Yesterday I was thinking about the story of Jael. Do you remember her?
Jael was married to Heber the Kenite and they lived in a tent. Heber was related to Moses’ father in law. The Bible says in Judges 4 that Heber “severed himself from the Kenites, and pitched his tent unto the plain of Zaanaim.” So it seems to me that Heber and his wife Jael had moved away from their family.
The Bible also tells us that “there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber.” The bad part is that the Lord had sold Israel into the hand of Jabin who “mightily oppressed” the people of Israel for twenty years.
Barak, encouraged by Deborah, took ten thousand men and went to fight Sisera. Who is Sisera? He is the captain of Jabin’s army. AKA – the bad guy.
Sisera took nine hundred iron chariots and lots of people to fight Barak; but the LORD disturbed and destroyed Sisera and his army. Sisera ended up running away from the battle on foot while Barak killed all the men that were left.
Sisera ran to Heber and Jael’s tent because there was peace between Jabin’s house and Heber’s house [but evidently not with Jael]. Jael goes out and tells him to come in and not be afraid. So Sisera lays down; she gives him some milk to drink, and covers him with a coat. He asked her to watch the door and he fell asleep.
While he is sleeping Jael took a “nail of the tent” and put the nail through his temples with a hammer. Not just in a little either; the whole way through to the ground.
When Barak shows up at the tent Jael says, “Come, and I will show thee the man whom thou seekest.” So God destroyed Sisera and Jabin and freed Israel.
Yes, she’s a hero and I always thought her story was interesting. It says she took the hammer and nail and crept up on him while he slept. My question is “Why a tent nail?” If he was so sound asleep that she could pound a nail through his head couldn’t she have just tied him up till Barak got there? Surely she couldn’t pound it the whole way threw in one blow.
Didn’t she have any knives in the kitchen with that milk? No swords or spears anywhere around? Not even an arrow? Yuck!
Where was Heber, her husband? If he was at peace with Jabin he wouldn’t have been fighting with Israel, right?
I used to think she was all alone in the tent and no one else was around. Maybe so, maybe not. We really don’t know. We do know that she had a big part in freeing Israel from Jabin.
I wonder what her husband thought when he came in… Hopefully she had cleaned the floor by then.