Judges 4–6

1 When Ehud was dead, the children of Israel once more did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 2 The Lord sold them into the hands of King Jabin of Canaan, who ruled in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera. He lived in Harosheth Haggoyim. 3 The children of Israel cried out to the Lord, for Sisera had nine hundred iron chariots and had forcefully oppressed the children of Israel for twenty years.

4 Now Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophetess. She judged Israel at that time. 5 She would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim. The children of Israel would go up to her for her to render judgment. 6 She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord God of Israel commands you, ‘Go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor, and take ten thousand men from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun with you. 7 I will draw Sisera, the commander of the army of Jabin, with his chariots and large army to you at the River Kishon and give him into your hands.’”

8 Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go, but if you will not go with me, then I will not go.”

9 She said, “I will indeed go with you. However, the way you are going will gain you no glory, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. Ten thousand men went up on foot with him, and Deborah went up with him also.

11 Now Heber the Kenite had moved away from the Kenites, who were descendants of Hobab, Moses’ father-in-law. He pitched his tent at the oak in Zaanannim, near Kedesh.

12 Then they told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13 So Sisera summoned all his nine hundred iron chariots and all the people with him, from Harosheth Haggoyim to the River Kishon.

14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Get up, for this is the day that the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men behind him. 15 The Lord routed Sisera and all of his chariots and all of his army with the edge of the sword in front of Barak. Sisera dismounted his chariot and fled on foot.

16 Barak chased after the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim. The whole army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword. Not a single man survived. 17 Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between King Jabin of Hazor and the family of Heber the Kenite.

18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord. Turn aside to me. Do not be afraid.” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug.

19 He said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a leather milk container, gave it to him to drink, and covered him.

20 He said to her, “Stand in the entrance to the tent, and if anyone comes and asks you, ‘Is there a man here?’ then you say, ‘No.’”

21 Then Jael the wife of Heber took a tent peg and a hammer in her hand and went quietly to him, for he was fast asleep and tired. She drove the tent peg into his temple, and it went down into the ground, so he died.

22 Now as Barak had been chasing Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you seek.” When he came in, there was Sisera fallen dead with a tent peg in his temple.

23 So God humbled King Jabin of Canaan before the children of Israel that day. 24 The children of Israel grew more and more powerful over King Jabin of Canaan until he was no more.

Chapter 5

1 On that day, Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang:

2 “When the leaders in Israel lead,

when the people freely volunteer,

bless the Lord!

3 “Hear, O kings! Listen, O rulers!

I will sing to the Lord;

I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

4 “Lord, when You went out from Seir,

when You marched from the land of Edom,

the ground shook and the skies poured,

indeed, the dense clouds poured water.

5 The mountains quaked before the Lord,

this very Sinai, before the Lord God of Israel.

6 “In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,

in the days of Jael, main roads were abandoned

and travelers used roundabout paths.

7 Village life ceased. It ceased

until I, Deborah, arose;

I arose like a mother in Israel.

8 They were choosing new gods,

and warfare was at the city gates,

but not a shield or spear was to be seen

among forty thousand in Israel.

9 My heart is with the rulers of Israel

who offered themselves willingly among the people.

Bless the Lord!

10 “You who ride on white donkeys,

you who sit in judges’ attire,

you who walk on the road,

11 consider the voice of those who distribute water among the watering places.

There they tell of the righteous deeds of the Lord,

the righteous deeds of villagers in Israel.

“Then the people of the Lord

go down to the gates.

12 Awake, awake, Deborah!

Awake, awake, sing a song!

Stand up, Barak,

and capture your prisoners, son of Abinoam!

13 “The survivors

came down to the nobles;

the people of the Lord

came down for me against the mighty.

14 Some came from Ephraim, whose roots were in Amalek,

following you, Benjamin, with your people.

From Makir rulers came down,

and from Zebulun those who carry the staff of a scribe.

15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah,

and Issachar was with Barak;

they were sent into the valley on foot.

Among the clans of Reuben

there was great resolve of heart.

16 Why do you sit among the sheepfolds

to hear playing of pipes for the flocks?

In the clans of Reuben

there was much searching of heart.

17 Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan.

As for Dan, why did he stay with the ships?

Asher stayed by the seacoast

and settled by its bays.

18 Zebulun is a people who risked their lives to the point of death,

Naphtali also, on the heights of the battlefield.

19 “Kings came to wage war.

The kings of Canaan waged war

in Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo;

they took no money as profit.

20 From the heavens the stars fought,

from their courses they fought against Sisera.

21 The torrent of Kishon swept them away,

that ancient torrent, the torrent of Kishon.

My soul, march on in strength!

22 Then horses’ hooves pounded,

the galloping, galloping of his steeds.

23 Curse Meroz, said the angel of the Lord,

curse its inhabitants,

for they did not come to the aid of the Lord,

to the aid of the Lord against the mighty warriors.

24 “Most blessed of women is Jael,

the wife of Heber the Kenite,

most blessed of tent-dwelling


25 He asked for water, she gave him milk.

In a magnificent bowl she brought cream.

26 Her hand on a tent peg,

her right hand on a workman’s hammer;

she struck Sisera, she crushed his skull,

she shattered and pierced his temple.

