Exegete: Judges 4.17-22

Our end of the semester project in Old Testament 1, we are doing some exegetical work on Judges 4.17-22. Instead of starting and ending with the English translation of the Hebrew, I am also adding into the mix the two Septuagint recensions as found in the ]]. (Again, if God had wanted us to really know Hebrew, He would have given us those 72 inspired and inerrant Translators)

Hebrew (NASB)Greek A (NETS)Greek B (NETS)
17Now Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.

18Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my master, turn aside to me! Do not be afraid.” And he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug.

19He said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a bottle of milk and gave him a drink; then she covered him.

20He said to her, “Stand in the doorway of the tent, and it shall be if anyone comes and inquires of you, and says, ‘Is there anyone here?’ that you shall say, ‘No.'”

21But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died.

22And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” And he entered with her, and behold Sisera was lying dead with the tent peg in his temple. (Jdg 4:17-22 NAU)

17And Sisara had retreated on his feet to the tent of Iael, wife of Chaber the Kinite, for there was peace between King labin of Hasor and between the clan of Chaber the Kinite. 18And lael came out to meet Sisara and said to him, “Come aside, my lord, come aside to me; have no fear.” And he came aside to her, into the tent, and she covered him with her skin curtain. 19And Sisara said to her, “Do but give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty? And she opened the skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered up his face. 20And he said to her, “Stand at the entrance of the tent, and it shall be, if anybody comes to you and asks you and says to you, ‘Is a man within?’ that you will say, There is not! ” And she covered him up with her skin curtain. 21 And Iael, wife of Chaber, took the tent peg and placed the hammer in her hand and quietly went in towards him and hammered the peg into his jaw and drove it through in the ground. And as for him, he writhed between her knees, and he breathed his last and died. 22And see, Barak was pursuing Sisara, and Iael went out to meet him and said to him, “Come here, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” And he went in to her, and see, Sisara, a fallen corpse, and the tent peg in his jaw.17And Sisara had fled on his feet to the tent of lael, wife of Chaber, comrade of the Kinite, for there was peace between King labin of Hasor and between the clan of Chaber the Kinite. 18And Iael came out to meet Sisara and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; have no fear.” And he turned aside to her, into the tent, and she covered him with a garment. 19And Sisara said to her, “Do but give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” And she opened the skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. 20And Sisara said to her, “Do stand at the entrance of the tent, and it shall be, if a man comes to you and asks you and says, ‘Is there a man here?’ that you will say, There is not: “ 21 And Iael, wife of Chaber, took the tent peg and placed the hammer in her hand and secretly went in towards him and drove the peg in his temple, and it went through in the ground. And as for him, he was terrified and stupified and he died. 22And see, Barak was pursuing Sisara, and Iael went out to meet him and said to him, “Come here, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” And he went in to her, and see, Sisara sprawled, a corpse, and the tent peg in his temple.

In my opinion, there are several differences, more notably between Greek A and Greek B in the story. I’ll most likely post a rough draft of the whole thing later.

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