Chapter 5: Deborah and Barak Sing to Yah
1 Then Deborah and Barak the Ben of Abinoam sang on that day saying: 2 “When leaders lead in Ysrayl, when the people willingly offer themselves, bless Yah! 3 Hear, O kings! Give ear, O princes! I, even I, will sing to Yah. I will sing praise to Yah of Ysrayl. 4 Yah, when You went out from Seir, when You marched from the field of Edom, the earth trembled and the heavens poured. The clouds also poured water. 5 The mountains gushed before Yah, this Sinai before Yah of Ysrayl. 6 In the days of Shamgar, the Ben of Anath, in the days of Yahyl, the highways were deserted. And the travelers walked along the byways. 7 Village life ceased, it ceased in Ysrayl until I, Deborah arose, arose a mother in Ysrayl. 8 They chose the gods, then there was war in the gates. Not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Ysrayl. 9 My heart is with the rulers of Ysrayl who offered themselves willingly with the people, bless Yah! 10 Speak, you who ride on white donkeys, who sit in judges’ attire and who walk along the road. 11 Far from the noise of the archers, among the watering places, there they shall recount the righteous acts of Yah. The righteous acts for His villagers in Ysrayl. Then the people of Yah shall go down to the gates. 12 Awake, awake, Deborah! Awake, awake, sing a song! Arise, Barak and lead your captives away, O Ben of Abinoam! 13 Then the survivors came down, the people against the nobles. Yah came down for me against the mighty”.
14 “From Ephraim were those whose roots were in Amalek. After you, Benyamin, with your people, from Machir rulers came down and from Zebulon those who bear the recruiter’s staff. 15 And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah as Issachar, so was Barak sent into the valley under his command (Literally his feet). Among the divisions of Reuben there were great resolves of heart. 16 Why did you sit among the sheepfolds to hear the pipings for the flocks? The divisions of Reuben have great searching of heart. 17 Gilead stayed beyond the Yordan and why did Dan remain on ships (or at ease)? Asher continued at the seashore and stayed by his inlets. 28 Zebulon is a people who jeopardized their lives to the point of death. Naphtali also, on the heights of the battlefield. 19 The kings came and fought, then the kings of Canaan fought in Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo. They took no spoils of silver. 20 They fought from the heavens. The stars from their courses fought against Sisera. 21 The torrent of Kishon swept them away, that ancient torrent, the torrent of Kishon. O my soul, march on in strength! 22 Then the horse’s hooves pounded, the galloping, galloping of his steeds. 23 ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of Yah. Curse its inhabitants bitterly because they did not come to help Yah, to the help of Yah against the mighty”.
24 “Most blessed among women is Yahyl, the wife of Heber the Kenite. Blessed is she among women in tents. 25 He asked for water, she gave milk. She brought out cream in a princely bowl. 26 She stretched her hand to the tent peg. Her right hand to the workmen’s hammer. She pounded Sisera, she pierced his head. She split and struck through his temple. 27 At her feet he sank, he fell. He lay still. At her feet he sank, he fell. Where he sank, there he fell dead. 28 the mother of Sisera looked through the window and cried out through the lattice. ‘Why is his chariot so long in coming’? ‘Why tarries the clatter of his chariots’? 29 Her wisest ladies answered her, Yes, she answered herself. 30 Are they not finding and dividing the spoil: To every man a girl or two. For Sisera, plunder of dyed garments. Plunder of garments embroidered and dyed, two pieces of dyed embroidery for the neck of the looter? 31 Thus let all Your enemies perish, O Yah! But let those who love Him be like the sun when it comes out in full strength”. So the land had rest for forty years.
