11 Then the land was at rest for forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.
12 Now the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord. 13 And he gathered to himself the sons of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and [a]defeated Israel, and they took possession of the city of the palm trees. 14 And the sons of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab for eighteen years.
Ehud Kills Eglon
15 But when the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for them, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man. And the sons of Israel sent tribute by [b]him to Eglon the king of Moab. 16 Now Ehud made himself a sword which had two edges, a cubit in length, and he strapped it on his right thigh under his cloak. 17 Then he presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18 And it came about, when he had finished presenting the tribute, that Ehud sent away the people who had carried the tribute. 19 But he himself turned back from the idols which were at Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” And the king said, “Silence!” And all who were attending him left him. 20 Then Ehud came to him while he was sitting in his cool roof chamber alone. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” And he got up from his seat. 21 Then Ehud reached out with his left hand and took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly. 22 The hilt of the sword also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade because he did not pull the sword out of his belly; and [c]the refuse came out. 23 Then Ehud went out into the [d]vestibule, and shut the doors of the roof chamber behind him, and locked them.
24 When he had left, [e]the king’s servants came and looked, and behold, the doors of the roof chamber were locked; and they said, “Undoubtedly he is [f]relieving himself in the cool room.” 25 So they waited [g]until it would have been shameful to wait longer; but behold, he did not open the doors of the roof chamber. So they took the key and opened them, and behold, their master had fallen to the [h]floor dead.
26 Now Ehud escaped while they were hesitating, and he passed by the idols and escaped to Seirah. 27 And [i]when he arrived, he blew the trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he was [j]leading them. 28 Then he said to them, “Pursue them, for the Lord has handed your enemies the Moabites over to you.” So they went down after him and took control of the crossing places of the Jordan opposite Moab, and did not allow anyone to cross. 29 They struck and killed about ten thousand Moabites at that time, all robust and valiant men; and no one escaped. 30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land was at rest for eighty years.
Shamgar Saves Israel
31 Now after him came Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck and killed six hundred Philistines with an [k]oxgoad; and he also saved Israel.
Deborah and Barak
4 Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, after Ehud died. 2 So the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; and the commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. 3 The sons of Israel cried out to the Lord; for he had nine hundred iron chariots, and he oppressed the sons of Israel severely for twenty years.
4 Now Deborah, a [l]prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5 She used to [m]sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel went up to her for judgment. 6 Now she sent word and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali, and said to him, “[n]The Lord, the God of Israel, has indeed commanded, ‘Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men from the sons of Naphtali and from the sons of Zebulun. 7 I will draw out to you Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his [o]many troops to the river Kishon, and I will hand him over to you.’” 8 Then Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” 9 She said, “I will certainly go with you; however, the fame shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh, and ten thousand men went up [p]with him; Deborah also went up with him.
11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, from the sons of Hobab the [q]father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the [r]oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.
12 Then they told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13 Sisera summoned all his chariots, nine hundred iron chariots, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon. 14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Arise! For this is the day on which the Lord has handed Sisera over to you; [s]behold, the Lord has gone out before you.” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. 15 And the Lord [t]routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot. 16 But Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth-hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not even one was left.
17 Now Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my master, turn aside to me! Do not be afraid.” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a [u]rug. 19 And he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a leather bottle of milk and gave him a drink; then she covered him. 20 And he said to her, “Stand in the doorway of the tent, and it shall be if anyone comes and inquires of you, and says, ‘Is there anyone here?’ that you shall say, ‘No.’” 21 But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and [v]a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died. 22 And behold, while Barak was pursuing Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” So he entered [w]with her, and behold, Sisera was lying dead with the tent peg in his temple.
23 So God subdued Jabin the king of Canaan on that day before the sons of Israel. 24 And the hand of the sons of Israel pressed harder and harder upon Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had eliminated Jabin the king of Canaan.
The Song of Deborah and Barak
5 Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying,
2 “For [x]the leaders leading in Israel,
For the people volunteering,
Bless the Lord!
3 Hear, you kings; listen, you dignitaries!
I myself—to the Lord, I myself will sing,
I will sing praise to the Lord, the God of Israel!
4 Lord, when You went out from Seir,
When You marched from the field of Edom,
The earth quaked, the heavens also dripped,
The clouds also dripped water.
5 The mountains [y]flowed with water at the presence of the Lord,
This Sinai, at the presence of the Lord, the God of Israel.
6 “In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath,
In the days of Jael, the roads [z]were deserted,
And travelers went by [aa]roundabout ways.
7 The [ab]peasantry came to an end, they came to an end in Israel,
Until I, Deborah, arose,
Until I arose, a mother in Israel.
8 New gods were chosen;
Then war was in the gates.
Not a shield or a spear was seen
Among forty thousand in Israel.
9 My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel,
The volunteers among the people;
Bless the Lord!
10 You who ride on [ac]white donkeys,
You who sit on rich carpets,
And you who travel on the road—shout in praise!
11 At the sound of those who distribute water among the watering places,
There they will recount the righteous deeds of the Lord,
The righteous deeds for His [ad]peasantry in Israel.
Then the people of the Lord went down to the gates.
12 “Awake, awake, Deborah;
Awake, awake, [ae]sing a song!
Arise, Barak, and lead away your captives, son of Abinoam.
13 Then survivors came down to the nobles;
The people of the Lord came down to me as warriors.
14 From Ephraim those whose root is in Amalek came down,
Following you, Benjamin, with your peoples;
From Machir commanders came down,
And from Zebulun those who wield the staff of [af]office.
