When we left off of Deborah’s story, Sisera (the commander of the enemy army) had fled the battle scene.
Jael was married to Heber the Kenite, and the Kenites were tent-dwellers. That means that they moved around and set up their tents in different locations. They would need to be at peace with people in order to reside on land without a fuss. The Kenites were at peace with the Canaanites (enemy of Israelites). Therefore, Siseria assumed he would be safe hiding in their camp.
However, Jael no doubt had some knowledge of the Israelites and their powerful God. You see, the Kenite tribe were descendants of Moses’ in-laws. Have you ever watched Prince of Egypt? Remember how he flees to the desert and meets his future wife? (If not, watch this video clip.)
The Kenites would remember the plagues that God sent down on Egypt and how He delivered them from slavery. (Check out this video clip.)
Jael gave Sisera every indication that she would keep him safe–giving him food and something to drink and covering him with a blanket. And then, something totally unexpected happens…she kills him!
She “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.”
I know, gross, right?! Why use a tent peg and hammer? Well, Jael would not have had any weapons. But, she knew how to set up the tent and was well-versed in driving the pegs into the ground.
Do you remember the prophecy that Deborah told Barak (commander of the Israelite army)? She said that God would give the honor of victory through the hand of woman and NOT through Barak. You probably assumed she was talking about herself. But no! It was Jael! What a twist! With Sisera and the Canaanite army dead, the Israelites were free from persecution.
I’ve often wondered what prompted Jael to take such action? She was strong and brave, but her people were also “at peace” with Sisera’s people. However, she would have known that Sisera’s people were persecuting God’s people. I suspect that God may have spoken to Jael giving her insight into the situation. But we truly don’t know. I think it’s one of those things I’ll ask when I get to heaven.
What made her unique? (Describe her)
- the wife of Heber the Kenite,
- descendents of Moses’ in-laws
- tent-dweller, which meant she knew how to use a stake and hammer
- Her tribe was at peace with Jabin (Cana
Did she allow God to fill her for His purpose? Yes/No
Explain how she was/wasn’t used for His purpose.
She fulfilled the words that Deborah spoke by killing Sisera (commander who fled). The victory was given to a woman (and not even an Israelite).
Key scripture: The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:1