Within the song of Deborah and Barak, there is another story of a woman named Jael. She lived near Kadesh. She was married to Heber the Kenite (related to the father-in-law of Moses). They had separated from the Kenites (maybe because of Philistine aggression) and moved north to the Napthali area.
11 Now Heber the Kenite, which was of the children of Hobab the father in law of Moses, had severed himself from the Kenites, and pitched his tent unto the plain of Zaanaim, which is by Kedesh. Judges 4:11
Deborah had told Barak, the military leader of Israel, to go up Mt Tabor with 10,000 men to get ready to fight the Canaanites (Jabin was their ruler) and deliver them from Jabin’s oppression (4:3) This was accomplished with God’s help: good strategy and timely weather conditions. The Canaanite military leader, Sisera, escaped back to the Kadesh area and sought safety from Heber’s wife, Jael:
17 Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. Judges 4:17
However, Sisera was not safe with Jael as he had thought:
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. Judges 5:25-26
Sisera was killed by Jael. Deborah had told (4:9) Barak earlier that a woman would end Sisera’s life. Verse 27 is interesting from a figure of speech view. A figure of speech gives added emphasis to the situation.
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. Judges 5:27
There are two figures in this verse: asyndeton (no-ands) and epibole (overlaid repetition). The asyndeton involves a series of phrases with no conjunctions. It speeds up the tempo of the sentence ending with a climax statement ‘he fell down dead’.
The Israelites were delivered from the devilish oppression of 20 years by Deborah, Barak, the leaders and people of certain tribes of Israel and finally by Jael the Kenite. It is interesting how many were involved and who was involved in doing his/her part. God certainly operated in a variety of hearts to bring deliverance. The land had rest for 40 years after this victory.