You heard me right, the first lady killer. This is not about the first guy to kill a woman, but the first woman to kill a man. Why am I interested in this? Why am I writing about this? Because it is a story, and I feel that it is an intense one. (Ha, in-tents, that was a pun, but you have to read on to really get it).
(*Names are changed to protect the innocent. Well, really they are changed to modern ones for an easier read.)
The scene is set in a land being thrown in and out of chaos. The people are wanderers and warriors. They are slowly conquering a land, but are growing weary of battle. Each man seemed to choose his own law, and “did what was right in his own eyes”. The sheriff was out of town, the government on vacation, the castle was empty of any king. There was no earthly ruler set up for the people in our story, but every once in a while a speaker would rise up, someone who was full of wisdom would speak out and try to straighten things up.
At one time, one of the wise-men who started to speak out against the evils of the people was not a man, but a woman. We’ll call her Debbie. Debbie had set up a spot under a nice, shady, palm tree and people could come to her for counsel and guidance. One day, she called the area’s top warrior, a dude, and we will call him Brock. Debbie and Brock were of the same group, the same clan, and there was another group crowding in on their territory and causing trouble. Debbie had a battle plan, yes, the girl had the battle plan. So she told Brock, this fierce warrior, that he was the one to drive out these people. He was up for it, but on one condition, he was afraid to go alone, Debbie had to come with. The girl had to come with, the big, bad, warrior boy needed some hand holding I guess. She sighed, showed no fear, and agreed. Debbie warned Brock, however, that because of this, he would not get the fame for this battle.
So Brock gathered up his fellow warriors and Debbie went with him to find their enemy, a group led by a man that we will call Sera. When they saw the group Debbie gave the rallying speech, she gave out a war cry, and Brock and his men charged into battle. They won, but Sera had managed to escape. There was a family who lived nearby that Sera’s group had a bit of an alliance with, so he went to them and the wife of the household, or in this case tent-hold as they were mostly nomadic and lived in tents (get it now? intense, in-tents, I know I am punny). This lady, that we will call Jill, welcomed him in. She told him he could hide, she gave him a room and something to drink. Sera was pretty pleased that he had escaped to such a comfy place, so he laid down to rest. Now it seems that Jill thought very little of their alliance and while Sera was sleeping she took up a tent peg and drove it into his skull, through his temple. Dead. The End.
Don’t believe me? Read Judges 4.
Debbie = Deborah, Brock = Barak, Sera = Sisera, Jill = Jael
In Judges 5 (MSG), in Deborah’s Song, we see the next time the Bible talks about warriors. However, this time it is showing us what happens when there are no warriors to take charge. There will be some chaos, but God can use others to show his power and save his people. He uses two women, a prophetess and an average, stay-at-home, mom.
“6-8 In the time of Shamgar son of Anath,
and in the time of Jael,
Public roads were abandoned,
travelers went by backroads.
Warriors became fat and sloppy,
no fight left in them.
Then you, Deborah , rose up;
you got up, a mother in Israel.
God chose new leaders,
who then fought at the gates.
And not a shield or spear to be seen
among the forty companies of Israel.
9 Lift your hearts high, O Israel,
with abandon, volunteering yourselves with the people—bless God!”
Now for a few verses it talks of all the tribes that came to fight with Barak. Some came valiantly and without hesitation, but many hesitated and backed out. Again, we see how God provides when the warriors are weak.
“19-23 . . . The stars in the sky joined the fight,
from their courses they fought against Sisera.
The torrent Kishon swept them away,
the torrent attacked them, the torrent Kishon.
Oh, you’ll stomp on the necks of the strong!
Then the hoofs of the horses pounded,
charging, stampeding stallions.
“Curse Meroz,” says God’s angel.
“Curse, double curse, its people,
Because they didn’t come when God needed them,
didn’t rally to God’s side with valiant fighters.”
And now back to our lady killer,
“24-27 Most blessed of all women is Jael,
wife of Heber the Kenite,
most blessed of homemaking women.
He asked for water,
she brought milk;
In a handsome bowl,
she offered cream.
She grabbed a tent peg in her left hand,
with her right hand she seized a hammer.
She hammered Sisera, she smashed his head,
she drove a hole through his temple.
He slumped at her feet. He fell. He sprawled.
He slumped at her feet. He fell.
Slumped. Fallen. Dead.”
“31 Thus may all God’s enemies perish,
while his lovers be like the unclouded sun.
The land was quiet for forty years.”