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Judges 1:1--5:31

Context
Judah Takes the Lead

1:1 After Joshua died, the Israelites asked 1  the Lord, “Who should lead the invasion against the Canaanites and launch the attack?” 2  1:2 The Lord said, “The men of Judah should take the lead. 3  Be sure of this! I am handing the land over to them.” 4  1:3 The men of Judah said to their relatives, the men of Simeon, 5  “Invade our allotted land with us and help us attack the Canaanites. 6  Then we 7  will go with you into your allotted land.” So the men of Simeon went with them.

1:4 The men of Judah attacked, 8  and the Lord handed the Canaanites and Perizzites over to them. They killed ten thousand men at Bezek. 1:5 They met 9  Adoni-Bezek at Bezek and fought him. They defeated the Canaanites and Perizzites. 1:6 When Adoni-Bezek ran away, they chased him and captured him. Then they cut off his thumbs and big toes. 1:7 Adoni-Bezek said, “Seventy kings, with thumbs and big toes cut off, used to lick up 10  food scraps 11  under my table. God has repaid me for what I did to them.” 12  They brought him to Jerusalem, 13  where he died. 1:8 The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem and captured it. They put the sword to it and set the city on fire.

1:9 Later the men of Judah went down to attack the Canaanites living in the hill country, the Negev, and the lowlands. 14  1:10 The men of Judah attacked the Canaanites living in Hebron. (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba.) They killed Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai. 1:11 From there they attacked the people of Debir. 15  (Debir used to be called Kiriath Sepher.) 1:12 Caleb said, “To the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher I will give my daughter Acsah as a wife.” 1:13 When Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, 16  captured it, Caleb 17  gave him his daughter Acsah as a wife.

1:14 One time Acsah 18  came and charmed her father 19  so she could ask him for some land. When she got down from her donkey, Caleb said to her, “What would you like?” 1:15 She answered, “Please give me a special present. 20  Since you have given me land in the Negev, now give me springs of water.” So Caleb gave her both the upper and lower springs. 21 

1:16 Now the descendants of the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law, went up with the people of Judah from the City of Date Palm Trees to Arad in the desert of Judah, 22  located in the Negev. 23  They went and lived with the people of Judah. 24 

1:17 The men of Judah went with their brothers the men of Simeon 25  and defeated the Canaanites living in Zephath. They wiped out Zephath. 26  So people now call the city Hormah. 27  1:18 The men of Judah captured Gaza, Ashkelon, Ekron, and the territory surrounding each of these cities. 28 

1:19 The Lord was with the men of Judah. They conquered 29  the hill country, but they could not 30  conquer the people living in the coastal plain, because they had chariots with iron-rimmed wheels. 31  1:20 Caleb received 32  Hebron, just as Moses had promised. He drove out the three Anakites. 1:21 The men of Benjamin, however, did not conquer the Jebusites living in Jerusalem. 33  The Jebusites live with the people of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this very day. 34 

Partial Success

1:22 When the men 35  of Joseph attacked 36  Bethel, 37  the Lord was with them. 1:23 When the men of Joseph spied out Bethel (it used to be called Luz), 1:24 the spies spotted 38  a man leaving the city. They said to him, “If you show us a secret entrance into the city, we will reward you.” 1:25 He showed them a secret entrance into the city, and they put the city to the sword. But they let the man and his extended family leave safely. 1:26 He 39  moved to Hittite country and built a city. He named it Luz, and it has kept that name to this very day.

1:27 The men of Manasseh did not conquer Beth Shan, Taanach, or their surrounding towns. Nor did they conquer the people living in Dor, Ibleam, Megiddo 40  or their surrounding towns. 41  The Canaanites managed 42  to remain in those areas. 43  1:28 Whenever Israel was strong militarily, they forced the Canaanites to do hard labor, but they never totally conquered them.

1:29 The men of Ephraim did not conquer the Canaanites living in Gezer. The Canaanites lived among them in Gezer.

1:30 The men of Zebulun did not conquer the people living in Kitron and Nahalol. 44  The Canaanites lived among them and were forced to do hard labor.

1:31 The men of Asher did not conquer the people living in Acco or Sidon, 45  nor did they conquer Ahlab, Aczib, Helbah, Aphek, or Rehob. 46  1:32 The people of Asher live among the Canaanites residing in the land because they did not conquer them.

1:33 The men of Naphtali did not conquer the people living in Beth Shemesh or Beth Anath. 47  They live among the Canaanites residing in the land. The Canaanites 48  living in Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath were forced to do hard labor for them.

1:34 The Amorites forced the people of Dan to live in the hill country. They did not allow them to live in 49  the coastal plain. 1:35 The Amorites managed 50  to remain in Har Heres, 51  Aijalon, and Shaalbim. Whenever the tribe of Joseph was strong militarily, 52  the Amorites were forced to do hard labor. 1:36 The border of Amorite territory ran from the Scorpion Ascent 53  to Sela and on up. 54 

Confrontation and Repentance at Bokim

2:1 The Lord’s angelic messenger 55  went up from Gilgal to Bokim. He said, “I brought you up from Egypt and led you into the land I had solemnly promised to give to your ancestors. 56  I said, ‘I will never break my agreement 57  with you, 2:2 but you must not make an agreement with the people who live in this land. You should tear down the altars where they worship.’ 58  But you have disobeyed me. 59  Why would you do such a thing? 60  2:3 At that time I also warned you, 61  ‘If you disobey, 62  I will not drive out the Canaanites 63  before you. They will ensnare you 64  and their gods will lure you away.’” 65 

2:4 When the Lord’s messenger finished speaking these words to all the Israelites, the people wept loudly. 66  2:5 They named that place Bokim 67  and offered sacrifices to the Lord there.

