XXXI. And Debbora sent and called Barach and said to him: Arise and gird up thy loins as a man, and go down and fight against Sisara, For I see the constellations greatly moved in their ranks and preparing to fight for you. 1 I see also
the lightnings unmoveable in their courses, and setting forth to stay the wheels of the chariots of them that boast in the might of Sisara, who saith: I will surely go down in the arm of my might to fight against Israel, and will divide the spoil of them among my servants, and their fair women will I take unto me for concubines. Therefore hath the Lord spoken concerning him that the arm of a weak woman shall overcome him, and maidens shall take his spoil, and he also himself shall fall into the hands of a woman.
2. And when Debbora and the people and Barach went down to meet their enemies, immediately the Lord disturbed the goings of his stars, and spake unto them saying: Hasten and go ye, for our (or your) enemies fall upon you: confound their arms and break the strength of their
hearts, for I am come that my people may prevail. For though it be that my people have sinned, yet will I have mercy on them. And when this was said, the stars went forth as it was commanded them and burned up their enemies. And the number of them that were gathered (or burned) and slain in one hour was go times 97,000 men. But Sisara they destroyed not, for so it was commanded them.
3. And when Sisara had fled on his horse to deliver his soul, Jahel the wife of Aber the Cinean decked herself with her ornaments and came out to meet him: now the woman was very fair: and when she saw him she said: Come in and take food, and sleep: and in. the evening I will send my servants with thee, for I know that thou wilt remember me and recompense me. And Sisara came in, and when he saw roses scattered upon the bed he said: If I be delivered, O Jahel, I will go unto my mother and thou shalt (or Jahel shall) be my wife. 4. And thereafter was Sisara athirst and he said to Jahel: Give me a little water, for I am faint and my soul burneth by reason of the flame which I beheld in the stars. And Jahel said unto him: Rest a little while and then thou shalt drink. 5. And when Sisara was fallen asleep, Jahel went to the flock and milked milk therefrom. And as she milked she said: Behold now, remember, O Lord, when thou didst divide every tribe and nation upon the earth, didst thou not choose out Israel only, and didst not liken him to any beast save only unto the ram that goeth before the flock and leadeth it? Behold therefore and see how Sisara hath thought in his heart saying: I will go and punish the flock of the Most Mighty. And lo, I will take of the milk of the beasts whereunto thou didst liken thy people, and will go and
give him to drink, and when he hath drunk he shall become weak, and after that I will kill him. And this shall be the sign that thou shalt give me, O Lord, that, whereas Sisara sleepeth, when I go in, if he wake and ask me forthwith, saying: Give me water to drink, then I shall know that my prayer hath been heard.
6. So Jahel returned and entered in, and Sisara awaked and said to her: Give me to drink, for I burn mightily and my soul is inflamed. And Jahel took wine and mingled it with the milk
and gave him to drink, and he drank and fell asleep.
7. But Jahel took a stake in her left hand and drew near unto him saying: If the Lord give me this sign I shall know that Sisara shall fall into my hands. Behold I will cast him upon the ground from off the bed whereon he sleepeth, and it shall be, if he perceive it not, that I shall know that he is delivered up. And Jahel took Sisara and pushed
him from off the bed upon the earth, but he perceived it not, for he was exceeding faint. And Jahel said: Strengthen in me, O Lord, mine
arm this day for thy sake and thy people's sake, and for them that put their trust in thee. And Jahel 'took the stake and set it upon his temple
and smote with the hammer. And as he died Sisara' said to Jahel: Lo, pain hath come upon me, Jahel, and I die like a woman. And Jahel said unto him: Go boast thyself before thy father in hell, and tell him that thou hast fallen into (or say, I have been delivered into) the hands of a woman. And she made an end and slew him and laid his body there until Barach should return.
8. Now the mother of Sisara was called Themech,
and she sent unto her friends saying: Come, let us
go forth together to meet my son, and ye shall see the daughters of the Hebrews whom my son will bring hither to be his concubines.
9. But Barach returned from following after Sisara and was greatly vexed because he found him not, and Jahel came forth to meet him, and said: Come, enter in, thou blessed of God, and I will deliver thee thine enemy whom thou followedst after and hast not found. And Barach went in and found Sisara dead, and said: Blessed be the Lord which sent his spirit and said: Into the hands of a woman shall Sisara be delivered. And when he had so said he cut off the head of Sisara and sent it unto his mother, and gave her a message saying: Receive thy son whom thou didst look for to come with spoil.
171:1 XXXI. 1, etc. The stars fighting. Cf. Pirke R. Eliezer 52: Joshua, when fighting, saw the magicians of Egypt compelling the constellations to come against Israel.
Next: Chapter XXXII