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ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7471
Mississippi

 The Song of Deborah and Barak - Judges 5

I have been studying, pondering the book of Judges gaining insights into the workings of God in the affairs of men.

In Judges 5 is recorded the song Deborah and Barak sang after their successful battle with Sisera. I am studying carefully hoping to understand what all she is referring to in this song - this song reveals details not found elsewhere in scriptures. Now my question to you Bible Scholars out there is, what incident is Deborah referring to in v 4-5?

Here is the entire chapter: (NASB)

1Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying,
2“That the leaders led in Israel,
That the people volunteered,
Bless the LORD!

3“Hear, O kings; give ear, O rulers!
I—to the LORD, I will sing,
I will sing praise to the LORD, the God of Israel.

4“LORD, when You went out from Seir,
When You marched from the field of Edom,
The earth quaked, the heavens also dripped,
Even the clouds dripped water.

5“The mountains quaked at the presence of the LORD,
This Sinai, at the presence of the LORD, the God of Israel.

6“In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath,
In the days of Jael, the highways were deserted,
And travelers went by roundabout ways.

7“The peasantry ceased, they ceased in Israel,
Until I, Deborah, arose,
Until I arose, a mother in Israel.

8“New gods were chosen;
Then war was in the gates.
Not a shield or a spear was seen
Among forty thousand in Israel.

9“My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel,
The volunteers among the people;
Bless the LORD!

10“You who ride on white donkeys,
You who sit on rich carpets,
And you who travel on the road—sing!

11“At the sound of those who divide flocks among the watering places,
There they shall recount the righteous deeds of the LORD,
The righteous deeds for His peasantry in Israel.
Then the people of the LORD went down to the gates.

12“Awake, awake, Deborah;
Awake, awake, sing a song!
Arise, Barak, and take away your captives, O son of Abinoam.

13“Then survivors came down to the nobles;
The people of the LORD came down to me as warriors.

14“From Ephraim those whose root is in Amalek came down,
Following you, Benjamin, with your peoples;
From Machir commanders came down,
And from Zebulun those who wield the staff of office.

15“And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah;
As was Issachar, so was Barak;
Into the valley they rushed at his heels;
Among the divisions of Reuben
There were great resolves of heart.

16“Why did you sit among the sheepfolds,
To hear the piping for the flocks?
Among the divisions of Reuben
There were great searchings of heart.

17“Gilead remained across the Jordan;
And why did Dan stay in ships?
Asher sat at the seashore,
And remained by its landings.

18“Zebulun was a people who despised their lives even to death,
And Naphtali also, on the high places of the field.

19“The kings came and fought;
Then fought the kings of Canaan
At Taanach near the waters of Megiddo;
They took no plunder in silver.

20“The stars fought from heaven,
From their courses they fought against Sisera.

21“The torrent of Kishon swept them away,
The ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon.
O my soul, march on with strength.

22“Then the horses’ hoofs beat
From the dashing, the dashing of his valiant steeds.

23‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the LORD,
‘Utterly curse its inhabitants;
Because they did not come to the help of the LORD,
To the help of the LORD against the warriors.’

24“Most blessed of women is Jael,
The wife of Heber the Kenite;
Most blessed is she of women in the tent.

25“He asked for water and she gave him milk;
In a magnificent bowl she brought him curds.

26“She reached out her hand for the tent peg,
And her right hand for the workmen’s hammer.
Then she struck Sisera, she smashed his head;
And she shattered and pierced his temple.

27“Between her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay;
Between her feet he bowed, he fell;
Where he bowed, there he fell dead.

28“Out of the window she looked and lamented,
The mother of Sisera through the lattice,
‘Why does his chariot delay in coming?
Why do the hoofbeats of his chariots tarry?’

29“Her wise princesses would answer her,
Indeed she repeats her words to herself,

30‘Are they not finding, are they not dividing the spoil?
A maiden, two maidens for every warrior;
To Sisera a spoil of dyed work,
A spoil of dyed work embroidered,
Dyed work of double embroidery on the neck of the spoiler?’

31“Thus let all Your enemies perish, O LORD;
But let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might.”
And the land was undisturbed for forty years.

The song mentions the area of Seir which is located south of the Dead Sea down to the Gulf of Aqaba. What happened there?


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Sandra Miller

 2014/11/8 13:55Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7471
Mississippi

 Re: The Song of Deborah and Barak - Judges 5

Well...it looks as though nobody has an answer to my question. And no one has ventured a theory, either. I do have one, however.

The song celebrates God's intervention in the affairs of his people. But what happened in this area that it rained? What is so unusual about that? She also mentions Mt.Sinai..any connection there?

These verses are giving me the first clue to an question I have had for years. Exodus 12:38 says, "A mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock." The question, how did God provide for these animals welfare during the Israelites wanderings in the wilderness? It says the herds and flocks were very large. The question is further enhanced by the complaints the people had about their lack of water.

