Judges 4:21, How Did Sisera Die?

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.

//In Judges chapter four, a female warrior named Deborah predicts that an enemy general named Sisera will die by the hand of a woman. Perhaps she imagines that she, herself, will slay Sisera; we don’t know.

Her prediction comes true. A few verses later a woman named Jael lures Sisera into a tent with her, covers him with a rug and gives him some milk. When he falls asleep, she quietly drives a tent peg through his temple.

The next chapter, Judges 5, is the famous victory song of Debra. When she arrives at the point where Sisera dies, she tells this story:

“Most blessed of women be Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, most blessed of tent-dwelling women. He asked for water, and she gave him milk; in a bowl fit for nobles she brought him curdled milk. Her hand reached for the tent peg, her right hand for the workman’s hammer. She struck Sisera, she crushed his head, she shattered and pierced his temple. At her feet he sank, he fell; there he lay. At her feet he sank, he fell; where he sank, there he fell–dead.” –Judges 5:26-27

While the peg is still colored with blood, the legend is already growing. In Deborah’s rendition, Jael taunts Sisera with curdled milk before striking his head with a hammer, and he falls down at her feet, dead. Perhaps that is the version Deborah was told?

Deborah then wraps up the victory hymn by mocking the mother of Sisera, who she imagines peering through a window waiting for her son to arrive back from battle. Yikes! Guys, there’s a lesson, here … don’t anger the women.

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