The End of an Era

2:6 When Joshua dismissed 68  the people, the Israelites went to their allotted portions of territory, 69  intending to take possession of the land. 2:7 The people worshiped 70  the Lord throughout Joshua’s lifetime and as long as the elderly men 71  who outlived him remained alive. These men had witnessed 72  all the great things the Lord had done for Israel. 73  2:8 Joshua son of Nun, the Lord’s servant, died at the age of one hundred ten. 2:9 The people 74  buried him in his allotted land 75  in Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 2:10 That entire generation passed away; 76  a new generation grew up 77  that had not personally experienced the Lord’s presence or seen what he had done for Israel. 78 

A Monotonous Cycle

2:11 The Israelites did evil before 79  the Lord by worshiping 80  the Baals. 2:12 They abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors 81  who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods – the gods of the nations who lived around them. They worshiped 82  them and made the Lord angry. 2:13 They abandoned the Lord and worshiped Baal and the Ashtars. 83 

2:14 The Lord was furious with Israel 84  and handed them over to robbers who plundered them. 85  He turned them over to 86  their enemies who lived around them. They could not withstand their enemies’ attacks. 87  2:15 Whenever they went out to fight, 88  the Lord did them harm, 89  just as he had warned and solemnly vowed he would do. 90  They suffered greatly. 91 

2:16 The Lord raised up leaders 92  who delivered them from these robbers. 93  2:17 But they did not obey 94  their leaders. Instead they prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped 95  them. They quickly turned aside from the path 96  their ancestors 97  had walked. Their ancestors had obeyed the Lord’s commands, but they did not. 98  2:18 When the Lord raised up leaders for them, the Lord was with each leader and delivered the people 99  from their enemies while the leader remained alive. The Lord felt sorry for them 100  when they cried out in agony because of what their harsh oppressors did to them. 101  2:19 When a leader died, the next generation 102  would again 103  act more wickedly than the previous one. 104  They would follow after other gods, worshiping them 105  and bowing down to them. They did not give up 106  their practices or their stubborn ways.

A Divine Decision

2:20 The Lord was furious with Israel. 107  He said, “This nation 108  has violated the terms of the agreement I made with their ancestors 109  by disobeying me. 110  2:21 So I will no longer remove before them any of the nations that Joshua left unconquered when he died. 2:22 Joshua left those nations 111  to test 112  Israel. I wanted to see 113  whether or not the people 114  would carefully walk in the path 115  marked out by 116  the Lord, as their ancestors 117  were careful to do.” 2:23 This is why 118  the Lord permitted these nations to remain and did not conquer them immediately; 119  he did not hand them over to Joshua.

3:1 These were the nations the Lord permitted to remain so he could use them to test Israel – he wanted to test all those who had not experienced battle against the Canaanites. 120  3:2 He left those nations simply because he wanted to teach the subsequent generations of Israelites, who had not experienced the earlier battles, how to conduct holy war. 121  3:3 These were the nations: 122  the five lords of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo-Hamath. 123  3:4 They were left to test Israel, so the Lord would know if his people would obey the commands he gave their ancestors through Moses. 124 

3:5 The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 3:6 They took the Canaanites’ daughters as wives and gave their daughters to the Canaanites; 125  they worshiped 126  their gods as well.

Othniel: A Model Leader

3:7 The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. 127  They forgot the Lord their God and worshiped the Baals and the Asherahs. 128  3:8 The Lord was furious with Israel 129  and turned them over to 130  King Cushan-Rishathaim 131  of Aram-Naharaim. They were Cushan-Rishathaim’s subjects 132  for eight years. 3:9 When the Israelites cried out for help to the Lord, he 133  raised up a deliverer for the Israelites who rescued 134  them. His name was Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 135  3:10 The Lord’s spirit empowered him 136  and he led Israel. When he went to do battle, the Lord handed over to him King Cushan-Rishathaim of Aram and he overpowered him. 137  3:11 The land had rest for forty years; then Othniel son of Kenaz died.

Deceit, Assassination, and Deliverance

3:12 The Israelites again did evil in the Lord’s sight. 138  The Lord gave King Eglon of Moab control over Israel 139  because they had done evil in the Lord’s sight. 3:13 Eglon formed alliances with 140  the Ammonites and Amalekites. He came and defeated Israel, and they seized the City of Date Palm Trees. 3:14 The Israelites were subject to 141  King Eglon of Moab for eighteen years.

3:15 When the Israelites cried out for help to the Lord, he 142  raised up a deliverer for them. His name was Ehud son of Gera the Benjaminite, a left-handed man. 143  The Israelites sent him to King Eglon of Moab with their tribute payment. 144  3:16 Ehud made himself a sword – it had two edges and was eighteen inches long. 145  He strapped it under his coat on his right thigh. 3:17 He brought the tribute payment to King Eglon of Moab. (Now Eglon was a very fat man.)

3:18 After Ehud brought the tribute payment, he dismissed the people who had carried it. 146  3:19 But he went back 147  once he reached 148  the carved images 149  at Gilgal. He said to Eglon, 150  “I have a secret message for you, O king.” Eglon 151  said, “Be quiet!” 152  All his attendants left. 3:20 When Ehud approached him, he was sitting in his well-ventilated 153  upper room all by himself. Ehud said, “I have a message from God 154  for you.” When Eglon rose up from his seat, 155  3:21 Ehud reached with his left hand, pulled the sword from his right thigh, and drove it into Eglon’s 156  belly. 3:22 The handle went in after the blade, and the fat closed around the blade, for Ehud 157  did not pull the sword out of his belly. 158  3:23 As Ehud went out into the vestibule, 159  he closed the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.

3:24 When Ehud had left, Eglon’s 160  servants came and saw the locked doors of the upper room. They said, “He must be relieving himself 161  in the well-ventilated inner room.” 162  3:25 They waited so long they were embarrassed, but he still did not open the doors of the upper room. Finally they took the key and opened the doors. 163  Right before their eyes was their master, sprawled out dead on the floor! 164  3:26 Now Ehud had escaped while they were delaying. When he passed the carved images, he escaped to Seirah.

3:27 When he reached Seirah, 165  he blew a trumpet 166  in the Ephraimite hill country. The Israelites went down with him from the hill country, with Ehud in the lead. 167  3:28 He said to them, “Follow me, for the Lord is about to defeat your enemies, the Moabites!” 168  They followed him, captured the fords of the Jordan River 169  opposite Moab, 170  and did not let anyone cross. 3:29 That day they killed about ten thousand Moabites 171  – all strong, capable warriors; not one escaped. 3:30 Israel humiliated Moab that day, and the land had rest for eighty years.

3:31 After Ehud 172  came 173  Shamgar son of Anath; he killed six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad and, like Ehud, 174  delivered Israel.

