1 After Ehud’s death, the Israelites again did evil in the LORD ’s sight. 2 So the LORD turned them over to King Jabin of Hazor, a Canaanite king. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-haggoyim. 3 Sisera, who had 900 iron chariots, ruthlessly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years. Then the people of Israel cried out to the LORD for help. 4 Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. 5 She would sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgment. 6 One day she sent for Barak son of Abinoam, who lived in Kedesh in the land of Naphtali. She said to him, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor. 7 And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.” 8 Barak told her, “I will go, but only if you go with me.” 9 “Very well,” she replied, “I will go with you. But you will receive no honor in this venture, for the LORD ’s victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 At Kedesh, Barak called together the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali, and 10,000 warriors went up with him. Deborah also went with him. 11 Now Heber the Kenite, a descendant of Moses’ brother-in-law Hobab, had moved away from the other members of his tribe and pitched his tent by the oak of Zaanannim near Kedesh. 12 When Sisera was told that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 he called for all 900 of his iron chariots and all of his warriors, and they marched from Harosheth-haggoyim to the Kishon River. 14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Get ready! This is the day the LORD will give you victory over Sisera, for the LORD is marching ahead of you.” So Barak led his 10,000 warriors down the slopes of Mount Tabor into battle. 15 When Barak attacked, the LORD threw Sisera and all his chariots and warriors into a panic. Sisera leaped down from his chariot and escaped on foot. 16 Then Barak chased the chariots and the enemy army all the way to Harosheth-haggoyim, killing all of Sisera’s warriors. Not a single one was left alive. 17 Meanwhile, Sisera ran to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because Heber’s family was on friendly terms with King Jabin of Hazor. 18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come into my tent, sir. Come in. Don’t be afraid.” So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a blanket. 19 “Please give me some water,” he said. “I’m thirsty.” So she gave him some milk from a leather bag and covered him again. 20 “Stand at the door of the tent,” he told her. “If anybody comes and asks you if there is anyone here, say no.” 21 But when Sisera fell asleep from exhaustion, Jael quietly crept up to him with a hammer and tent peg in her hand. Then she drove the tent peg through his temple and into the ground, and so he died. 22 When Barak came looking for Sisera, Jael went out to meet him. She said, “Come, and I will show you the man you are looking for.” So he followed her into the tent and found Sisera lying there dead, with the tent peg through his temple. 23 So on that day Israel saw God defeat Jabin, the Canaanite king. 24 And from that time on Israel became stronger and stronger against King Jabin until they finally destroyed him.
1 On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song: 2 “Israel’s leaders took charge, and the people gladly followed. Praise the LORD ! 3 “Listen, you kings! Pay attention, you mighty rulers! For I will sing to the LORD . I will make music to the LORD, the God of Israel. 4 “ LORD, when you set out from Seir and marched across the fields of Edom, the earth trembled, and the cloudy skies poured down rain. 5 The mountains quaked in the presence of the LORD, the God of Mount Sinai— in the presence of the LORD, the God of Israel. 6 “In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, and in the days of Jael, people avoided the main roads, and travelers stayed on winding pathways. 7 There were few people left in the villages of Israel — until Deborah arose as a mother for Israel. 8 When Israel chose new gods, war erupted at the city gates. Yet not a shield or spear could be seen among forty thousand warriors in Israel! 9 My heart is with the commanders of Israel, with those who volunteered for war. Praise the LORD ! 10 “Consider this, you who ride on fine donkeys, you who sit on fancy saddle blankets, and you who walk along the road. 11 Listen to the village musicians gathered at the watering holes. They recount the righteous victories of the LORD and the victories of his villagers in Israel. Then the people of the LORD marched down to the city gates. 12 “Wake up, Deborah, wake up! Wake up, wake up, and sing a song! Arise, Barak! Lead your captives away, son of Abinoam! 13 “Down from Tabor marched the few against the nobles. The people of the LORD marched down against mighty warriors. 14 They came down from Ephraim— a land that once belonged to the Amalekites; they followed you, Benjamin, with your troops. From Makir the commanders marched down; from Zebulun came those who carry a commander’s staff. 15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah and Barak. They followed Barak, rushing into the valley. But in the tribe of Reuben there was great indecision. 16 Why did you sit at home among the sheepfolds— to hear the shepherds whistle for their flocks? Yes, in the tribe of Reuben there was great indecision. 17 Gilead remained east of the Jordan. And why did Dan stay home? Asher sat unmoved at the seashore, remaining in his harbors. 18 But Zebulun risked his life, as did Naphtali, on the heights of the battlefield. 19 “The kings of Canaan came and fought, at Taanach near Megiddo’s springs, but they carried off no silver treasures. 20 The stars fought from heaven. The stars in their orbits fought against Sisera. 21 The Kishon River swept them away— that ancient torrent, the Kishon. March on with courage, my soul! 22 Then the horses’ hooves hammered the ground, the galloping, galloping of Sisera’s mighty steeds. 23 ‘Let the people of Meroz be cursed,’ said the angel of the LORD . ‘Let them be utterly cursed, because they did not come to help the LORD — to help the LORD against the mighty warriors.’ 24 “Most blessed among women is Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. May she be blessed above all women who live in tents. 25 Sisera asked for water, and she gave him milk. In a bowl fit for nobles, she brought him yogurt. 26 Then with her left hand she reached for a tent peg, and with her right hand for the workman’s hammer. She struck Sisera with the hammer, crushing his head. With a shattering blow, she pierced his temples. 27 He sank, he fell, he lay still at her feet. And where he sank, there he died. 28 “From the window Sisera’s mother looked out. Through the window she watched for his return, saying, ‘Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why don’t we hear the sound of chariot wheels?’ 29 “Her wise women answer, and she repeats these words to herself: 30 ‘They must be dividing the captured plunder— with a woman or two for every man. There will be colorful robes for Sisera, and colorful, embroidered robes for me. Yes, the plunder will include colorful robes embroidered on both sides.’ 31 “ LORD, may all your enemies die like Sisera! But may those who love you rise like the sun in all its power!” Then there was peace in the land for forty years.
