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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Shoftim - Judges - Chapter 4

Shoftim - Judges - Chapter 4

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 4

1. And the children of Israel continued to do that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord, and Ehud was dead.   א. וַיֹּסִפוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַעֲשֹוֹת הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וְאֵהוּד מֵת:
2. And the Lord gave them over into the hand of Jabin, the king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; and the chieftain of his army was Sisera, and he dwelt in Harosheth-goiim.   ב. וַיִּמְכְּרֵם יְהֹוָה בְּיַד יָבִין מֶלֶךְ כְּנַעַן אֲשֶׁר מָלַךְ בְּחָצוֹר וְשַׂר צְבָאוֹ סִיסְרָא וְהוּא יוֹשֵׁב בַּחֲרשֶׁת הַגּוֹיִם:
in Harosheth goiim: The city was so named because it was powerful and occupied a dominant position.  
3. And the children of Israel cried to the Lord; for he had nine hundred iron chariots, and he oppressed the children of Israel mightily for twenty years.   ג. וַיִּצְעֲקוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל יְהֹוָה כִּי תְּשַׁע מֵאוֹת רֶכֶב בַּרְזֶל לוֹ וְהוּא לָחַץ אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּחָזְקָה עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה:
oppressed the children of Israel mightily: Heb. בְּחָזְקָה. Rabbi Tanchuma (Behar) expounded: With insults, and so it says, (Mal. 3:13) “Your words are unbearable (חָזְקוּ).”  
4. Now Deborah was a woman prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth; she judged Israel at that time.   ד. וּדְבוֹרָה אִשָּׁה נְבִיאָה אֵשֶׁת לַפִּידוֹת הִיא שֹׁפְטָה אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּעֵת הַהִיא:
the wife of Lappidoth: She prepared wicks for the Sanctuary.  
5. And she sat under the palm tree of Deborah, between Ramah and Beth-el, in the mountain of Ephriam; and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.   ה. וְהִיא יוֹשֶׁבֶת תַּחַת תֹּמֶר דְּבוֹרָה בֵּין הָרָמָה וּבֵין בֵּית אֵל בְּהַר אֶפְרָיִם וַיַּעֲלוּ אֵלֶיהָ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַמִּשְׁפָּט:
under the palm tree: She had palm trees in Jericho.  
between Ramah and Beth-el, in the mountain of Ephraim: According to Targum Jonathan’s rendering, we can derive that this verse is not to be taken literally. These were not her places of lodging but rather she was a wealthy woman and from these places she earned a livelihood and dwelt in her city Ataroth. Hence:  
under the palm tree: She had palm trees in Jericho, vineyards in Ramah, olives in the plain of Beth-el where oil was abundant, and (עָפָר חִיוֵר) white earth in the mountain of Ephraim in Tur Malka. I say that this was sold to potters. Some interpret עפר חיור - A sown field like a grain field.  
6. And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-naphtali. And she said to him, "Indeed the Lord, God of Israel, commanded, 'Go and draw toward Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun.   ו. וַתִּשְׁלַח וַתִּקְרָא לְבָרָק בֶּן אֲבִינֹעַם מִקֶּדֶשׁ נַפְתָּלִי וַתֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הֲלֹא צִוָּה | יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵךְ וּמָשַׁכְתָּ בְּהַר תָּבוֹר וְלָקַחְתָּ עִמְּךָ עֲשֶֹרֶת אֲלָפִים אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי נַפְתָּלִי וּמִבְּנֵי זְבֻלוּן:
“Indeed… commanded”: Through Moses (Deut. 20:17), “You shall totally destroy them.” So it is stated in the Mechilta.  