Deborah Summons Barak

4:1 The Israelites again did evil in the Lord’s sight 175  after Ehud’s death. 4:2 The Lord turned them over to 176  King Jabin of Canaan, who ruled in Hazor. 177  The general of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim. 178  4:3 The Israelites cried out for help to the Lord, because Sisera 179  had nine hundred chariots with iron-rimmed wheels, 180  and he cruelly 181  oppressed the Israelites for twenty years.

4:4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, 182  wife of Lappidoth, was 183  leading 184  Israel at that time. 4:5 She would sit 185  under the Date Palm Tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel 186  in the Ephraimite hill country. The Israelites would come up to her to have their disputes settled. 187 

4:6 She summoned 188  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. 189  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 190  on the expedition you are undertaking, 191  for the Lord will turn Sisera over to a woman.” 192  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; 193  Deborah went up with him as well. 4:11 Now Heber the Kenite had moved away 194  from the Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ father-in-law. He lived 195  near the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh.

4:12 When Sisera heard 196  that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 4:13 he 197  ordered 198  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, 199  for this is the day the Lord is handing Sisera over to you! 200  Has the Lord not taken the lead?” 201  Barak quickly went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. 4:15 The Lord routed 202  Sisera, all his chariotry, and all his army with the edge of the sword. 203  Sisera jumped out of 204  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 205  by the edge of the sword; not even one survived! 206 

4:17 Now Sisera ran away on foot to the tent of Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite, for King Jabin of Hazor 207  and the family of Heber the Kenite had made a peace treaty. 208  4:18 Jael came out to welcome Sisera. She said to him, “Stop and rest, 209  my lord. Stop and rest with me. Don’t be afraid.” So Sisera 210  stopped to rest in her tent, and she put a blanket over him. 4:19 He said to her, “Give me a little water to drink, because I’m thirsty.” She opened a goatskin container of milk and gave him some milk to drink. Then she covered him up again. 4:20 He said to her, “Stand watch at the entrance to the tent. If anyone comes along and asks you, ‘Is there a man here?’ say ‘No.’” 4:21 Then Jael wife of Heber took a tent peg in one hand and a hammer in the other. 211  She crept up on him, drove the tent peg through his temple into the ground 212  while he was asleep from exhaustion, 213  and he died. 4:22 Now Barak was chasing Sisera. Jael went out to welcome him. She said to him, “Come here and I will show you the man you are searching for.” He went with her into the tent, 214  and there he saw Sisera sprawled out dead 215  with the tent peg in his temple.

4:23 That day God humiliated King Jabin of Canaan before the Israelites. 4:24 Israel’s power continued to overwhelm 216  King Jabin of Canaan until they did away with 217  him. 218 

Celebrating the Victory in Song

5:1 On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this victory song: 219 

5:2 “When the leaders took the lead 220  in Israel,

When the people answered the call to war –

Praise the Lord!

5:3 Hear, O kings!

Pay attention, O rulers!

I will sing to the Lord! 221 

I will sing 222  to the Lord God of Israel!

5:4 O Lord, when you departed 223  from Seir,

when you marched from Edom’s plains,

the earth shook, the heavens poured down,

the clouds poured down rain. 224 

5:5 The mountains trembled 225  before the Lord, the God of Sinai; 226 

before the Lord God of Israel.

5:6 In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,

in the days of Jael caravans 227  disappeared; 228 

travelers 229  had to go on winding side roads.

5:7 Warriors 230  were scarce, 231 

they were scarce in Israel,

until you 232  arose, Deborah,

until you arose as a motherly protector 233  in Israel.

5:8 God chose new leaders, 234 

then fighters appeared in the city gates; 235 

but, I swear, not a shield or spear could be found, 236 

among forty military units 237  in Israel.

5:9 My heart went out 238  to Israel’s leaders,

to the people who answered the call to war.

Praise the Lord!

5:10 You who ride on light-colored female donkeys,

who sit on saddle blankets, 239 

you who walk on the road, pay attention!

5:11 Hear 240  the sound of those who divide the sheep 241  among the watering places;

there they tell of 242  the Lord’s victorious deeds,

the victorious deeds of his warriors 243  in Israel.

Then the Lord’s people went down to the city gates –

5:12 Wake up, wake up, Deborah!

Wake up, wake up, sing a song!

Get up, Barak!

Capture your prisoners of war, 244  son of Abinoam!

5:13 Then the survivors 245  came down 246  to the mighty ones; 247 

the Lord’s people came down to me 248  as 249  warriors.

5:14 They came from Ephraim, who uprooted Amalek, 250 

they follow 251  after you, Benjamin, with your soldiers.

From Makir leaders came down,

from Zebulun came 252  the ones who march carrying 253  an officer’s staff.

5:15 Issachar’s leaders were with Deborah,

the men of Issachar 254  supported 255  Barak;

into the valley they were sent under Barak’s command. 256 

Among the clans of Reuben there was intense 257  heart searching. 258 

5:16 Why do you remain among the sheepfolds, 259 

listening to the shepherds playing their pipes 260  for their flocks? 261 

As for the clans of Reuben – there was intense searching of heart.

5:17 Gilead stayed put 262  beyond the Jordan River.

As for Dan – why did he seek temporary employment in the shipyards? 263 

Asher remained 264  on the seacoast,

he stayed 265  by his harbors. 266 

5:18 The men of Zebulun were not concerned about their lives; 267 

Naphtali charged on to the battlefields. 268 

5:19 Kings came, they fought;

the kings of Canaan fought,

at Taanach by the waters of Megiddo, 269 

but 270  they took no silver as plunder.

5:20 From the sky 271  the stars 272  fought,

from their paths in the heavens 273  they fought against Sisera.

5:21 The Kishon River carried them off;

the river confronted them 274  – the Kishon River.

Step on the necks of the strong! 275 

5:22 The horses’ 276  hooves pounded the ground; 277 

the stallions galloped madly. 278 

5:23 ‘Call judgment down on 279  Meroz,’ says the Lord’s angelic 280  messenger;

‘Be sure 281  to call judgment down on 282  those who live there,

because they did not come to help in the Lord’s battle, 283 

to help in the Lord’s battle against the warriors.’ 284 

5:24 The most rewarded 285  of women should be Jael,

the wife of Heber the Kenite!

She should be the most rewarded of women who live in tents.

5:25 He asked for water,

and she gave him milk;

in a bowl fit for a king, 286 

she served him curds.