1 The Israelites did evil in the LORD ’s sight. So the LORD handed them over to the Midianites for seven years. 2 The Midianites were so cruel that the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds. 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, marauders from Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east would attack Israel, 4 camping in the land and destroying crops as far away as Gaza. They left the Israelites with nothing to eat, taking all the sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys. 5 These enemy hordes, coming with their livestock and tents, were as thick as locusts; they arrived on droves of camels too numerous to count. And they stayed until the land was stripped bare. 6 So Israel was reduced to starvation by the Midianites. Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD for help. 7 When they cried out to the LORD because of Midian, 8 the LORD sent a prophet to the Israelites. He said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of slavery in Egypt. 9 I rescued you from the Egyptians and from all who oppressed you. I drove out your enemies and gave you their land. 10 I told you, ‘I am the LORD your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you now live.’ But you have not listened to me.” 11 Then the angel of the LORD came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. 12 The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!” 13 “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The LORD brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” 14 Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” 15 “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” 16 The LORD said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.” 17 Gideon replied, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the LORD speaking to me. 18 Don’t go away until I come back and bring my offering to you.” He answered, “I will stay here until you return.” 19 Gideon hurried home. He cooked a young goat, and with a basket of flour he baked some bread without yeast. Then, carrying the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, he brought them out and presented them to the angel, who was under the great tree. 20 The angel of God said to him, “Place the meat and the unleavened bread on this rock, and pour the broth over it.” And Gideon did as he was told. 21 Then the angel of the LORD touched the meat and bread with the tip of the staff in his hand, and fire flamed up from the rock and consumed all he had brought. And the angel of the LORD disappeared. 22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he cried out, “Oh, Sovereign LORD, I’m doomed! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!” 23 “It is all right,” the LORD replied. “Do not be afraid. You will not die.” 24 And Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the LORD is peace”). The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day. 25 That night the LORD said to Gideon, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one that is seven years old. Pull down your father’s altar to Baal, and cut down the Asherah pole standing beside it. 26 Then build an altar to the LORD your God here on this hilltop sanctuary, laying the stones carefully. Sacrifice the bull as a burnt offering on the altar, using as fuel the wood of the Asherah pole you cut down.” 27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the LORD had commanded. But he did it at night because he was afraid of the other members of his father’s household and the people of the town. 28 Early the next morning, as the people of the town began to stir, someone discovered that the altar of Baal had been broken down and that the Asherah pole beside it had been cut down. In their place a new altar had been built, and on it were the remains of the bull that had been sacrificed. 29 The people said to each other, “Who did this?” And after asking around and making a careful search, they learned that it was Gideon, the son of Joash. 30 “Bring out your son,” the men of the town demanded of Joash. “He must die for destroying the altar of Baal and for cutting down the Asherah pole.” 31 But Joash shouted to the mob that confronted him, “Why are you defending Baal? Will you argue his case? Whoever pleads his case will be put to death by morning! If Baal truly is a god, let him defend himself and destroy the one who broke down his altar!” 32 From then on Gideon was called Jerub-baal, which means “Let Baal defend himself,” because he broke down Baal’s altar. 33 Soon afterward the armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east formed an alliance against Israel and crossed the Jordan, camping in the valley of Jezreel. 34 Then the Spirit of the LORD clothed Gideon with power. He blew a ram’s horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him. 35 He also sent messengers throughout Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, summoning their warriors, and all of them responded. 36 Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, 37 prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.” 38 And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.” 40 So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.
31 Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught there in the synagogue every Sabbath day. 32 There, too, the people were amazed at his teaching, for he spoke with authority. 33 Once when he was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon—an evil spirit—began shouting at Jesus, 34 “Go away! Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 35 Jesus cut him short. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. At that, the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further. 36 Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!” 37 The news about Jesus spread through every village in the entire region. 38 After leaving the synagogue that day, Jesus went to Simon’s home, where he found Simon’s mother-in-law very sick with a high fever. “Please heal her,” everyone begged. 39 Standing at her bedside, he rebuked the fever, and it left her. And she got up at once and prepared a meal for them. 40 As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one. 41 Many were possessed by demons; and the demons came out at his command, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But because they knew he was the Messiah, he rebuked them and refused to let them speak. 42 Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them. 43 But he replied, “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent.” 44 So he continued to travel around, preaching in synagogues throughout Judea.