Chapter 6: Midianites Oppress Ysrayl
1 Then the children of Ysrayl did evil in the sight of Yah so Yah delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years. 2 And the hand of Midian prevailed against Ysrayl. Because of the Midianites, the children of Ysrayl made for themselves the dens, the caves and the strongholds which are in the mountains. 3 So it was, whenever Ysrayl had sown, Midianites would come up, also the Amalekites and the people of the east would come up against them. 4 Then they would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza (Ayyah) and leave no sustenance for Ysrayl, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey. 5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, coming in as numerous as locusts. Both they and their camels were without number and they would enter the land to destroy it. 6 So Ysrayl was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites and the children of Ysrayl cried out to Yah. 7 And it came to pass, when the children of Ysrayl cried out to Yah because of the Midianites–8 That Yah sent a prophet to the children of Ysrayl who said to them, “Thus says Yah Father of Ysrayl: ‘I brought you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage–9 and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all who oppressed you and drove them out before you and gave you their land’. 10 Also I said to you, ‘I am Yah your Father. Do not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell’. But you have not obeyed My voice”.
Yah Chooses Gideon: Fifth Judge
11 Now the angel of Yah came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah which belonged to Yoash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of Yah appeared to him and said to him, “Yah is with you, you mighty man of valor”! 13 Gideon said to him, O my Master, if Yah is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about saying, ‘Did not Yah bring us up from Egypt?’ But now Yah has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites”. 14 Then Yah turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and you shall save Ysrayl from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”15 So he said to Him, “O my Master, how can I save Ysrayl? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my father’s house”. 16 And Yah said to him, “Surely I will be with you and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man”. 17 Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me”. 18 “Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You”. And He said, “I will wait until you come back”.
19 So Gideon went in and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket and he put the broth in a pot and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth tree and presented them. 20 The malakim (angel) of Yah said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock and pour out the broth”. And he did so. 21 Then the angel of Yah put out the end of the walking stick (staff) that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the angel of Yah departed out of his sight.
Yah is Shalom
22 Now Gideon perceived that He was an angel of Yah. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Master Yah! For I have seen the angel of Yah face to face”. 23 Then Yah said to him, “Peace be with you. Do not fear, you shall not die”. 24 So Gideon built an altar there to Yah and called it Yah is Peace (Yah is Shalom). To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. (Compare to Genesis 49:10, Yesiyah 9:6, Yesiyah 52:7, Yahoshua is the prince of peace, the bringer of peace).
25 Now it came to pass the same night that Yah said to him, “Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old and tear down the altar of baal that your father has and cut down the wooden image (Hebrew asherah, a Canaanite goddess) that is beside it. 26 And build an altar to Yah your Almighty on top of this rock in the proper arrangement and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down”. 27 So Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did as Yah had said to him. But because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, he did it by night.
Gideon Destroys the Altar of Baal
28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning there was the altar of baal torn down and the wooden image that was beside it was cut down and the second bull was being offered on the altar which had been built. 29 So they said to one another, “Who had done this thing?” And when they had inquired and asked, they said, “Gideon the Ben of Yoash had done this thing”. 30 Then the men of the city said to Yoash, “Bring out your son that he may die because he has torn down the altar of baal and because he has cut down the wooden image that was beside it”. 31 But Yoash said to all who stood against him, “Would you plead for baal? Would you save him? Let the one who would plead for him be put to death by morning! If he is a god, let him plead for himself because his altar has been torn down”! 32 Therefore, on that day he called him Yerubbaal (Literally let baal plead) saying, “Let baal plead against him because he has torn down his altar”.
Gideon Puts His Men into Position
33 Then all the Midianites and Amalekites, the people of the east gathered together and they crossed over and encamped in the Valley of Yezreel. 34 But the Spirit of Yah came upon Gideon. Then he blew the trumpet and the Abiezrites gathered behind him. 35 and he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also gathered behind him. He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulon and Naphtali and they came up to meet them.
The Sign of the Fleece: Gideon Tests the Spirit to Know It Is Really of Yah
36 So Gideon said to Yah, “If You will save Ysrayl by my hand as You have said–37 Look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Ysrayl by my hand, as You have said”. 38 And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to Yah, “Do not be angry with me but let me speak just once more. Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece. Let it now be dry only on the fleece but on all the ground let there be dew”. 40 And Yah did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only but there was dew on all the ground.