Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online

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Barak the Commander

After Sisera and his mighty army arrived at the Kishon River. Deborah turns and tells Barak that the Lord had went ahead of him and that today is the day that Sisera will be delivered into his hands.

(Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online Article Covers: Judges 4:6-23)


Israel Cries Out To The Lord

The Scriptures have taken us to a time when the Israelites were crying out to God, hoping He would deliver them from the hands of king Jabin and his iron chariots of Canaan.

It was never meant for Israel to be ruled over, and the reason why they were going through a season of suffering, was because they had turned their backs on the one true God.

Now we find Israel crying out in a spirit of repentance and humility, and God answers by sending them Deborah, who would serve them as both judge and prophet.



Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online

The Wisdom of Deborah



With Deborah being a woman we must understand that armies weren't respected or feared if they were to be lead out in combat by a woman. But Deborah, being the wise woman and judge that she was, commissioned a known soldier who went by the name Barak the son of Abinoam of Kedesh in Naphtali, to lead her army.

I'm led to believe that Barak was already having rebel type encounters with the army of Jabin, and although this was on a much smaller scale -- he was still able to make a reputation for himself within the land of his country men.

Now he was being called up by Deborah who had favor and a strong relationship with God and authority within the land. She needed his courage and leadership services when it came to leading an army against the king Jabin and his army of nine-hundred iron chariots of Canaan.



Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online

I Need God By My Side?


Deborah tells Barak that the Lord commands that he go and raise an army of ten-thousand men that are from Naphtali and Zebulun, and take them out to Mount Tabor. During this time she warns Barak, that he will be going against Sisera, who was a highly celebrated war general -- so he must prepare himself.

This would lead to Barak showing some wisdom himself, in which he tells Deborah that he would not go out and fight Sisera unless she went with him. Deborah agrees to his conditions and accompanies Barak to battle.

But she warns Barak that if she went to battle with him, that the honor would not be given to him. She also told him that the downfall of the general Sisera, would be handed and given over to a woman.



Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online

No Honor -- No Problem


Barak could see that Deborah had favor in Gods eyes. He knew that he rather have God on his side instead of trying to secure honor of victory all on his own. For Barak understood that he might not have a victory against Sisera and the Jabin army of nine-hundred iron chariots if God wasn't on his side in the first place.

So Barak following God's orders goes out and gathers up the ten thousand men and heads towards Mount Tabor with Deborah by his side. They climb up on Mount Tabor and then waited on the Lord.

When Sisera had heard that Deborah and Barak had assemble an army at Mount Tabor, he gathered up his army of nine-hundred iron chariots and headed towards the Kishon River which was located in the valley at the bottom of Mount Tabor.



Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online

No Match Against God -- The Hail Storm Factor?


After Sisera and his mighty army arrived at the Kishon River. Deborah turns and tells Barak that the Lord had went ahead of him and that today is the day that will mark Sisera's downfall.

So Barak led his ten thousand men down Mount Tabor and routed Sisera and his iron chariots just like Deborah had prophesied.

Understand that the renown Jewish historian Josephus, states that at this time right before Barak engaged Sisera, that there was a mighty hail storm that was taking place. It was this mighty hail storm that caused Sisera, his men and the horses to be terrified and confused.

This also caused Sisera army to be pushed back on muddied ground, which had placed their nine-hundred iron chariots at a great disadvantage against men on foot.



Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online

RETREAT!


When Sisera saw defeat was upon him, he left his iron chariot and fled on foot. Barak saw this and decided to pursue him and the rest of his men all way back to Harosheth Haggoyim -- where the rest of Jabin's army was defeated by Barak and his men.

After reading this, some could ask the question: "Why would Sisera flee on foot, wouldn't the chariot be much faster and stronger against the Israelites, who were on foot?"

Understand that with the heavy hail storm going on, it made the ground unfit for travel for a heavy iron chariot. Remember they were in a valley, which was far from any type of main roads.

The Jabin's army strength and intimidation factor came from their nine-hundred iron chariots, which was now rendered useless because of the hail storm and the unstable muddied ground that was caused by it.



Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online

Jael -- The Surprise Assassin?


But Sisera was able to escape and fled to the tent of Jael, who was the wife of Heber the Kenite. Understand that the Jabin king of Hazor had good relations with the Kenite clan. So when Jael saw Sisera outside her tent, she came out and invited him in; and he went in because of their relationship between the two camps.

Once inside, Sisera had asked that she would not tell anybody who came asking if he was there. He had also stated that his was thirsty, so Jael put a covering on him and gave him some milk to drink.

When he fell asleep Jael went and killed him by driving a long nail through his temple all the way into the ground. Its also rumored that she had beheaded him as well (depending on what Bible translation you are reading).



Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online

Jael -- What Made Her Do It?


Now this may seem like odd behavior from Jael, being that the Kenite Clan had good relations with the Jabin king of Hazor. So the question that one might ask: "Why did she kill Sisera?"

Unfortunately, we really don't know why, but we believe that the Lord might have had put it in her heart. Because before this had happen, she was making sure that he was put at peace of mind and she made Sisera feel very comfortable to where he was able to fall asleep.



Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online

Barak Gets His Man -- Well Sort Of?


When Barak was coming by in pursuit, she came out and got his attention and told him that she would show him the man he was looking for. So he went with her and saw that Sisera had been killed by a woman just like Deborah had foretold. So now on that day, God had subdued Jabin, the Canaanite king.

The Israelites were delivered out of the hands of Jabin and they grew stronger by the day. Because of this, they would grow strong enough to push back and eventually destroy the Canaanite king completely. Thus began their forty years of peace.


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