5:26 Her left 287  hand reached for the tent peg,

her right hand for the workmen’s hammer.

She “hammered” 288  Sisera,

she shattered his skull, 289 

she smashed his head, 290 

she drove the tent peg through his temple. 291 

5:27 Between her feet he collapsed,

he fell limp 292  and was lifeless; 293 

between her feet he collapsed and fell limp,

in the spot where he collapsed,

there he fell limp – violently murdered! 294 

5:28 Through the window she looked;

Sisera’s mother cried out through the lattice:

‘Why is his chariot so slow to return?

Why are the hoofbeats of his chariot-horses 295  delayed?’

5:29 The wisest of her ladies 296  answer;

indeed she even thinks to herself,

5:30 ‘No doubt they are gathering and dividing the plunder 297 

a girl or two for each man to rape! 298 

Sisera is grabbing up colorful cloth, 299 

he is grabbing up colorful embroidered cloth, 300 

two pieces of colorful embroidered cloth,

for the neck of the plunderer!’ 301 

5:31 May all your enemies perish like this, O Lord!

But may those who love you shine

like the rising sun at its brightest!” 302 

And the land had rest for forty years.

1 tn The Hebrew verb translated “asked” (שָׁאַל, shaal) refers here to consulting the Lord through a prophetic oracle; cf. NAB “consulted.”

2 tn Heb “Who should first go up for us against the Canaanites to attack them?”

3 tn Heb “Judah should go up.”

4 tn The Hebrew exclamation הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally, “Behold”), translated “Be sure of this,” draws attention to the following statement. The verb form in the following statement (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 Lord speaks of it as a “done deal.”

5 tn Heb “Judah said to Simeon, his brother.”

6 tn Heb “Come up with me into our allotted land and let us attack the Canaanites.”

7 tn Heb “I.” The Hebrew pronoun is singular, agreeing with the collective singular “Judah” earlier in the verse. English style requires a plural pronoun here, however.

8 tn Heb “Judah went up.”

9 tn Or “found.”

10 tn Elsewhere this verb usually carries the sense of “to gather; to pick up; to glean,” but “lick up” seems best here in light of the peculiar circumstances described by Adoni-Bezek.

11 tn The words “food scraps” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.

12 tn Heb “Just as I did, so God has repaid me.” Note that the phrase “to them” has been supplied in the translation to clarify what is meant.

13 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

14 tn Or “foothills”; Heb “the Shephelah.”

15 tn Heb “they went from there against the inhabitants of Debir.” The LXX reads the verb as “they went up,” which suggests that the Hebrew text translated by the LXX read וַיַּעַל (vayyaal) rather than the MT’s וַיֵּלֶךְ (vayyelekh). It is possible that this is the text to be preferred in v. 11. Cf. Josh 15:15.

16 tn “Caleb’s younger brother” may refer to Othniel or to Kenaz (in which case Othniel was Caleb’s nephew; so CEV).

17 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Caleb) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

18 tn Heb “she”; the referent (Acsah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

19 tn Heb “him.” The pronoun could refer to Othniel, in which case one would translate, “she incited him [Othniel] to ask her father for a field.” This is problematic, however, for Acsah, not Othniel, makes the request in v. 15. The LXX has “he [Othniel] urged her to ask her father for a field.” This appears to be an attempt to reconcile the apparent inconsistency and probably does not reflect the original text. If Caleb is understood as the referent of the pronoun, the problem disappears. For a fuller discussion of the issue, see P. G. Mosca, “Who Seduced Whom? A Note on Joshua 15:18 // Judges 1:14,” CBQ 46 (1984): 18-22. The translation takes Caleb to be the referent, specified as “her father.”

20 tn Elsewhere the Hebrew word בְרָכָה (vÿrakhah) is often translated “blessing,” but here it refers to a gift (as in Gen 33:11; 1 Sam 25:27; 30:26; and 2 Kgs 5:15).

21 tn Some translations regard the expressions “springs of water” (גֻּלֹּת מָיִם, gullot mayim) and “springs” (גֻּלֹּת) as place names here (cf. NRSV).

22 tc Part of the Greek ms tradition lacks the words “of Judah.”

23 tn Heb “[to] the Desert of Judah in the Negev, Arad.”

24 tn The phrase “of Judah” is supplied here in the translation. Some ancient textual witnesses read, “They went and lived with the Amalekites.” This reading, however, is probably influenced by 1 Sam 15:6 (see also Num 24:20-21).

25 tn Heb “Judah went with Simeon, his brother.”

26 tn Heb “it”; the referent (the city of Zephath) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

27 sn The name Hormah (חָרְמָה, khormah) sounds like the Hebrew verb translated “wipe out” (חָרַם, kharam).

28 tn Heb “The men of Judah captured Gaza and its surrounding territory, Ashkelon and its surrounding territory, and Ekron and its surrounding territory.”

29 tn Or “seized possession of”; or “occupied.”

30 tc Several textual witnesses support the inclusion of this verb.

31 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.

32 tn Heb “they gave to Caleb.”

33 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

34 sn The statement to this very day reflects the perspective of the author, who must have written prior to David’s conquest of the Jebusites (see 2 Sam 5:6-7).

35 tn Heb “house.” This is a metonymy for the warriors from the tribe.

36 tn Heb “went up.”

37 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

38 tn Heb “saw.”

39 tn Heb “the man.”

40 map For location see Map1 D4; Map2 C1; Map4 C2; Map5 F2; Map7 B1.

41 tn Heb “The men of Manasseh did not conquer Beth Shan and its surrounding towns, Taanach and its surrounding towns, the people living in Dor and its surrounding towns, the people living in Ibleam and its surrounding towns, or the people living in Megiddo and its surrounding towns.”

42 tn Or “were determined.”

43 tn Heb “in this land.”

44 tn Heb “the people living in Kitron and the people living in Nahalol.”

45 map For location see Map1 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

46 tn Heb “The men of Asher did not conquer the people living in Acco, the people living in Sidon, Ahlab, Acco, Helbah, Aphek, or Rehob.”

47 tn Heb “the people living in Beth Shemesh or the people living in Beth Anath.”

48 tn The term “Canaanites” is supplied here both for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

49 tn Heb “come down into.”

50 tn Or “were determined.”