Animals require a lot of feed for their growth and maintenance - it is immense, the volume they consume in one day. It is possible they may have carried come feed with them but the water they needed for survival is a total different issue.

It requires a lot of grazing land to sustain these animals as well. A lot. (I am a farm girl that was raised on a profitable farm that grew grain as well as all kinds of flocks and herds.) So, is Deborah informing the reader that God caused it to rain thereby providing the area with grass for these herds?

I do not read of any other incident in the WORD where rain was so essential in the survival of anybody, anything as it was during their wanderings in the wilderness. You have desert land, barren of vegetation how are you going to sustain flocks and herds on sand and rock? Can't be done.

Coupled with their flocks and herds I suspect the area these people required to live was immense. You also have the issue of sanitation - coping with human wastes, e.g. It was an entire nation on the move and that is enough to give alarm to the occupants of Canaan.

Does the understanding of this reality impact ones salvation? No. But it does enhance ones worship of a God who supervised this Exodus. The undertaking is so immense, so great that it leaves me shaking my head in wonder and amazement. You see this was not just a small number of folks out on a camping trip....in addition to these flocks and herds there were 600,000 men besides women and children - some put the numbers of people close to 2,000,000!

What a God....still shaking my head....


Sandra


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Sandra Miller

 2014/11/9 11:59Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7471
Mississippi

 Re:

A person is left to speculate the population of these flocks and herds.

If there were 2,000,000 people it is not unreasonable to assume one animal/fowl per person and there likely were more so I consider these numbers to be conservative.

When I consider the probability of these numbers I consider the awesomeness of this Exodus - God's sustaining this huge mass of people with their animals - second to the creation itself.

Sandra


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Sandra Miller

 2014/11/9 12:19Profile
Sidewalk
Member



Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 706
San Diego

 Re: Extra revelations of the Glory

You are deep, Sandra!

I have heard messages where the whole earth, meaning mostly the people, was moved to accommodate the birth of Jesus, just to get Mary and Joseph into Bethlehem for the birth on the day of God's choosing.

It is completely logical- more likely an accurate description of how God moved the weather and the water to accomplish a great salvation that was actually just a type of the real great salvation!

During Christmas, the department stores will hire an old guy with a beard, and I have a couple friends who do this, to dress up as Santa and have a special moment with a young child. While the moms and dads are paying for the pictures and the store security is watching to make sure no physical hanky-panky goes on, an old man and a little believer engage. The line of kids wait their turns, but for just a minute or two there is a special intimacy that is a picture of God and man.

We do well to occasionally climb into that lap, turn up our face to that One who loves us supremely, and ask silly questions! Not so silly really, but questions rooted in an appreciation of His majesty, His breathtaking creation, His profound love for the crown of His eternal work.

I think Sandra has demonstrated a little of this in our presence, and I thank you for bringing it.


So...... What are you getting for Christmas??


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Tom Cameron

 2014/11/9 12:40Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7471
Mississippi

 Re:

I agree that the story of Jesus birth, how God moved kings, governments in unique ways ranks up there with the awesomeness of God. The profound lesson I see in those manipulations - if you want to call it that - is that there are no people, regardless how wicked - that God will not use to demonstrate his Majesty. This fact tempers my angst with modern stupidities perpetuated by so-called Christians and others.

What am I getting for Christmas? One thing I do know is the big fat man in the red suit ain't bringing me a thang! lol Seriously, what I desire more then anything is that all our children walk with the LORD. I see him working but there are a few who are still fighting, or so it seems. But a material gift? dunno. I love to host our family in our home and to me this is wonderful...sharing gifts with each other and seeing the delight, pleasure in the children's eyes is a good enough gift for me. Having a house full of company, bedrooms all occupied - ah, can't get much better then that.


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Sandra Miller

 2014/11/9 13:45Profile
Jeremy221
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Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1448


 Re:

This isn't about the wilderness trek otherwise Moses would not have been required to strike the rock or speak to it.

It isn't clear but verse 15 may be the explanation.

Judges 4:15
[15] And the Lord discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet.

The chariots were made in operable by something so that Sisera fled on foot rather than the much faster means of a chariot. The Lord used weather many other times as a tool against the enemies of Israel as well.

 2014/11/10 22:38Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7471
Mississippi

 Re:

Jeremy, Deborah specifically tells us God caused it to rain by Seir and Edom. This place is located south of the Dead Sea. The area where Sisera's army met their defeat with their 900 iron chariots was by the river Kishon, roughly 115 miles NORTH - as the crow flies - from Seir and Edom. The battles that Deborah and Barak fought happened in that area.

