In that day Debbora and Barac son of Abinoem sung, and said:  O you of Israel, that have willingly offered your lives to danger, bless the Lord.  Hear, O ye kings, give ear, ye princes: It is I, it is I, that will sing to the Lord, I will sing to the Lord the God of Israel.  O Lord, when thou wentest out of Seir, and passedst by the regions of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped water.  The mountains melted before the face of the Lord, and Sinai before the face of the Lord the God of Israel.
 In the days of Samgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jahel the paths rested: and they that went by them, walked through by-ways.  The valiant men ceased, and rested in Israel: until Debbora arose, a mother arose in Israel.  The Lord chose new wars, and he himself overthrew the gates of the enemies: a shield and spear was not seen among forty thousand of Israel.  My heart loveth the princes of Israel: O you that of your own good will offered yourselves to danger, bless the Lord.  Speak, you that ride upon fair asses, and you that sit in judgment, and walk in the way.
 Where the chariots were dashed together, and the army of the enemies was choked, there let the justices of the Lord be rehearsed, and his clemency towards the brave men of Israel: then the people of the Lord went down to the gates, and obtained the sovereignty.  Arise, arise, O Debbora, arise, arise, and utter a canticle. Arise, Barac, and take hold of thy captives, O son of Abinoem.  The remnants of the people are saved, the Lord hath fought among the valiant ones.  Out of Ephraim he destroyed them into Amalec, and after him out of Benjamin into thy people, O Amalec: Out of Machir there came down princes, and out of Zabulon they that led the army to fight.  The captains of Issachar were with Debbora, and followed the steps of Barac, who exposed himself to danger, as one going headlong, and into a pit. Ruben being divided against himself, there was found a strife of courageous men.
 Why dwellest thou between two borders, that thou mayest hear the bleatings of the flocks? Ruben being divided against himself, there was found a strife of courageous men.  Galaad rested beyond the Jordan, and Dan applied himself to ships: Aser dwelt on the sea shore, and abode in the havens.  But Zabulon and Nephtali offered their lives to death in the region of Merome.  The kings came and fought, the kings of Chanaan fought in Thanach by the waters of Mageddo, and yet they took no spoils.  War from heaven was made against them, the stars remaining in their order and courses fought against Sisara.
 The torrent of Cison dragged their carcasses, the torrent of Cadumim, the torrent of Cisoii: tread thou, my soul, upon the strong ones.  The hoofs of the horses were broken whilst the stoutest of the enemies fled amain, and fell headlong down.  Curse ye the land of Meroz, said the angel of the Lord: curse the inhabitants thereof, because they came not to the help of the Lord, to help his most valiant men.  Blessed among women be Jahel the wife of Haber the Cinite, and blessed be she in her tent.  He asked her water and she gave him milk, and offered him butter in a dish fit for princes.
 She put her left hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workman’s hammer, and she struck Sisara, seeking in his head a place for the wound, and strongly piercing through his temples.  At her feet he fell: he fainted, and he died: he rolled before her feet, and he lay lifeless and wretched.  His mother looked out at a window, and howled: and she spoke from the dining room: Why is his chariot so long in coming back? Why are the feet of his horses so slow?  One that was wiser than the rest of his wives, returned this answer to her mother in law:  Perhaps he is now dividing the spoils, and the fairest of the women is chosen out for him: garments of divers colours are given to Sisara for his prey, and furniture of different kinds is heaped together to adorn the necks.
 So let all thy enemies perish, O Lord: but let them that love thee shine, as the sun shineth in his rising.  And the land rested for forty years.
 “The paths rested”: The ways to the sanctuary of God were unfrequented: and men walked in the by-ways of error and sin.
 “Out of Ephraim”: The enemies straggling in their flight were destroyed, as they were running through the land of Ephraim, and of Benjamin, which lies after, that is beyond Ephraim: and so on to the very confines of Amalec. Or, it alludes to former victories of the people of God, particularly that which was freshest in memory, when the men of Ephraim and Benjamin, with Aod at their head, overthrew their enemies the Moabites with the Amalecites their allies. See chap. 3.– Ibid.
 “Machir”: The tribe of Manasses, whose eldest son was Machir.
 “Divided against himself”: By this it seems that the valient men of the tribe of Ruben were divided in their sentiments, with relation to this war; which division kept them at home within their own borders, to hear the bleating of their flocks.
 “Meroz”: Where this land of Meroz was, which is here laid under a curse, we cannot find: nor is there mention of it anywhere else in holy writ. In the spiritual sense, they are cursed who refuse to assist the people of God in their warfare against their spiritual enemies.
See our catalogue of Catholic books and audiobooks: