In my NLT version, this chapter’s subtitle is “The Song of Deborah,” but in addition to Deborah this song also pays tribute to our “heroes” from the last chapter, Barak and Jael. It also throws in some odd stuff, like in verses 15 through 17, when the writer takes a dig at the tribes of Reuben, Dan and Asher (and Meroz (v. 23)) for not showing up to defend Israel against King Jabin. Even the stars fought from heaven (v. 20)! I love that line. It exemplifies the push and pull effect that humans and nature have with one another. We don’t want to worship or rely on the stars for guidance, but we certainly can follow their cues when God is leading the way.
Another section I thought was a little strange is verses 29 through 30. Why did the author choose to throw Sisera’s mother in the mix? It caught me by surprise, but it also made me look at Sisera in a different way. He had a mother waiting for his homecoming. As a mother with a son, that squeezed my heart a lot. The text doesn’t say whether she had the same attitude as her BFFs, but they seem to be extremely confident in their friend’s son’s abilities and very much looking forward to dividing the loot they were sure he would bring home. Maybe this passage serves as a checkpoint for us, or maybe the author just had a moment of deep thinking. It is a poem, after all.
Writing prompt: structure
There are lots of little goodies in this poem. I didn’t even get into structure, but I’m noticing now consistencies I didn’t on the first read-through. It’s a little hard to dissect this poem structurally because we’re not reading it in its original language, but do your best to pull out some unique characteristics and techniques from this song/poem today and write about your findings.