7. And I shall draw to you, to the brook Kishon, Sisera, the chieftain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will give him into your hand.' "   ז. וּמָשַׁכְתִּי אֵלֶיךָ אֶל נַחַל קִישׁוֹן אֶת סִיסְרָא שַׂר צְבָא יָבִין וְאֶת רִכְבּוֹ וְאֶת הֲמוֹנוֹ וּנְתַתִּיהוּ בְּיָדֶךָ:
8. And Barak said to her, "If you will go with me then I shall go, but if you will not go with me, I shall not go."   ח. וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ בָּרָק אִם תֵּלְכִי עִמִּי וְהָלָכְתִּי וְאִם לֹא תֵלְכִי עִמִּי לֹא אֵלֵךְ:
9. And she said, "I shall surely go with you, but your glory will not be on the way which you go, for into the hand of a woman will the Lord deliver Sisera." And Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.   ט. וַתֹּאמֶר הָלֹךְ אֵלֵךְ עִמָּךְ אֶפֶס כִּי לֹא תִהְיֶה תִּפְאַרְתְּךָ עַל הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה הוֹלֵךְ כִּי בְיַד אִשָּׁה יִמְכֹּר יְהֹוָה אֶת סִיסְרָא וַתָּקָם דְּבוֹרָה וַתֵּלֶךְ עִם בָּרָק קֵדְשָׁה:
10. And Barak gathered Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and ten thousand men went up at his feet; and Deborah went up with him.   י. וַיַּזְעֵק בָּרָק אֶת זְבוּלֻן וְאֶת נַפְתָּלִי קֶדְשָׁה וַיַּעַל בְּרַגְלָיו עֲשֶֹרֶת אַלְפֵי אִישׁ וַתַּעַל עִמּוֹ דְּבוֹרָה:
went up at his feet: (An expression meaning) with him.  
11. Now Heber the Kenite had separated from the Kenites, of the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses; and he pitched his tent as far as Elon-bezaanannim, which is by Kedesh.   יא. וְחֶבֶר הַקֵּינִי נִפְרָד מִקַּיִן מִבְּנֵי חֹבָב חֹתֵן משֶׁה וַיֵּט אָהֳלוֹ עַד אֵלוֹן בְּצַעֲנַנִּים אֲשֶׁר אֶת קֶדֶשׁ:
Elon-bezaanannim: Targum Jonathan renders מֵישָׁר אַגְנַיָא the site of a plain (אֵלוֹן) of pits (בְּצָעִים), mariscusm in 0.F. This (i.e., בְּצָעִים) means אַגְנַיָא, being cavities similar to pits where water gathers, as in (Kiddushin 61a) “They are called pits (אגני) of the ground.”  
12. And they told Sisera that Barak, the son of Abinoam, had gone up to Mount Tabor.   יב. וַיַּגִּדוּ לְסִיסְרָא כִּי עָלָה בָּרָק בֶּן אֲבִינֹעַם הַר תָּבוֹר:
13. And Sisera gathered all his chariots, nine hundred iron chariots, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth-goiim, to the brook Kishon.   יג. וַיַּזְעֵק סִיסְרָא אֶת כָּל רִכְבּוֹ תְּשַׁע מֵאוֹת רֶכֶב בַּרְזֶל וְאֶת כָּל הָעָם אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ מֵחֲרשֶׁת הַגּוֹיִם אֶל נַחַל קִישׁוֹן:
from Harosheth-goiim, to the brook Kishon: He gathered them to go to the brook Kishon from Harosheth-goiim where he dwelt.  
14. And Deborah said to Barak, "Rise, for this is the day which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Did not the Lord go out before you?" And Barak went down from Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men after him.   יד. וַתֹּאמֶר דְּבֹרָה אֶל בָּרָק קוּם כִּי זֶה הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר נָתַן יְהֹוָה אֶת סִיסְרָא בְּיָדֶךָ הֲלֹא יְהֹוָה יָצָא לְפָנֶיךָ וַיֵּרֶד בָּרָק מֵהַר תָּבוֹר וַעֲשֶֹרֶת אֲלָפִים אִישׁ אַחֲרָיו:
15. And the Lord confused Sisera and all the chariots and all of the camp with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot, and fled on foot.   טו. וַיָּהָם יְהֹוָה אֶת סִיסְרָא וְאֶת כָּל הָרֶכֶב וְאֶת כָּל הַמַּחֲנֶה לְפִי חֶרֶב לִפְנֵי בָרָק וַיֵּרֶד סִיסְרָא מֵעַל הַמֶּרְכָּבָה וַיָּנָס בְּרַגְלָיו:
16. And Barak pursued the chariots and the camp, to Harosheth-goiim; and all of Sisera's camp fell by the edge of the sword, not even one was left.   טז. וּבָרָק רָדַף אַחֲרֵי הָרֶכֶב וְאַחֲרֵי הַמַּחֲנֶה עַד חֲרשֶׁת הַגּוֹיִם וַיִּפֹּל כָּל מַחֲנֵה סִיסְרָא לְפִי חֶרֶב לֹא נִשְׁאַר עַד אֶחָד:
17. And Sisera fled 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.   יז. וְסִיסְרָא נָס בְּרַגְלָיו אֶל אֹהֶל יָעֵל אֵשֶׁת חֶבֶר הַקֵּינִי כִּי שָׁלוֹם בֵּין יָבִין מֶלֶך חָצוֹר וּבֵין בֵּית חֶבֶר הַקֵּינִי:
18. And Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, "Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not." And he turned in to her into the tent, and she covered him with a garment.   יח. וַתֵּצֵא יָעֵל לִקְרַאת סִיסְרָא וַתֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו סוּרָה אֲדֹנִי סוּרָה אֵלַי אַל תִּירָא וַיָּסַר אֵלֶיהָ הָאֹהֱלָה וַתְּכַסֵּהוּ בַּשְּׂמִיכָה:
with a garment: Targum Jonathan renders בְּגוּנְכָא which Rav Hai Gaon explains: a garment. Coate in O.F.  
