thy captives, thou son of Abinoam.
13 Then came down a remnant of the nobles [and] the people; Jehovah came down for me against the mighty.
14 Out of Ephraim [came down] they whose root is in Amalek; After thee, Benjamin, among thy peoples; Out of Machir came down governors, And out of Zebulun they that handle the marshal’s staff.
15 And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; As was Issachar, so was Barak; Into the valley they rushed forth at his feet. By the watercourses of Reuben There were great resolves of heart.
16 Why sattest thou among the sheepfolds, To hear the pipings for the flocks? At the watercourses of Reuben There were great searchings of heart.
17 Gilead abode beyond the Jordan: And Dan, why did he remain in ships? Asher sat still at the haven of the sea, And abode by his creeks.
18 Zebulun was a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death, And Naphtali, upon the high places of the field.
19 The kings came and fought; Then fought the kings of Canaan. In Taanach by the waters of Megiddo: They took no gain of money.
20 From heaven fought the stars, From their courses they fought against Sisera.
21 The river Kishon swept them away, That ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, march on with strength.
22 Then did the horsehoofs stamp By reason of the prancings, the prancings of their strong ones.
23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of Jehovah. Curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof, Because they came not to the help of Jehovah, To the help of Jehovah against the mighty.
24 Blessed above women shall Jael be, The wife of Heber the Kenite; Blessed shall she be above women in the tent.
25 He asked water, and she gave him milk; She brought him butter in a lordly dish.
26 She put her hand to the tent-pin, And her right hand to the workmen’s hammer; And with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote through his head; Yea, she pierced and struck through his temples.
27 At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay; At her feet he bowed, he fell; Where he bowed, there he fell down dead.
28 Through the window she looked forth, and cried, The mother of Sisera cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why tarry the wheels of his chariots?
29 Her wise ladies answered her, Yea, she returned answer to herself,
30 Have they not found, have they not divided the spoil? A damsel, two damsels to every man; To Sisera a spoil of dyed garments, A spoil of dyed garments embroidered, Of dyed garments embroidered on both sides, on the necks of the spoil?
31 So let all thine enemies perish, O Jehovah: But let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.
American Standard Version (ASV): Public Domain