4:3 The Israelites cried out for help to the Lord, because Sisera 1 had nine hundred chariots with iron-rimmed wheels, 2 and he cruelly 3 oppressed the Israelites for twenty years.
4:4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, 4 wife of Lappidoth, was 5 leading 6 Israel at that time. 4:5 She would sit 7 under the Date Palm Tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel 8 in the Ephraimite hill country. The Israelites would come up to her to have their disputes settled. 9
4:6 She summoned 10 Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali. She said to him, “Is it not true that the Lord God of Israel is commanding you? Go, march to Mount Tabor! Take with you ten thousand men from Naphtali and Zebulun! 4:7 I will bring Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to you at the Kishon River, along with his chariots and huge army. 11 I will hand him over to you.” 4:8 Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go. But if you do not go with me, I will not go.” 4:9 She said, “I will indeed go with you. But you will not gain fame 12 on the expedition you are undertaking, 13 for the Lord will turn Sisera over to a woman.” 14 Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. 4:10 Barak summoned men from Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. Ten thousand men followed him; 15 Deborah went up with him as well. 4:11 Now Heber the Kenite had moved away 16 from the Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ father-in-law. He lived 17 near the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh.
4:12 When Sisera heard 18 that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 4:13 he 19 ordered 20 all his chariotry – nine hundred chariots with iron-rimmed wheels – and all the troops he had with him to go from Harosheth-Haggoyim to the River Kishon. 4:14 Deborah said to Barak, “Spring into action, 21 for this is the day the Lord is handing Sisera over to you! 22 Has the Lord not taken the lead?” 23 Barak quickly went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. 4:15 The Lord routed 24 Sisera, all his chariotry, and all his army with the edge of the sword. 25 Sisera jumped out of 26 his chariot and ran away on foot. 4:16 Now Barak chased the chariots and the army all the way to Harosheth Haggoyim. Sisera’s whole army died 27 by the edge of the sword; not even one survived! 28
[4:3] 2 tn Regarding the translation “chariots with iron-rimmed wheels,” see Y. Yadin, The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands, 255, and the article by R. Drews, “The ‘Chariots of Iron’ of Joshua and Judges,” JSOT 45 (1989): 15-23.
[4:4] 5 tn Heb “she was.” The pronoun refers back to the nominative absolute “Deborah.” Hebrew style sometimes employs such resumptive pronouns when lengthy qualifiers separate the subject from the verb.
[4:9] 13 tn Heb “on [account of (?)] the way which you are walking.” Another option is to translate, “due to the way you are going about this.” In this case direct reference is made to Barak’s hesitancy as the reason for his loss of glory.
[4:14] 22 tn The verb form (a Hebrew perfect, indicating completed action from the standpoint of the speaker) emphasizes the certainty of the event. Though it had not yet taken place, the