19. And he said to her, "Give me now a little water to drink, for I am thirsty;" and she opened the flask of milk and gave him to drink, and covered him.   יט. וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ הַשְׁקִינִי נָא מְעַט מַיִם כִּי צָמֵאתִי וַתִּפְתַּח אֶת נֹאוד הֶחָלָב וַתַּשְׁקֵהוּ וַתְּכַסֵּהוּ:
the flask of milk: She gave him milk because it slackens the body and causes drowsiness.  
20. And he said to her, "Stand in the doorway of the tent; and it shall be, if any man comes and asks you and says, 'Is a man here?,' then you shall say, 'There is not.' "   כ. וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ עֲמֹד פֶּתַח הָאֹהֶל וְהָיָה אִם אִישׁ יָבוֹא וּשְׁאֵלֵךְ וְאָמַר הֲיֵשׁ פֹּה אִישׁ וְאָמַרְתְּ אָיִן:
Stand in the doorway of the tent: (עֲמֹד) is masc.) Hasten like a man. And some interpret עֲמֹד as (לַעֲמוֹד) “to stand”.  
21. And Jael, the wife of Heber, took the tent-pin, and placed the hammer in her hand, and came to him stealthily, and thrust the pin into his temple, and it pierced through into the ground; and he was in a deep sleep and weary; and he died.   כא. וַתִּקַּח יָעֵל אֵשֶׁת חֶבֶר אֶת יְתַד הָאֹהֶל וַתָּשֶׂם אֶת הַמַּקֶּבֶת בְּיָדָהּ וַתָּבוֹא אֵלָיו בַּלָּאט וַתִּתְקַע אֶת הַיָּתֵד בְּרַקָּתוֹ וַתִּצְנַח בָּאָרֶץ וְהוּא נִרְדָּם וַיָּעַף וַיָּמֹת:
Tent pin: Chevilles in 0.F. A peg which is inserted into the ground together with the lower portion of a tent to stretch it out. הַמַּקֶּבֶת, Targum Jonathan renders ארזפתא, martel in Old French (a hammer). בַּלָּאט Targum Jonathan renders בְּרָז i.e., stealthily. וַתִּצְנַח בָּאָרֶץ Targum Jonathan renders וּנְעָצַת בְאַרְעָא : and it pierced through into the ground.  
22. And behold, Barak pursued Sisera, and Jael came out to meet him, and she said to him, "Come and I will show you the man whom you seek," and he came to her, and behold, Sisera lay dead, and the pin was in his temple.   כב. וְהִנֵּה בָרָק רֹדֵף אֶת סִיסְרָא וַתֵּצֵא יָעֵל לִקְרָאתוֹ וַתֹּאמֶר לוֹ לֵךְ וְאַרְאֶךָּ אֶת הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה מְבַקֵּשׁ וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ וְהִנֵּה סִיסְרָא נֹפֵל מֵת וְהַיָּתֵד בְּרַקָּתוֹ:
in his temple: Targum Jonathan renders בְצִידְעֵיה (in his temple) tenplia in O.F. She had thrust it through his temple into the ground.  
23. And God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan, before the children of Israel.   כג. וַיַּכְנַע אֱלֹהִים בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אֵת יָבִין מֶלֶךְ כְּנָעַן לִפְנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
24. And the hand of the children of Israel prevailed constantly harder against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin, king of Canaan.   כד. וַתֵּלֶךְ יַד בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הָלוֹךְ וְקָשָׁה עַל יָבִין מֶלֶךְ כְּנָעַן עַד אֲשֶׁר הִכְרִיתוּ אֵת יָבִין מֶלֶךְ כְּנָעַן:
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