The fact the Israelities cried for water would not negate the fact God caused it to rain and grass grow for their flocks and herds. The people still needed water as did the animals. You could have had enough rain to make grass grow but not enough to sustain people over an extended period of time. To sustain people you need rivers, lakes, wells that tap into underground streams. The desert had none of these unless what is called a wilderness was not desert back then. Still it says God caused it to rain. I suggest this was an memorable event otherwise it would not have called for special mention in a song.

My understanding.


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Sandra Miller

 2014/11/10 23:44Profile
Jeremy221
Member



Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1448


 Re:

My understanding of this comes from the KJV which says,

Judges 5:4-5 KJV
[4] Lord , when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water. [5] The mountains melted from before the Lord , even that Sinai from before the Lord God of Israel.

This gives the impression to me that there must have been torrential rain that could cause things like mudslides. When I read the passage about Moses going up the mount to meet with God, you can get the impression that with the fire and smoke, it could have been perceived by the people to have been an active volcano, something I didn't realize until today. Especially if you include the descriptions of the rumblings and the earth shaking. A strong thunderstorm can have a similar affect on people. In the ?Middle East, being on a mountain or near a river or dry riverbed can be deadly in heavy rain as the erosion and flash flooding can mean death.

I don't mean this to correct you but explore and explain more of my understanding. Blessings.

(In the King James it says that the Heavens and the clouds dropped, I'm not sure what it means by that though, particularly regarding the heavens.)

 2014/11/11 0:57Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7471
Mississippi

 Re:

QUOTE:
______________________________________________________________

(In the King James it says that the Heavens and the clouds dropped, I'm not sure what it means by that though, particularly regarding the heavens.)
______________________________________________________________

Most Bible translations interpret this as rain.

We know when Moses went up to the Mt. Sinai the scriptures say it shook, there was lightning so severe it scared the people. We know this happened.

Back to my original question: how were the animals sustained after they left Egypt? Scripture does not say that God sustained them supernaturally. Animals require a lot of feed and water - ask any farmer and he will tell you. Every picture I have seen of this area shows me that it is sand, rocks and more sand and rocks - not a place where you would want to graze cattle, flocks or herds of any livestock. Is it a stretch to assume this scripture is referring to rain that God had sent earlier to make grass grow in this barren land in order to sustain livestock?

I have asked other preachers this question: how did God sustain the livestock the Israelites took with them out of Egypt and no one offers any idea or theory, even. Strange considering that some grew up on farms...or maybe they consider this to be of no consequence. To this farm girl it is important. You see, if an animals gets hungry it will bawl and raise a racket like you would not believe. They react to unpleasantness with noise, enough to keep a body from sleeping.

I maintain the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt was such a magnificent undertaking; the logistics to do so would give the best Army general nightmares: moving up to 2 million people plus herds and flocks in an orderly manner...not only that you have to feed these animals. How did God provide for them? This is the question and is this scripture giving us a clue?


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Sandra Miller

 2014/11/11 9:56Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7471
Mississippi

 Re:

As you can observe I am being persistent with this question - inane to some. Perhaps there is a greater issue at stake.

Many modern Believers are questioning the Genesis 1 account of the Creation. They consider modern scientist's theories more credible then the Word of God or God himself. I have a suggestion: leave the creation story be and focus on other stories of God's miraculous works and see what happens in your perception Him in the lives of people.

Take the Exodus story. Imagine being a thoughtful, observant individual watching on the sidelines as this is happening. Be fully aware that this story is about real live people. Get acquainted with slavery, farming, animal husbandry, culture as it relates to sustaining of life. Realize there is time involved - it is not something that all happened in one week. Can you not see the hand of God in all this? What an impossible undertaking this was yet succeeded quite well because God was in control?

Or, consider the story of Joseph storing grain for seven years. I wonder how on earth did they do this where it did not get buggy or how did they protect it from rodents and other varmints. No inane question here - my cousin's wife - who is a grain farmer - told me a couple weeks ago how her husband is seeing a lot of rats in the fields he is harvesting. I have seen them, too, in the past. Still, this question might be easier answered then the original one...

Or, study the OT law...work to understand how this impacted culture, everyday living in areas of sanitation, health, interpersonal relationships. Don't dismiss it with the idea it no longer is applicable to us on this side of the cross. Read it, study it. What do you learn?

Now, did God create the universe in 6 twenty-four hour days?

Is this post a rabbit trail? Not really. I think we moderns do not comprehend the greatness of God. These OT stories are there to evoke within us a sense of awe of who God is, how He works in the lives of nations, individuals all with the purpose of demonstrating His supremacy over every thing.

I still think the verses in Judges refers to an event that happened apart from Deborah and Barak's victory over Sisera because it is an event that happened 115 miles south of where this battle was fought.

God bless.


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Sandra Miller

 2014/11/11 17:38Profile





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