27 Between her feet he sank, he fell, he lay;

between her feet he sank, he fell;

where he sank, there he fell, overpowered.

28 “The mother of Sisera looked through the window,

and cried out through the lattice,

‘Why is his chariot so late?

Why is the sound of his war chariots so delayed?’

29 Her wise attendants answered her,

indeed, she replied to herself,

30 ‘Are they not finding and dividing the spoils:

a girl or two for each man;

dyed garments as plunder for Sisera,

dyed and embroidered garments,

two pieces of dyed embroidery for the neck of the looter?’

31 “May all Your enemies perish like this, O Lord!

But may those who love Him rise like the sun

when it rises in full strength.”

Then the land was at peace for forty years.

Chapter 6

1 The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord gave them into the hands of Midian for seven years. 2 The hands of Midian dominated Israel, and because of Midian the children of Israel made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds. 3 Whenever Israel would plant crops, the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people from the east would come up against them. 4 Then they would make camp by them and ruin crops of the land all the way to Gaza. They did not leave any provisions behind in Israel—neither sheep, nor cattle, nor donkeys. 5 For they came with their livestock and tents like a swarm of locusts. They and their camels were too numerous to count, and they came into the land to destroy it. 6 Israel was made weak before Midian and cried out to the Lord.

7 When the children of Israel cried out to the Lord because of Midian, 8 the Lord sent them a prophet who said, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: I brought you up from Egypt and out of that place of slavery. 9 I delivered you from the hands of Egypt and all your oppressors. I drove them out from before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God. Do not worship the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living.’ But you have disobeyed Me.”

11 Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak tree in Ophrah belonging to Joash the Abiezrite. Gideon his son was threshing wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12 The angel of the Lord appeared and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.”

13 Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, then why has all this happened to us? Where are all His miracles that our fathers told us about? They said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us out of Egypt?’ Yet now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”

14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this strength of yours. Save Israel from the control of Midian. Have I not sent you?”

15 And he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.”

16 Then the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you will strike the Midianites as one man.”

17 And he said to Him, “If I have found favor in Your sight, give me a sign that it is You who are speaking with me. 18 Please do not depart from here until I come to You and bring out my gift and set it before You.”

And He said, “I will stay until you return.”

19 So Gideon went and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. He put the meat in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought them out and offered them to Him under the oak.

20 And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And so he did. 21 The angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in His hand and touched the meat and unleavened flatbread. Fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and unleavened bread. Then the angel of the Lord departed from his sight. 22 Then Gideon perceived that it was indeed the angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.”

23 Then the Lord said to him, “Peace be with you. Do not be afraid. You will not die.”

24 Then Gideon built an altar for the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. Even to this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

25 That night the Lord said to him, “Take a bull from your father’s herd and a second bull seven years old. Tear down your father’s Baal altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. 26 Then build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this stronghold in an orderly way. Take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah pole that you will cut down.”

27 So Gideon took ten men from among his slaves and did as the Lord had told him, but because he was too afraid of the rest of his father’s household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it at night.

28 When the men of the city got up early in the morning, the altar of Baal was torn down, the Asherah pole beside it was cut down, and the second bull had been offered on the new altar that had been built.

29 They said to each other, “Who has done this?”

When they had inquired and asked, they responded, “Gideon son of Joash has done this.”

30 Then the men of the city said to Joash, “Bring out your son so that he may die, for he tore down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”

31 Joash then said to all who stood against him, “Would you plead for Baal? Would you save him? Whoever fights for him will be killed by morning. If Baal is a god, let him fight for himself, for someone has torn down his altar.” 32 Therefore on that day he called him Jerub-Baal, saying, “Let Baal fight him, for he tore down the altar of Baal.”

33 All the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people from the east gathered together, and they crossed over, and camped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 The Spirit of the Lord enveloped Gideon. He blew a ram’s horn trumpet, and the Abiezrites assembled behind him. 35 He sent messengers throughout all of Manasseh and they assembled behind him as well. He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, so these tribes came up to meet them.

36 Gideon said to God, “If You will use my hands to save Israel, as You have said— 37 I am placing a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only and all of the ground remains dry, then I will know that You will save Israel with my hands, as You have said.” 38 So it happened. He got up early the next morning and squeezed the fleece. Enough dew poured out of the fleece to fill a bowlful of water.

39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not let Your anger burn against me as I speak only one more time. Please let me perform a test with the fleece one more time. Please, let the fleece be the only thing dry, and let there be dew on all of the ground.” 40 So God did this during that night. Only the fleece was dry, and the dew was on all the ground.

Luke 4:31–44

31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. 32 They were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority.

33 In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Leave us alone! What have You to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”

35 Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” When the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him and did not hurt him.

36 They were all amazed and said among themselves, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” 37 And His fame went out to every place in the surrounding countryside.

38 He went out of the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was taken ill with a high fever, and they asked Him about her. 39 So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she rose and served them.

40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had anyone sick with various diseases brought them to Him. And He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. 41 And demons came out of many, crying out, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” But He rebuked them and did not permit them to speak, because they knew that He was the Christ.

42 When it was day He departed and went into a remote place. And searching for Him, the people came to Him and tried to prevent Him from leaving them. 43 But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also, for this is why I was sent.” 44 And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.