Judges 5:19-31

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, July 4, 2016 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Last week, we took a look at the first half of Judges 5, the song of Deborah to remember the battle that God won for her and Barak against Sisera and his armies. I encourage you go to read that post to get the context for today’s post.

This week we’re taking a look at Judges 5:19-31, the rest of Deborah’s song. The purpose of this song was to remember the battle and the victory that God gave them, and that is where we pick it up in today’s passage.

Verses 19-23 describe some more details of the battle itself. This section is clearly poetry, as there are literary devices such as repetition (words like “fought” and “river” appear multiple times) and imagery. Judges 4:12-16 previously described the battle in more detail, but this description is more poetic and fits the genre of a song here. In verse 20 we see God beginning to intervene, with the personification of the stars. The enemy is described as getting swept away by the river, possibly reflecting back to God’s victory over the Egyptian army at the Red Sea at the start of the exodus.

In the next section, verses 24-27, we see praise for Jael for her role in this battle. (For more context, go check out this post or Judges 4:19-21 to see what she did.) Jael is praised and blessed here for her actions, and that blessing is likely coming from the author rather than God Himself. The song here recounts how Jael treated Sisera well at first, until she lulled him into a false sense of security then killed him. In verse 27 we see again how poetic this passage is, with an instance of climactic parallelism, where the same actions are repeated for emphasis.

In verses 28-30, the scene shifts to one we did not see narrated in Judges 4: that of Sisera’s mother. It can be easy for us to forget that all of these warriors and soldiers had family too, and here there is compassion shown for Sisera’s family by bringing up his mother waiting for her son to return home from battle. She longs for her son to return home, and that never happens.

Finally in verse 31 we see the conclusion to this song about the battle. There is desire for more enemies to perish, and there is praise of God for giving them victory. We’re reminded here that this battle brought 40 years of peace to Israel.

This passage is especially significant today, as we celebrate Independence Day in the United States. How many battles were fought, similar to the one recounted in Judges 4-5, for our freedom? How many people were courageous in their actions? How many mothers waited for their sons to return home from battle? All wars and battles bring devastation, but when they are fought as a part of God’s plan they ultimately bring peace. Because of this battle between Deborah, Barak, and Sisera, Israel had peace for 40 years. Because of the battles of the Revolutionary War in the 1770s, we gained independence as a nation. Many lost their lives in both battles, but God is still victorious.

May we, too, praise God for His provision and victory on this holiday in our nation.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.