51 tn Or “Mount Heres”; the term הַר (har) means “mount” or “mountain” in Hebrew.

52 tn Heb “Whenever the hand of the tribe of Joseph was heavy.”

53 tn Or “the Ascent of Scorpions” (עַקְרַבִּים [’aqrabbim] means “scorpions” in Hebrew).

54 tn Or “Amorite territory started at the Pass of the Scorpions at Sela and then went on up.”

55 sn See Exod 14:19; 23:20.

56 tn Heb “the land that I had sworn to your fathers.”

57 tn Or “covenant” (also in the following verse).

58 tn Heb “their altars.”

59 tn Heb “you have not listened to my voice.”

60 tn Heb “What is this you have done?”

61 tn Heb “And I also said.” The use of the perfect tense here suggests that the messenger is recalling an earlier statement (see Josh 23:12-13). However, some translate, “And I also say,” understanding the following words as an announcement of judgment upon those gathered at Bokim.

62 tn The words “If you disobey” are supplied in the translation for clarity. See Josh 23:12-13.

63 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the Canaanites) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

64 tn The meaning of the Hebrew word צִדִּים (tsiddim) is uncertain in this context. It may be related to an Akkadian cognate meaning “snare.” If so, a more literal translation would be “they will become snares to you.” Normally the term in question means “sides,” but this makes no sense here. On the basis of Num 33:55 some suggest the word for “thorns” has been accidentally omitted. If this word is added, the text would read, “they will become [thorns] in your sides” (cf. NASB, NIV, NLT).

65 tn Heb “their gods will become a snare to you.”

66 tn Heb “lifted their voices and wept.”

67 sn Bokim means “weeping ones” and is derived from the Hebrew verb בָּכָא (bakha’, “to weep”).

68 tn Or “sent away.”

69 tn Heb “the Israelites went each to his inheritance.”

70 tn Or “served”; or “followed.”

71 tn Or perhaps “elders,” which could be interpreted to mean “leaders.”

72 tn Heb “all the days of Joshua and all the days of the old men who outlived him, who had seen.”

73 tn Heb “the great work of the Lord which he had done for Israel.”

74 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

75 tn Heb “in the territory of his inheritance.”

76 tn Heb “All that generation were gathered to their fathers.”

77 tn Heb “arose after them.”

78 tn Heb “that did not know the Lord or the work which he had done for Israel.” The expressions “personally experienced” and “seen” are interpretive.

79 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

80 tn Or “serving”; or “following.”

81 tn Or “fathers.”

82 tn Or “bowed before” (the same expression occurs in the following verse).

83 tn Some English translations simply transliterate the plural Hebrew term (“Ashtaroth,” cf. NAB, NASB), pluralize the transliterated Hebrew singular form (“Ashtoreths,” cf. NIV), or use a variation of the name (“Astartes,” cf. NRSV).

sn The Ashtars were local manifestations of the goddess Astarte.

84 tn Or “The Lord’s anger burned [or “raged”] against Israel.”

85 tn Heb “robbers who robbed them.” (The verb שָׁסָה [shasah] appears twice in the verse.)

sn The expression robbers who plundered them is a derogatory reference to the enemy nations, as the next line indicates.

86 tn Heb “sold them into the hands of.”

87 tn The word “attacks” is supplied in the translation both for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

88 tn The expression “to fight” is interpretive.

89 tn Heb “the Lord’s hand was against them for harm.”

90 tn Heb “just as he had said and just as he had sworn to them.”

91 tn Or “they experienced great distress.”

92 tn Or more traditionally, “judges” (also in vv. 17, 18 [3x], 19). Since these figures carried out more than a judicial function, also serving as rulers and (in several instances) as military commanders, the translation uses the term “leaders.”

93 tn Heb “and they delivered them from the hand of the ones robbing them.”

94 tn Or “did not listen to.”

95 tn Or “bowed before.”

96 tn Or “way [of life].”

97 tn Or “fathers.”

98 tn Heb “…walked, obeying the Lord’s commands. They did not do this.”

99 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

100 tn The phrase “for them” is supplied in the translation for clarity.

101 tn Heb “the ones oppressing them and afflicting them.” The synonyms “oppressing” and “afflicting” are joined together in the translation as “harsh oppressors” to emphasize the cruel character of their enemies.

102 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the next generation) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

103 tn The verb שׁוּב (shuv, “to return; to turn”) is sometimes translated “turn back” here, but it is probably used in an adverbial sense, indicating that the main action (“act wickedly”) is being repeated.

104 tn Heb “their fathers.”

sn The statement the next generation would again act more wickedly than the previous one must refer to the successive sinful generations after Joshua, not Joshua’s godly generation (cf. vv. 7, 17).

105 tn Or “serving [them]”; or “following [them].”

106 tn Or “drop.”

107 tn Or “The Lord’s anger burned [or “raged”] against Israel.”

108 tn Heb “Because this nation.”

109 tn Heb “my covenant which I commanded their fathers.”

110 tn Heb “and has not listened to my voice.” The expression “to not listen to [God’s] voice” is idiomatic here for disobeying him.

111 tn The words “Joshua left those nations” are interpretive. The Hebrew text of v. 22 simply begins with “to test.” Some subordinate this phrase to “I will no longer remove” (v. 21). In this case the Lord announces that he has now decided to leave these nations as a test for Israel. Another possibility is to subordinate “to test” to “He said” (v. 20; see B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 111). In this case the statement recorded in vv. 20b-21 is the test in that it forces Israel to respond either positively (through repentance) or negatively to the Lord’s declaration. A third possibility (the one reflected in the present translation) is to subordinate “to test” to “left unconquered” (v. 21). In this case the Lord recalls that Joshua left these nations as a test. Israel has failed the test (v. 20), so the Lord announces that the punishment threatened earlier (Josh 23:12-13; see also Judg 2:3) will now be implemented. As B. G. Webb (Judges [JSOTSup], 115) observes, “The nations which were originally left as a test are now left as a punishment.” This view best harmonizes v. 23, which explains that the Lord did not give all the nations to Joshua, with v. 22. (For a grammatical parallel, where the infinitive construct of נָסָה [nasah] is subordinated to the perfect of עָזַב [’azav], see 2 Chr 32:31.)

112 tn The Hebrew text includes the phrase “by them,” but this is somewhat redundant in English and has been omitted from the translation for stylistic reasons.