15 And the [ag]princes of Issachar were with Deborah;
As was Issachar, so was Barak;
Into the valley they rushed at his [ah]heels;
Among the divisions of Reuben
There were great determinations of heart.
16 Why did you sit among the [ai]sheepfolds,
To hear the piping for the flocks?
Among the divisions of Reuben
There were great searchings of heart.
17 Gilead [aj]remained across the Jordan;
And why did Dan stay on ships?
Asher sat at the seashore,
And [ak]remained by its landings.
18 Zebulun was a people who risked their lives,
And Naphtali too, on the high places of the field.
19 “The kings came and fought;
Then the kings of Canaan fought
At Taanach near the waters of Megiddo;
They took no plunder in silver.
20 The stars fought from heaven,
From their paths they fought against Sisera.
21 The torrent of Kishon swept them away,
The ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon.
My soul, march on with strength!
22 Then the horses’ hoofs beat
From the galloping, the galloping of his mighty stallions.
23 ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the Lord,
‘Utterly curse its inhabitants,
Because they did not come to the help of the Lord,
To the help of the Lord against the warriors.’
24 “Most blessed of women is Jael,
The wife of Heber the Kenite;
Most blessed is she of women in the tent.
25 He asked for water, she gave him milk;
In a magnificent bowl she brought him curds.
26 She reached out her hand for the tent peg,
And her right hand for the workmen’s hammer.
Then she struck Sisera, she smashed his head;
And she shattered and pierced his temple.
27 Between her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay;
Between her feet he bowed, he fell;
Where he bowed, there he fell [al]dead.
28 “Out of the window she looked and wailed,
The mother of Sisera through the [am]lattice,
‘Why does his chariot delay in coming?
Why do the [an]hoofbeats of his chariots delay?’
29 Her wise princesses would answer her,
Indeed she repeats her words to herself,
30 ‘Are they not finding, are they not dividing the spoils?
A concubine, two concubines for every warrior;
To Sisera a spoil of dyed cloth,
A spoil of dyed cloth embroidered,
Dyed cloth of double embroidery on the [ao]neck of the plunderer?’
31 May all Your enemies perish in this way, Lord;
But may those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might.”
And the land was at rest for forty years.
Israel Oppressed by Midian
6 Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord handed them over to Midian for seven years. 2 The [ap]power of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the sons of Israel made for themselves the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. 3 For whenever Israel had sown, the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the [aq]people of the east and [ar]march against them. 4 So they would camp against them and destroy the produce of the earth [as]as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel, nor a sheep, ox, or donkey. 5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, they would come in like locusts in number, and both they and their camels were innumerable; and they came into the land to ruin it. 6 So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord.
7 Now it came about, when the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord on account of Midian, 8 that the Lord sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘It was I who brought you up from Egypt, and brought you out of the house of [at]slavery. 9 And I rescued you from the hands of the Egyptians, and from the hands of all your oppressors, and I drove them out from you and gave you their land, 10 and I said to you, “I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live.” But you have not [au]obeyed Me.’”
Gideon Is Visited
11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the [av]oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.” 13 Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did the Lord not bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.” 14 And the Lord [aw]looked at him and said, “Go in this strength of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” 15 But he said to Him, “O Lord, [ax]how am I to save Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” 16 Yet the Lord said to him, “I will certainly be with you, and you will [ay]defeat Midian as one man.” 17 So [az]Gideon said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then perform for me a sign that it is You speaking with me. 18 Please do not depart from here until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You.” And He said, “I will remain until you return.”
19 Then Gideon went in and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an [ba]ephah of flour; he put the meat in a basket [bb]and the broth in a pot, and brought them out to him under the [bc]oak and presented them. 20 And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so. 21 Then the angel of the Lord put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire came up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the angel of the Lord [bd]vanished from his sight. 22 When Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord, [be]he said, “Oh, Lord [bf]God! For I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!” 23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace to you, do not be afraid; you shall not die.” 24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and named it [bg]The Lord is Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
25 Now on the same night the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s bull [bh]and a second bull seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the [bi]Asherah that is beside it; 26 and build an altar to the Lord your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly way, and take a second bull and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.” 27 Then Gideon took ten men from his servants and did as the Lord had spoken to him; and because he was too afraid of his father’s household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night.
The Altar of Baal Destroyed
28 When the people of the city got up early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal had been torn down, and the Asherah which had been beside it had been cut down, and the second bull had been offered on the altar which had been built. 29 So they said to one another, “Who did this thing?” And when they searched and inquired, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash did this thing.” 30 Then the men of the city said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has torn down the altar of Baal, and indeed, he has cut down the Asherah which was beside it.” 31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal, or will you save him? Whoever will contend for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, since someone has torn down his altar!” 32 Therefore on that day he named [bj]Gideon Jerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he had torn down his altar.
33 Then all the Midianites, the Amalekites, and the [bk]people of the east assembled together; and they crossed over and camped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 So the Spirit of the Lord [bl]covered Gideon like clothing; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him. 35 And he sent messengers throughout Manasseh, and they also were called together to follow him; and he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they came up to meet them.
Sign of the Fleece
36 Then Gideon said to God, “If You are going to save Israel [bm]through me, as You have spoken, 37 behold, I am putting a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will save Israel [bn]through me, as You have spoken.” 38 And it was so. When he got up early the next morning and wrung out the fleece, he wrung the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not let Your anger burn against me, so that I may speak only one more time; please let me put You to the test only one more time with the fleece: let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground.” 40 And God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.