With a tent peg and a hammer, a nomadic woman named Jael killed one of Israel’s most feared enemies, Sisera. He commanded the powerful army and chariot corps of Hazor, a city in northern Galilee. His army ruthlessly oppressed northern Israel for twenty years until an Israelite leader named Deborah organized a militia to fight back.

Jael, a nomad’s wife, invites a military commander running from a lost battle to rest in her tent. When he falls asleep, she drives a tent peg into his head.

A rainstorm bogged Sisera’s chariots in mud, and the Israelite militia rushed in one foot. Sisera jumped off his chariot and ran until he came to the tent of Jael and her husband, Heber. They were Kenites, a clan originally from the northern Sinai.

Jael invited the exhausted Sistera inside her tent, gave him milk, and covered him. When he fell asleep, she drove a tent peg through his temple and into the ground. Why, the Bible doesn’t say. But Kenites, known for metalworking, relied on good relations with their neighbors-in this case, the Israelites.

First Mention: Judges 4:17

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