113 tn The words “I [i.e., the Lord] wanted to see” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

114 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

115 tn Or “way [of life].”

116 tn “The words “marked out by” are interpretive.

117 tn Or “fathers.”

118 tn The words “this is why” are interpretive.

119 tn Or “quickly.”

120 tn Heb “did not know the wars of Canaan.”

121 tn The Hebrew syntax of v. 2 is difficult. The Hebrew text reads literally, “only in order that the generations of the Israelites might know, to teach them war – only those who formerly did not know them.”

sn The stated purpose for leaving the nations (to teach the subsequent generations…how to conduct holy war) seems to contradict 2:22 and 3:4, which indicate the nations were left to test Israel’s loyalty to the Lord. However, the two stated purposes can be harmonized. The willingness of later generations to learn and engage in holy war would measure their allegiance to the Lord (see B. G. Webb, Judges [JSOTSup], 114-15).

122 tn The words “These were the nations,” though not present in the Hebrew text, are supplied in the translation for clarity.

123 tn Or “the entrance to Hamath.”

124 tn Heb “to know if they would hear the commands of the Lord which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”

125 tn Heb “to their sons.”

126 tn Or “served”; or “followed” (this term occurs in the following verse as well).

127 tn Heb “in the eyes of the Lord.”

128 sn The Asherahs were local manifestations of the Canaanite goddess Asherah.

129 tn Or “The Lord’s anger burned (or raged) against Israel.”

130 tn Heb “sold them into the hands of.”

131 tn Or “Cushan the Doubly Wicked.”

132 tn Or “they served Cushan-Rishathaim.”

133 tn Heb “the Lord.”

134 tn Or “delivered.”

135 tn “Caleb’s younger brother” may refer to Othniel or to Kenaz (in which case Othniel is Caleb’s nephew).

136 tn Heb “was on him.”

137 tn Heb “his hand was strong against Cushan-Rishathaim.”

138 tn Heb “in the eyes of the Lord” (also later in this verse).

139 tn Heb “strengthened Eglon…against Israel.”

140 tn Heb “and he gathered to him.”

141 tn Or “the Israelites served Eglon.”

142 tn Heb “the Lord.” This has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

143 tn The phrase, which refers to Ehud, literally reads “bound/restricted in the right hand,” apparently a Hebrew idiom for a left-handed person. See Judg 20:16, where 700 Benjaminites are described in this way. Perhaps the Benjaminites purposely trained several of their young men to be left-handed warriors by restricting the use of the right hand from an early age so the left hand would become dominant. Left-handed men would have a distinct military advantage, especially when attacking city gates. See B. Halpern, “The Assassination of Eglon: The First Locked-Room Murder Mystery,” BRev 4 (1988): 35.

144 tn Heb “The Israelites sent by his hand an offering to Eglon, king of Moab.”

145 tn The Hebrew term גֹּמֶד (gomed) denotes a unit of linear measure, perhaps a cubit (the distance between the elbow and the tip of the middle finger – approximately 18 inches [45 cm]). Some suggest it is equivalent to the short cubit (the distance between the elbow and the knuckles of the clenched fist – approximately 13 inches [33 cm]) or to the span (the distance between the end of the thumb and the end of the little finger in a spread hand – approximately 9 inches [23 cm]). See BDB 167 s.v.; HALOT 196 s.v.; B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 142.

146 tn Heb “the tribute payment.”

147 tn Or “returned” (i.e., to Eglon’s palace).

148 tn The words “when he reached” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The Hebrew text simply reads “from.”

149 tn Or “idols.”

150 tn The words “to Eglon” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

151 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Eglon) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

152 tn Or “Hush!”

153 tn Or “cool.” This probably refers to a room with latticed windows which allowed the breeze to pass through. See B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 144.

154 tn Heb “word of [i.e., from] God.”

155 tn Or “throne.”

156 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Eglon) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

157 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Ehud) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

158 tn The Hebrew text has “and he went out to the [?].” The meaning of the Hebrew word פַּרְשְׁדֹנָה (parshÿdonah) which occurs only here in the OT, is uncertain. The noun has the article prefixed and directive suffix. The word may be a technical architectural term, indicating the area into which Ehud moved as he left the king and began his escape. In this case Ehud is the subject of the verb “went out.” The present translation omits the clause, understanding it as an ancient variant of the first clause in v. 23. Some take the noun as “back,” understand “sword” (from the preceding clause) as the subject, and translate “the sword came out his [i.e., Eglon’s] back.” But this rendering is unlikely since the Hebrew word for “sword” (חֶרֶב, kherev) is feminine and the verb form translated “came out” (וַיֵּצֵא, vayyetse’) is masculine. (One expects agreement in gender when the subject is supplied from the preceding clause. See Ezek 33:4, 6.) See B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 146-48, for discussion of the options.

159 tn Again the precise meaning of the Hebrew word, used only here in the OT, is uncertain. Since it is preceded by the verb “went out” and the next clause refers to Ehud closing doors, the noun is probably an architectural term referring to the room (perhaps a vestibule; see HALOT 604 s.v. מִסְדְּרוֹן) immediately outside the king’s upper chamber. As v. 24 indicates, this vestibule separated the upper room from an outer room where the king's servants were waiting.

160 tn Heb “his.”

161 tn Heb “covering his feet” (i.e., with his outer garments while he relieves himself).

162 tn The Hebrew expression translated “well-ventilated inner room” may refer to the upper room itself or to a bathroom attached to or within it.

163 tn The words “the doors” are supplied.

164 tn Heb “See, their master, fallen to the ground, dead.”

165 tn Heb “When he arrived.”

166 tn That is, “mustered an army.”

167 tn Heb “now he was before them.”

168 tn Heb “for the Lord has given your enemies, Moab, into your hand.” 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 Lord speaks of it as a “done deal.”

169 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied for clarity.

170 tn Or “against Moab,” that is, so as to prevent the Moabites from crossing.

171 tn Heb “They struck Moab that day – about ten thousand men.”

172 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Ehud) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

173 tn Heb “was.”

174 tn Heb “also he”; the referent (Ehud) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

175 tn Heb “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.”

176 tn Heb “the Lord sold them into the hands of.”

