Jael—A woman with lethal resolve.

Jael—A woman with lethal resolve.

Why Barak, a mighty commander of Israel’s army, wouldn’t go to war without Deborah, one can only speculate. But his insistence that Deborah come along resulted in a prophecy that guaranteed that the glory of the battle would go to a woman, not to him. Jabin, the king of the Canaanites, was subsequently defeated by Barak, but the glory, which could rightly be claimed by Deborah, went to another woman, also. Her name was Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, a foreign Bedouin. Sisera, the commander of Jakin’s army fled on foot as his troops were being routed by Barak. Entering the Kenite camp was a wise move because they were at peace with his king. Approaching Jael’s tent was likewise a shrewd manoeuvre. Firstly, being invited in meant that he was automatically under the clan’s protection, and secondly, the chances of Jael’s tent being searched were very slim. Women of standing had separate tents from their husbands, so Jael had complete control of her environment. You can imagine Sisera’s sigh of relief as he was welcomed into the heart of assumed security and safety. Jael gave him something to drink and hid him under a cover. However, in his exhausted slumber he was suddenly and unceremoniously thrust into the next world. Jael had taken a hammer and driven a tent peg through his temple and into the ground. This was no mean feat. This was a very significant event for Israel—and for Jael. I have always smiled as I’ve read Judges 4-5. Jael is the stuff of storybook heroes. Cool, calm, and collected. Knowing what to do when the opportunity presented itself. Unflinching in the face of potential disaster. Willing to strike the fatal blow, no matter the personal outcome. God used Jael, a foreigner, to speed along peace for His people. Her killing of Sisera would not be forgotten. It would be immortalised in the lyrics of Deborah’s victory song in Judges 5:24-27. Jael chose, by faith, to act for the God of Israel. A wise choice indeed!



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