Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

How a Woman Won a Great Victory

Again many of the people of Israel were drawn away from the worship of the Lord, and began to live like the people around them, praying to idols and doing wickedly. And again the Lord left them to suffer for their sins. A Canaanite king in the north, whose name was Jabin, sent his army down to conquer them under the command of his general, named Sisera. In Sisera's army were many chariots of iron, drawn by horses; while soldiers in the chariots shot arrows and threw spears at the Israelites. The men of Israel were not used to horses, and greatly feared these war-chariots.

All the northern tribes in the land of Israel fell under the power of King Jabin and his general, Sisera; and their rule was very harsh and severe. This was the fourth of these "oppressions," and it bore most heavily upon the people in the north. But it led those who suffered from it to turn from their idols, and to call upon the Lord God of Israel.

At that time a woman was ruling as judge over a large part of the land; the only woman among the fifteen judges who, one after another, ruled the Israelites. Her name was Deborah. She sat under a palm-tree north of Jerusalem, between the cities of Ramah and Bethel, and gave advice to all the people who sought her. So wise and good was Deborah that men came from all parts of the land with their difficulties and the questions that arose between them. She ruled over the land, not by the force of any army, or by any appointment, but because all men saw that God's Spirit was upon her.

Deborah heard of the troubles of the tribes in the north under the hard rule of the Canaanites. She knew that a brave man was living in the land of Naphtali, a man named Barak, and to him she sent this message:

"Barak, call out the tribes of Israel who live near you; raise an army, and lead the men who gather about you to Mount Tabor. The Lord has told me that he will give Sisera and the host of the Canaanites into your hands."

But Barak felt afraid to undertake alone this great work of setting his people free. He sent back to Deborah this answer:

"If you will go with me, I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go."

"I will go with you," said Deborah; "but because you did not trust God, and did not go when God called you, the honor of this war will not be yours, for God will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman."

Deborah left her seat under the palm-tree and went up to Kedesh, where Barak lived. Together Deborah and Barak sent out a call for the men of the north, and ten thousand men met together with such arms as they could find. This little army, with a woman for its chief, encamped on Mount Tabor, which is one of three mountains standing in a row on the east of a great plain called "the plain of Esdraelon," "the plain of Jezreel," and "the plain of Meggido,"-for it bears all these three names. On this plain, both in Bible times and also in the times since the Bible, many great battles have been fought. Over this plain winds the brook Kishon, which at some seasons, after heavy rain, becomes a foaming, rushing river.

From their camp on the top of Mount Tabor the little army of Israel could look down on the great host of the Canaanites with their many tents, their horses and chariots, and their general, Sisera. But Deborah was not afraid. She said to Barak:

"March down the mountain with all your men, and fight the Canaanites. The Lord will go before you, and he will give Sisera and his host into your hand."

Then Barak blew a trumpet and called out his men. They ran down the side of Mount Tabor and rushed upon their enemies. The Canaanites were taken so suddenly that they had no time to draw out their chariots. They were frightened and ran away, trampling each other under foot, chariots and horses and men in a wild flight.

And the Lord helped the Israelites; for at that time the brook Kishon was swollen into a river, and the Canaanites crowded after each other into it. While many were killed in the battle, many were also drowned in the river.

Sisera, the general of the Canaanites, saw that the battle had gone against him and that all was lost. He leaped from his chariot and fled away on foot. On the edge of the plain he found a tent standing alone, and he ran to it for shelter and hiding.

It was the tent of a man named Heber, and Heber's wife, Jael, was in front of it. She knew Sisera, and said to him, "Come in, my lord; come into the tent; do not be afraid."

Sisera entered the tent, and Jael covered him with a rug, so that no enemy might find him. Sisera said to her, "I am very thirsty; can you give me a little water to drink?"

Instead of water she brought out a bottle of milk and gave him some: and then Sisera lay down to sleep, for he was very tired from the battle and from running. While he was in a deep sleep, Jael crept into the tent quietly with a tent-pin and a hammer in her hand. She placed the point of the pin upon the side of his head, near his ear, and with the hammer gave blow after blow, driving it into his brain and through his head until it went into the ground underneath. After a moment's struggle Sisera was dead, and she left his body upon the ground.

In a little time Jael saw Barak, the chief of the Israelite army, coming toward the tent. She went out to meet him, and said, "Come with me, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking."

She lifted the curtain of the tent, and led Barak within; and there he saw lying dead upon the ground the mighty Sisera, who only the day before had led the army of the Canaanites.

Barak sees the mighty Sisera


That was a terrible deed which Jael did. We should call it treachery and murder; but such was the bitter hate between Israelite and Canaanite at that time that all the people gave great honor to Jael on account of it, for by that act she had set the people free from the king who had been oppressing Israel. After this the land had rest for many years.

Deborah, the judge, wrote a great song about this victory. Here are some verses from it:

"Because the elders took the lead in Israel,

Because the people offered themselves willingly,

Bless ye the Lord.

Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes;

I, even I will sing unto the Lord;

I will sing praise to the Lord, the God of Israel.

         .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

The kings came and fought.

Then fought the kings of Canaan,

In Taanach by the waters of Meggido.

They took no gain of money.

They fought from heaven,

The stars in their courses fought against Sisera.

The river Kishon swept them away,

That ancient river, the river Kishon.

O my soul, march on with strength;

         .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Blessed among women shall Jael be,

The wife of Heber the Kenite,

Blessed shall she be among women in the tent.

He asked water, and she gave him milk,

She brought him butter in a lordly dish.

         .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay;

At her feet he bowed, he fell.

Where he bowed, there he fell down dead.

Through the window a woman looked forth and cried,

The mother of Sisera cried through the lattice,

Why is his chariot so long in coming?

Why tarry the wheels of his chariot?

         .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord;

But let them that love him be as the sun,

When he goeth forth in his might.