177 tn Or “King Jabin of Hazor, a Canaanite ruler.”

map For location see Map1 D2; Map2 D3; Map3 A2; Map4 C1.

178 tn Or “Harosheth of the Pagan Nations”; cf. KJV “Harosheth of the Gentiles.”

179 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Sisera) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

180 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.

181 tn Heb “with strength.”

182 tn Heb “ a woman, a prophetess.” In Hebrew idiom the generic “woman” sometimes precedes the more specific designation. See GKC 437-38 §135.b.

183 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.

184 tn Or “judging.”

185 tn That is, “consider legal disputes.”

186 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

187 tn Heb “for judgment.”

188 tn Heb “sent and summoned.”

189 tn Heb “horde”; “multitude.”

190 tn Or “honor.”

191 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.

192 tn Heb “for into the hands of a woman the Lord will sell Sisera.”

193 tn Heb “went up at his feet.”

194 tn Or “separated.”

195 tn Heb “pitched his tent.”

196 tn Heb “and they told Sisera.”

197 tn Heb “Sisera.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

198 tn Or “summoned.”

199 tn Heb “Arise!”

200 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 Lord speaks of it as a “done deal.”

201 tn Heb “Has the Lord not gone out before you?”

202 tn Or “caused to panic.”

203 tn The Hebrew text also includes the phrase “before Barak.” This has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

204 tn Heb “got down from.”

205 tn Heb “fell.”

206 tn Heb “was left.”

207 map For location see Map1 D2; Map2 D3; Map3 A2; Map4 C1.

208 tn Heb “for there was peace between.”

209 tn Heb “Turn aside” (also a second time later in this verse).

210 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Sisera) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

211 tn Heb “took a tent peg and put a hammer in her hand.”

212 tn Heb “and it went into the ground.”

213 tn Heb “and exhausted.” Another option is to understand this as a reference to the result of the fatal blow. In this case, the phrase could be translated, “and he breathed his last.”

214 tn Heb “he went to her.”

215 tn Heb “fallen, dead.”

216 tn Heb “The hand of the Israelites became more and more severe against.”

217 tn Heb “cut off.”

218 tn Heb “Jabin king of Canaan.” The proper name and title have been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

219 tn The words “this victory song” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

220 tn The meaning of the Hebrew expression בִּפְרֹעַ פְּרָעוֹת (bifroapÿraot) is uncertain. Numerous proposals are offered by commentators. (For a survey of opinions, see B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 223-27.) The next line refers to the people who responded to Barak’s summons to war, so a reference to the leaders who issued the summons would provide a natural poetic parallel. In v. 9 the leaders (חוֹקְקֵי, khoqÿqey) of the people and these same volunteers stand in poetic parallelism, so it is reasonable to assume that the difficult Hebrew term פְּרַעוֹת (pÿraot, v. 2a) is synonymous with חוֹקְקֵי (khoqÿqey) of v. 9 (see Lindars, 227).

221 tn Heb “I, to the Lord, I, I will sing!” The first singular personal pronoun is used twice, even though a first person finite verbal form is employed.

222 tn Or “make music.”

223 tn Or “went out.”

224 tn Heb “water.”

225 tn Or “quaked.” The translation assumes the form נָזֹלּוּ (nazollu) from the root זָלַל (zalal, “to quake”; see HALOT 272 s.v. II זלל). The LXX, the Syriac Peshitta, and the Targum also understood the word this way. (See Isa 63:19 and 64:2 for other occurrences of this form.) Some understand here the verb נָזַל (nazul, “to flow [with torrents of rain water]”).

226 tn Heb “this one of Sinai.” The phrase is a divine title, perhaps indicating that the Lord rules from Sinai.

227 tc The translation assumes the form אֳרְחוֹת (’orÿkhot, “caravans”) rather than אֳרָחוֹת (’orakhot, “roadways”) because it makes a tighter parallel with “travelers” in the next line.

228 tn Or “ceased.”

229 tn Heb “Ones walking on paths.”

230 tn The meaning of the Hebrew noun פְרָזוֹן (fÿrazon) is uncertain. Some understand the meaning as “leaders” or “those living in rural areas.” The singular noun appears to be collective (note the accompanying plural verb). For various options see B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 237-38.

231 tn Or “ceased.”

232 tn The translation assumes that the verb is an archaic second feminine singular form. Though Deborah is named as one of the composers of the song (v. 1), she is also addressed within it (v. 12). Many take the verb as first person singular, “I arose” (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV).

233 tn Heb “mother.” The translation assumes that the image portrays Deborah as a protector of the people. It is possible that the metaphor points to her prophetic role. Just as a male prophet could be called “father,” so Deborah, a prophetess, is called “mother” (B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 239).

234 tn Or “warriors.” The Hebrew text reads literally, “He chose God/gods new.” Some take “Israel” as the subject of the verb, “gods” as object, and “new” as an adjective modifying “gods.” This yields the translation, “(Israel) chose new gods.” In this case idolatry is the cause of the trouble alluded to in the context. The present translation takes “God” as subject of the verb and “new” as substantival, referring to the new leaders raised up by God (see v. 9a). For a survey of opinions and a defense of the present translation, see B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 239-40.

235 tn The translation of this difficult line is speculative because the second word, לָחֶם (lakhem), appears only here. The line in the Hebrew text literally reads, “Then [?] gates.” Interpretations and emendations of the Hebrew text abound (see B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 239-40). The translation assumes a repointing of the form as a Qal participle לֹחֵם (lokhem) from the verbal root לָחַם (lakham, “fight”) and understands a substantival use (“fighter”). “Fighter” is a collective reference to the military leaders or warriors mentioned in the preceding line and in v. 9. (For other occurrences of the Qal of לָחַם, see Pss 35:1; 56:2-3.)

236 tn Heb “A shield, it could not be seen, nor a spear.” The translation assumes that the Hebrew particle אִם (’im) introduces an oath of denial (see GKC 472 §149.e).

237 tn Traditionally “forty thousand,” but this may be an instance where Hebrew term אֶלֶף (’elef) refers to a military unit. This is the view assumed by the translation (“forty military units”).

238 tn The words “went out” are supplied in the translation for clarity.

239 tn The meaning of the Hebrew word מִדִּין (middin, “saddle blankets”) in this context is uncertain.

240 tn The word “Hear” is supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.

