Haftarah for B'shallah
Judges 4.4-5.31Sepharadim begin with 5.1
This translation was taken from the JPS Tanakh
4 Deborah, wife of Lappidoth, was a prophetess; she led Israel at that time. 5 She used to sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would come to her for decisions.
6 She summoned Barak son of Abinoam, of Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, "The Lord, the God of Israel, has commanded: Go, march up to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun. 7 And I will draw Sisera, Jabin's army commander, with his chariots and his troops, toward you up to the Wadi Kishon; and I will deliver him into your hands." 8 But Barak said to her, "If you will go with me, I will go; if not, I will not go." 9 "Very well, I will go with you," she answered. "However, there will be no glory for you in the course you are taking, for then the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman." So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Barak then mustered Zebulun and Naphtali at Kedesh; ten thousand men marched up after him; and Deborah also went up with him.
11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated from the other Kenites, descendants of Hobab, father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent at Elon-bezaanannim, which is near Kedesh.
12 Sisera was informed that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13 So Sisera ordered all his chariots — nine hundred iron chariots — and all the troops he had to move from Harosheth-goiim to the Wadi Kishon. 14 Then Deborah said to Barak, "Up! This is the day on which the Lord will deliver Sisera into your hands: the Lord is marching before you." Barak charged down Mount Tabor, followed by the ten thousand men, 15 and the Lord threw Sisera and all his chariots and army into a panic before the onslaught of Barak. Sisera leaped from his chariot and fled on foot 16 as Barak pursued the chariots and the soldiers as far as Harosheth-goiim. All of Sisera's soldiers fell by the sword; not a man was left.
17 Sisera, meanwhile, had fled on foot to the tent of Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was friendship between King Jabin of Hazor and the family of Heber the Kenite. 18 Jael came out to greet Sisera and said to him, "Come in, my lord, come in here, do not be afraid." So he entered her tent, and she covered him with a blanket. 19 He said to her, "Please let me have some water; I am thirsty." She opened a skin of milk and gave him some to drink; and she covered him again. 20 He said to her, "Stand at the entrance of the tent. If anybody comes and asks you if there is anybody here, say 'No.'" 21 Then Jael wife of Heber took a tent pin and grasped the mallet. When he was fast asleep from exhaustion, she approached him stealthily and drove the pin through his temple till it went down to the ground. Thus he died.
22 Now Barak appeared in pursuit of Sisera. Jael went out to greet him and said, "Come, I will show you the man you are looking for." He went inside with her, and there Sisera was lying dead, with the pin in his temple.
23 On that day God subdued King Jabin of Hazor before the Israelites. 24 The hand of the Israelites bore harder and harder on King Jabin of Canaan, until they destroyed King Jabin of Canaan.
2 When locks go untrimmed in Israel,
When people dedicate themselves —
Bless the Lord!
3 Hear, O kings! Give ear, O potentates!
I will sing, will sing to the Lord,
Will hymn the Lord, the God of Israel.
4 O Lord, when You came forth from Seir,
Advanced from the country of Edom,
The earth trembled;
The heavens dripped,
Yea, the clouds dripped water,
5 The mountains quaked —
Before the Lord, Him of Sinai,
Before the Lord, God of Israel.
6 In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
In the days of Jael, caravans ceased,
And wayfarers went
By roundabout paths.
7 Deliverance ceased,
Ceased in Israel,
Till you arose, O Deborah,
Arose, O mother, in Israel!
8 When they chose new gods,
Was there a fighter then in the gates?
No shield or spear was seen
Among forty thousand in Israel!
9 My heart is with Israel's leaders,
With the dedicated of the people —
Bless the Lord!
10 You riders on tawny she-asses,
You who sit on saddle rugs,
And you wayfarers, declare it!
11 Louder than the sound of archers,
There among the watering places
Let them chant the gracious acts of the Lord,
His gracious deliverance of Israel.
Then did the people of the Lord
March down to the gates!
12 Awake, awake, O Deborah!
Awake, awake, strike up the chant!
Arise, O Barak;
Take your captives, O son of Abinoam!
13 Then was the remnant made victor over the mighty,
The Lord's people won my victory over the warriors.
14 From Ephraim came they whose roots are in Amalek;
After you, your kin Benjamin;
From Machir came down leaders,
From Zebulun such as hold the marshal's staff.
15 And Issachar's chiefs were with Deborah;
As Barak, so was Issachar —
Rushing after him into the valley.
Among the clans of Reuben
Were great decisions of heart.
16 Why then did you stay among the sheepfolds
And listen as they pipe for the flocks?
Among the clans of Reuben
Were great searchings of heart!
17 Gilead tarried beyond the Jordan;
And Dan — why did he linger by the ships?
Asher remained at the seacoast
And tarried at his landings.
18 Zebulun is a people that mocked at death,
Naphtali — on the open heights.
19 Then the kings came, they fought:
The kings of Canaan fought
At Taanach, by Megiddo's waters —
They got no spoil of silver.
20 The stars fought from heaven,
From their courses they fought against Sisera.
21 The torrent Kishon swept them away,
The raging torrent, the torrent Kishon.
March on, my soul, with courage!
22 Then the horses' hoofs pounded
As headlong galloped the steeds.
23 "Curse Meroz!" said the angel of the Lord.
"Bitterly curse its inhabitants,
Because they came not to the aid of the Lord,
To the aid of the Lord among the warriors."
24 Most blessed of women be Jael,
Wife of Heber the Kenite,
Most blessed of women in tents.
25 He asked for water, she offered milk;
In a princely bowl she brought him curds.
26 Her [left] hand reached for the tent pin,
Her right for the workmen's hammer.
She struck Sisera, crushed his head,
Smashed and pierced his temple.
27 At her feet he sank, lay outstretched,
At her feet he sank, lay still;
Where he sank, there he lay — destroyed.
28 Through the window peered Sisera's mother,
Behind the lattice she whined:
"Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why so late the clatter of his wheels?"
29 The wisest of her ladies give answer;
She, too, replies to herself:
30 "They must be dividing the spoil they have found:
A damsel or two for each man,
Spoil of dyed cloths for Sisera,
Spoil of embroidered cloths,
A couple of embroidered cloths
Round every neck as spoil."
31 So may all Your enemies perish, O Lord!
But may His friends be as the sun rising in might!
And the land was tranquil forty years.
Used by permission of The Jewish Publication Society. Copyright ©1962, 1992
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