For our lesson of Jael, found in Judges 4-5, and in our workbook, Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, by Jean E. Syswerda. The lesson is on pages 67-70.
1. Jael – the name means: “a wild or mountain goat.” (3, pg. 67)
2. Her character: Decisive and courageous, she seized the opportunity to kill an enemy of God’s people. (3, pg. 67)
3. Her joy: To be lauded by Deborah and Barak for her part in a decisive victory. (4,pg 116)
4. Her husband: Heber, a Kenite: The husband of Jael, the woman who killed Sisera. (Judges 4:11, 17, 21; 5:24) Considerations of meter make it probable that “the wife of Heber, the Kenite” was inserted into Judges 5:24 under the influence of Judges 4. (1, pg. 552)
5. Now Heber, the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law and pitched his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh. (2, Judges 4:11, pg. 453)
6. Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. (2, Judges 4:4, pg.452)
7. Sisera was the commander of Jabin’s, a King of Canaan, army. All of Siseras’ nine-hundred chariots and men were killed by Barak’s army. Sisera abandoned his chariot and fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there were friendly relations between Jabin king of Hazor, and the clan of Heber, the Kenite. (2, Judges 4:1, pg. 452 and Judges 4:15-17, pg. 454).
8. Sisera was met outside the tent by Jael. “Come, my lord, come right in. Don’t be afraid.” So he entered her tent, and she put a covering over him. (2, Judges 4:18).
9. But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died. (2, Judges 4: 21 and footnote)
10. Barak came by in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him. “Come,” she said, “I will show you the man you’re looking for.” So he went in with her, and there lay Sisera with the tent peg through his temple—dead. (2, Judges 4:22 Bible, Pg. 454, and footnote)
- The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volume Two E-J, In Four Volumes, Abingdon Press, New York 1962.
- The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan 2008 Edition (All scriptures)
- Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups,Jean E Syswerda, Zondervan, 1999.
- Women of the Bible, One Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture,Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda, Zondervan, 2007.