241 tn The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain. Some translate “those who distribute the water” (HALOT 344 s.v. חצץ pi). For other options see B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 246-47.

242 tn Or perhaps “repeat.”

243 tn See the note on the term “warriors” in v. 7.

244 tn Heb “take captive your captives.” (The Hebrew text uses a cognate accusative here.)

245 tn This probably refers to those who responded to the call for war. They were “survivors” of the Canaanite oppression (see B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 250).

246 tn The translation assumes a repointing of the verb as a perfect or imperfect/preterite form of יָרַד (yarad, “to go down”). The form as pointed in the MT appears to be from רָדָה (radah, “to rule”). See GKC 188 §69.g. The same form, translated “came down,” occurs in the next line as well.

247 sn The expression mighty ones probably refers to the leaders of the army.

248 sn The speaker may be Deborah here.

249 tn The translation assumes the preposition ב (bet) prefixed to “warriors” has the force of “in the capacity of.” For this use of the preposition, see GKC 379 §119.i.

250 tn Heb “From Ephraim their root in Amalek” (the words “they came” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons). Because of the difficulty of the MT, many prefer to follow one of the ancient versions or emend the text. For various proposals see B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 252-53. The present translation repoints שָׁרְשָׁם (shorsham, traditionally translated “their root”) as a Piel verb form with enclitic mem (ם). The preposition ב (bet) on עֲמָלֵק (’amaleq) introduces the object (see Job 31:12 for an example of the construction). Ephraim’s territory encompassed the hill country of the Amalekites (Judg 12:15).

251 tn The words “They follow” are supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.

252 tn The word “came” is supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.

253 tn Or possibly “who carry.”

254 tn Heb “Issachar.” The words “the men of” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

255 tn Or “was true to.”

256 tn Heb “at his feet.”

257 tn Heb “great was.”

258 tc The great majority of Hebrew mss have “resolves of heart,” but a few mss read “searchings of heart,” which is preferable in light of v. 16.

259 tn The meaning of the Hebrew word מִשְׁפְּתַיִם (mishpÿtayim) is uncertain. Some understand the word to mean “campfires.”

260 tn Or “whistling.”

261 tn Heb “listening to the pipe playing for the flocks.”

262 tn Heb “lived” or “settled down.”

sn Apparently the people of Gilead remained on the other side of the river and did not participate in the battle.

263 tn Heb “Dan, why did he live as a resident alien, ships.” The verb גּוּר (gur) usually refers to taking up residence outside one’s native land. Perhaps the Danites, rather than rallying to Barak, were content to move to the Mediterranean coast and work in the shipyards. For further discussion, see B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 262.

264 tn Heb “lived.”

265 tn Heb “lived” or “settled down.”

266 tn The meaning of the Hebrew word מִפְרָץ (mifrats) is uncertain, but the parallelism (note “seacoast”) suggests “harbors.”

267 tn Heb “Zebulun was a people which despised its life even unto death.”

268 tn Heb “Naphtali was on the heights of the field.”

269 map For location see Map1 D4; Map2 C1; Map4 C2; Map5 F2; Map7 B1.

270 tn The contrastive conjunction “but” is interpretive.

271 tn Or “from heaven.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.

272 tn The MT takes “the stars” with what follows rather than with the first colon of v. 20. But for metrical reasons it seems better to move the atnach and read the colon as indicated in the translation.

273 tn The words “in the heavens” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

274 tn Possibly “the ancient river,” but it seems preferable in light of the parallel line (which has a verb) to emend the word (attested only here) to a verb (קָדַם, qadam) with pronominal object suffix.

275 tn This line is traditionally taken as the poet-warrior’s self-exhortation, “March on, my soul, in strength!” The present translation (a) takes the verb (a second feminine singular form) as addressed to Deborah (cf. v. 12), (b) understands נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) in its well-attested sense of “throat; neck” (cf. Jonah 2:6), (c) takes the final yod (י) on נַפְשִׁי (nafshiy) as an archaic construct indicator (rather than a suffix), and (d) interprets עֹז (’oz, “strength”) as an attributive genitive (literally, “necks of strength,” i.e., “strong necks”). For fuller discussion and various proposals, see B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 270-71.

276 tc The MT as it stands has a singular noun, but if one moves the prefixed mem (מ) from the beginning of the next word to the end of סוּס (sus), the expected plural form is achieved. Another possibility is to understand an error of scribal haplography here, in which case the letter mem should appear in both places.

277 tn The words “the ground” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarification.

278 tn Heb “galloped, galloped.” The repetition is for emphasis and is more appropriately indicated in English with an adverb.

279 tn Heb “Curse Meroz.”

280 tn The adjective “angelic” is interpretive.

281 tn Heb “Curse, cursing.” The Hebrew construction is emphatic.

282 tn Heb “[to] curse.”

283 tn Heb “to the help of the Lord” (the same Hebrew phrase occurs in the following line). Another option is to read “to aid the Lord’s cause.”

284 tn Or “along with the other warriors.”

285 tn Or “blessed.”

286 tn Or “for mighty ones.”

287 tn The adjective “left” is interpretive, based on the context. Note that the next line pictures Jael holding the hammer with her right hand.

288 tn The verb used here is from the same root as the noun “hammer” in the preceding line.

289 tn Or “head.”

290 tn The phrase “his head” (an implied direct object) is supplied in the translation for clarification.

291 tn Heb “she pierced his temple.”

292 tn Heb “he fell.” The same Hebrew expression occurs two more times in this verse.

293 tn Heb “and he lay.

294 tn Or “dead, murdered.”

295 tn Heb “chariots.”

296 tn Or “princesses.”

297 tn Heb “Are they not finding, dividing the plunder?”

298 tn Heb “a womb or two for each man.” The words “to rape” are interpretive. The Hebrew noun translated “girl” means literally “womb” (BDB 933 s.v. I. רַחַם), but in this context may refer by extension to the female genitalia. In this case the obscene language of Sisera’s mother alludes to the sexual brutality which typified the aftermath of battle.

299 tn Heb “the plunder of dyed cloth is for Sisera.”

300 tn Heb “the plunder of embroidered cloth.”

301 tn The translation assumes an emendation of the noun (“plunder”) to a participle, “plunderer.”

302 tn Heb “But may those who love him be like the going forth of the sun in its strength.”



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