WHY CELEBRATE A MURDER IN A SONG (JUDGES 5:24-27)

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Song was a powerful form of mass communication for those times. It was a fast and easy way of communicating to a big audience. So why not use it as another version of the five o’clock news? The incident that was celebrated here was about when Jael killed the sleeping Sisera by pounding a tent peg through his skull (Judges 4:21-22). Sisera had been the commander of an enemy Canaanite army that had oppressed the people of Israel for twenty years. It is perhaps not correct to call this murder. Rather, what Jael did must be looked at in the larger context of God punishing sin and rescuing His people. With that in mind, the song is instead a celebration of God’s deliverance.

Judges 5:24-27-  24. Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent.

25. He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish.

26. She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen’s hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.

27. At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down; at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.

 

HOLMAN ILLUSTRATED BIBLE COMMENTARY

5:24-27- The curse on Meroz forms a contrast with the blessing on Jael, a non-Israelite who came “to help the Lord against the mighty warriors” (v 23). She is lauded for her resourcefulness and cunning. A caomparison to Eglon’s fatal encounter with Ehud is invited by a key comparison: Instead of a left-handed assassin, Jael did her work with her right hand. The end result for the oppressor is the same-the details of the death repeated with gory redundancy.

5:28-30 – From the bloody murder scene, the song moves poignantly to the image of Sisera’s mother, waiting vainly for his return. Her ladies reassured her that what was delaying her son was just the time involved in dividing the spoil. Each soilder would need to select some choice garments for themselves and their ladies, and a girl or two, or more literally, a “womb or two,” highlighting the sexual and reproductive functions the captive women were expected to provide.

NOTE: Using the Holman Illustrated Bible Commentary will help you understand the scripture more.

 

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