Jael’s Hammer

Jael and Sisera

Jael and Sisera – found at multiple sources on the web

Now Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my master, turn aside to me! Do not be afraid.” And he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. He said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a bottle of milk and gave him a drink; then she covered him. He said to her, “Stand in the doorway of the tent, and it shall be if anyone comes and inquires of you, and says, ‘Is there anyone here?’ that you shall say, ‘No.’” But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died. And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” And he entered with her, and behold Sisera was lying dead with the tent peg in his temple.

Judges 4:17-22

And Barak took away the body of Sisera, the general of the army of Jabin, King of Canaan. The Children of Israel had been delivered into Jabin’s hand because the Israelites had done evil in the eyes of Hashem. Now Barak and Deborah the Prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, were fighting for Israel.

As Barak and Deborah retreated in the distance, Jael, the hammer still in her hand said, “So now the people will know that Deborah the Prophetess and Judge of Israel is not the only woman who can slay. Tonight after he has had his wine and sleeps, my husband Heber the Kenite will know that his wife will no longer endure torment at his hands.”

Okay, I’m cheating. Most of my story is a quote from chapter 4 of the Book of Judges. I’ve been reading through the Bible and this passage has always interested me. I’ve always wondered about Jael and what motivated her to kill Sisera, especially in such a manner. My interpretation is pure imagination of course.

Later in Judges 5 during Deborah’s song, she blesses Jael for her actions, so in the reality of the scriptures, I doubt my fantasy would endure.

With Israel’s enemies vanquished, there was peace in the land for forty years (Judges 5:31).

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