And then there is Jael

As a small note to the end of Judges 4, is a bit about Sisera (or Cicera) who is a captain in the army of Jabin the Enemy, King of Hazor who escapes from the Battle with Barak on the slopes of Mount Tabor.  A Sisera will reappear in Ezra and Nehemiah but no one thinks that they are dynastically related.  We’ll probably revisit that point then but it’s good to know that now for those who are reading different sections of the Book.

Jael is the wife of Heber the Kenite and she is in her tent waiting for her husband’s return.  A Kenite is a descendant of Cain btw.  Jael in Hebrew means wild mountain goat which typically in the Bible is a bad thing.  Her name though is pronounced Ya-El not like Jail which reminds me of Superman’s name, Kal-el or the “Voice of God”.  That should give you a clue that her name isn’t really the bad thing you would expect, for the the latter part of her name refers to the Sumerian word for “God” Elohim.  Babynames says Jael’s variants are Jill, Joelle, and Jewel.  It is not popular btw; perhaps it is a sleeper.

As Jael is waiting, Sisera the snake comes in begging for “water”.  Jael is a good woman and gives him milk and then tells him to hide under a blanket so no one will find him.  I guess she did not want him to escape but instead to let him think that that she is the typical stupid woman and the proverbial soft-touch.

Well Sisera believing he has bewitched the fool Jael, does as she says.  But when he is sleeping Jael, true to her name, shows her true colours and kills him with tent peg (which is really a spike)  and hammer.  So Barak once again is helped by a woman and the Captain of Jabin’s army of steel and armour is dead.

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