ba'-rak (baraq, "lightning flash"):
The name occurs in Sabeanbarqac, in Palmyrene baraq, and in Punic Barcas, as surname of Hamilcar; and as Divine name in Assyrian Ramman-Birqu and Gibil-Birqu (Del. Assyrian, HWB, 187). Barak was the son of Abinoam of Kedesh, a refuge city in Mt. Naphtali. He was summoned by the prophetess Deborah to lead his countrymen to war against the Canaanites under the leadership of Sisera. From the celebrated ode of Deborah we gather that Israel suffered at the hand of the enemy; the caravan roads were in danger, traffic almost ceased; the cultivated country was plundered (Judges 5:6,7). The fighting men in Israel were disarmed, a shield was not to be seen nor a spear among forty thousand men (Judges 5:8). The prophetess raised the signal of struggle for independence. Soon Barak came to her aid. With an army of 10,000 men-- according to Judges 4:10 they were all drawn from Zebulun and Naphtali, whereas Judges 5:13-18 adds Benjamin, Machir and Issachar to the list of faithful tribes--Barak, accompanied by Deborah, rushed to the summit of Mt. Tabor. This location was very favorable to the rudely armed Israelites in warding off the danger of the well-armed enemy. The wooded slopes protected them against the chariots of the Canaanites. In addition they were within striking distance should the enemy expose himself on the march. Under the heavy rainfall the alluvial plain became a morass, in which the heavy-armed troops found it impossible to move. Soon the little stream Kishon was filled with chariots, horses and Canaanites. Sisera abandoned his chariot and fled on foot. Barak pursued him and found him murdered by Jael in her tent. This completed the victory. See BEDAN; Moore, "Judges," at the place.
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