Sisera

Sisera [N] [H] [S]

(Egypt. Ses-Ra, "servant of Ra").

  • The captain of Jabin's army ( Judges 4:2 ), which was routed and destroyed by the army of Barak on the plain of Esdraelon. After all was lost he fled to the settlement of Heber the Kenite in the plain of Zaanaim. Jael, Heber's wife, received him into her tent with apparent hospitality, and "gave him butter" (i.e., lebben, or curdled milk) "in a lordly dish." Having drunk the refreshing beverage, he lay down, and soon sank into the sleep of the weary. While he lay asleep Jael crept stealthily up to him, and taking in her hand one of the tent pegs, with a mallet she drove it with such force through his temples that it entered into the ground where he lay, and "at her feet he bowed, he fell; where he bowed, there he fell down dead." The part of Deborah's song (Judg. 5:24-27 ) referring to the death of Sisera (which is a "mere patriotic outburst," and "is no proof that purer eyes would have failed to see gross sin mingling with Jael's service to Israel") is thus rendered by Professor Roberts (Old Testament Revision):

    "Extolled above women be Jael, The wife of Heber the Kenite, Extolled above women in the tent. He asked for water, she gave him milk; She brought him cream in a lordly dish. She stretched forth her hand to the nail, Her right hand to the workman's hammer, And she smote Sisera; she crushed his head, She crashed through and transfixed his temples. At her feet he curled himself, he fell, he lay still; At her feet he curled himself, he fell; And where he curled himself, there he fell dead."

  • The ancestor of some of the Nethinim who returned with Zerubbabel ( Ezra 2:53 ; Nehemiah 7:55 ).

    These dictionary topics are from
    M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
    published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names
    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Sisera". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

  • Sisera [N] [E] [S]

    that sees a horse or a swallow
    Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names. Public Domain. Copy freely.

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Hitchcock, Roswell D. "Entry for 'Sisera'". "An Interpreting Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names". . New York, N.Y., 1869.

    Sisera [N] [E] [H]

    (battle array ).

    1. Captain of the army of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. He himself resided in Harosheth of the Gentiles. The particulars of the rout of Megiddo and of Siseras flight and death are drawn out under the heads of BARAK, DEBORAH, JAEL, KISHON. (B.C. 1296.)
    2. After a long interval the name appears in the lists of Nethinim who returned from the captivity with Zerubbabel. ( Ezra 2:53 ; Nehemiah 7:55 ) It doubtless tells of Canaanite captives devoted to the lowest offices of the temple. (B.C. before 536.)

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
    [H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names

    Bibliography Information

    Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Sisera'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.

    SISERA

    sis'-er-a (cicera', of doubtful meaning; S(e)isara):

    (1) Given in Judges 4 as the captain of the army of Jabin, king of Hazor. The accounts given of the battle of Sisera with Barak, as found in Judges 4 and 5, have important points of difference. The first is a prose, the second a poetic narrative. In the first only Naphtali and Zebulun are mentioned as being under the command of Barak; in the second 6 tribes are given as being under his command. In Judges 4 Sisera is known as the captain of Jabin's forces, while in Judges 5 he seems to have been an independent leader. There is also a difference as to the scene of the battle and as to the manner in which Sisera met his death at the hand of Jael. Because of these points of difference, added to the fact that this is the only account, in these early times, where a king did not lead his own forces, it is thought by many that there is here the combination of two traditions dealing with different and distinct events.

    Sisera resided in Harosheth of the Gentiles, a place identified with el-Charithiyeh, on the right bank of the Kishon and commanding the way from the Central Plain to the sea. Taking the versions in the two chapters of Judges as being the account of a single campaign, we find Deborah urging Barak to combine the forces of Israel to wage war with Sisera as the representative of Jabin, the king of Hazor. The scene of the battle was on the plain at the foot of the slopes of Mt. Tabor (Judges 4:12-14), or at the foot of the Carmel heights (Judges 5:19). The attack of Barak and Deborah was so furious, animated as it was by the hatred of Sisera and the Canaanites, that the hosts of Sisera were put to rout, and Sisera, deserting his troops, fled on foot to the Northeast. He took refuge in the tent of Heber, near Kedesh, and here met death at the hands of Jael, the wife of Heber (see JAEL). Sisera's name had long produced fear in Israel because of his oppression of the people, his vast army and his 900 chariots of iron. His overthrow was the cause of much rejoicing and was celebrated by the song in which Deborah led the people.

    See DEBORAH.

    It is interesting to note that the great rabbi Aqiba, who fought so valiantly in the Jewish war for independence as standard bearer to Bar-cocheba, was descended from the ancient warlike Sisera of Harosheth.

    (2) In Ezra 2:53 and Nehemiah 7:55 the name Sisera, after a long interval, reappears in a family of the Nethinim. There is no evidence that the latter Sisera is connected by family descent with the former.

    C. E. Schenk


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography Information
    Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'SISERA'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.