Pastoral Commentary for Judges 3:12-4:24
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
Moab was the next oppressor that God unleashed against Israel because they did evil. After 18 years the Israelites finally cried out to the LORD and He raised up Ehud from the tribe of Benjamin. Going to pay tribute, with a concealed sword he killed the Moabite king and led Israel's army to a great victory that brought 80 years of peace. Shamgar defeated 600 Philistines with a simple oxgoad, something impossible for a man, and clearly a victory given by God. For another 20 years the Israelites lived under the cruel oppression of the Canaanites with their powerful iron chariots. During this time Deborah was serving as leader of Israel and she called on Barak to go to war and defeat the Canaanites. Barak refused unless Deborah would go along, which she agreed to do, but she warned him that because he insisted that she go along, he would not be credited with the victory. Instead, she warned that the Canaanite commander would be handed over to a woman. When the battle came, Israel routed the Canaanites but Sisera, the commander of their army escaped, fleeing to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber, a neighboring Kenite. While he lay asleep in her tent, she killed him by driving a tent peg through his skull. Still, the Israelites had to remember that Sisera's death and the defeat of Canaan's king was not their own doing. Judges 4:24 says: "On that day God subdued Jabin, the Canaanite king, before the Israelites."