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Morrish Bible Dictionary


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Wife of Heber the Kenite, a descendant of Jethro, father-in-law of Moses, who was head of an Arab clan which was established in the north of Palestine. When Sisera's army was defeated by Barak and Deborah, he left his chariot and fled on foot to the tent of Jael, whose husband was at peace with Jabin. Jael invited him into her tent, and bade him not to fear, gave him milk to drink, and covered him up. Being weary he fell asleep, and Jael with a hammer drove a tent-peg through his temples till it entered the ground. Judges 4:17-22 ; Judges 5:6,24 .

Great indignation has been expressed at this act of Jael, and even Christians have blamed her severely; but it was foretold that Jehovah would "sell Sisera into the hand of a woman;" and immediately after the deed, it is added, "So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel." And Deborah, in her song of praise, pronounced Jael to be "blessed above women." It is clear from this song that Sisera was an enemy not only of God's people, but of the Lord Himself, for she prophetically utters the words, "So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord." Compare Numbers 10:35 . Hence God empowered Jael to take his life — as He had led Joshua in some instances to destroy the women and children of the places conquered by him. Where an act is clearly the execution of God's righteous judgement, it rises altogether above what would be justifiable under ordinary circumstances of hospitality or of warfare. Of course in some instances the thing accomplished may be according to the will of God, but not the way in which it is effected.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Jael'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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