The thundering of the man's wildly pumping heart was overridden by the sound of his
pounding footsteps as he escaped through the forest foliage. Haunted, driven as a
madman by the fear of death, he frequently glanced behind him to see if he was being
pursued. He could still hear the roar of the raging battle, the dreadful clashing of
swords, screams of dying men, shouts of bloodied heroes vanquishing foes
Driven by the desire to live, the fleeing man pressed deeper in the forest towards the
only safe haven he knew existed between Mt Tabor and his distant homeland. Pausing
to gather his bearings, he rested under a large tree. Fear was etched in every line of his
sweat-drenched face, his lips swollen from dehydration, lungs heaving violently with
the physical exertion of his flight from the enemy. Discarding his battle armor, he
strained his senses for danger, his trained, soldier eyes quickly scanning for
movement behind and before him. Another mile or so to safety he reckoned.
A sudden rustle in the undergrowth behind propelled him to his feet and to instant
flight once again. Peering behind him, the alarmed man discovered the commotion to
be only a forest fowl searching for food, but it was enough to compel him forward.
"The word has been decreed by the Prophetess." Michael announced, gesturing to the
powerful Warring Angels, who had gathered for Israel's battle with the Canaanite
King, Jabin. "The man is fleeing in the forest. Make sure he reaches the woman's tent
by the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh. Instruct her of the Lord's purpose."
Immediately the angels descended into the forest, some remaining with the man, the
others gathering at the woman's tent.
"Bring me the milk skin," the woman asked her maidservant. Pouring in the milk that
had been prepared early that morning, she filled the skin. The light of Yahweh shone
on her face, His love and passion burned within her heart. She was a woman of
Angels gathered around her. Sensing His Presence, she lifted her heart to listen.
"A man is about to emerge from the forest. Go and meet him. Do what I show you."
Jael stood and lifted her eyes to the forest rim. "Put the skin inside my tent and bring
the best drinking vessel," she instructed her maidservant as she walked towards the
forest edge. She could hear the sound of a running man long before he appeared.
Sisera! She instantly recognized King Jabin's military Commander. Israel has routed
Jabin's army! Elated, a broad smile filled her face.
Seeing her engaging smile, Sisera visibly relaxed.
"Come, my Lord, come right in. Don't be afraid." her comforting words drew him
"Here, Lord Sisera, rest here safely," she soothed, covering the weary man with a
"I'm thirsty. Please give me some water."
"Give him the curdled milk," the angels whispered to her.
Jael offered the milk in a noble's vessel, "Here my Lord, drink this."
"Stand in the doorway of the tent. If someone comes by and asks you, 'Is anyone
here?' say 'No.'"
"Yes, my Lord." She answered, smiling.
The exhausted man fell fast asleep.
"What now, LORD?" Jael whispered in prayer.
"Pin his head to the ground with a tent-peg."
Quickly, silently, Jael returned to Sisera's side with tent-peg and hammer. For your
gloryfor your people, Israelstrengthen me to do your will, LORD. Taking the long
metal tent-peg in her left hand, she positioned it over the sleeping man's temple.
Holding the hammer up high, she forcefully brought it down onto the tent-peg,
penetrating Sisera's skull and brain. She continued to drive the hammer until the tent-
peg pierced through the other side of his head, pinning him to the ground, securing the
man in death.
With dignity and strength, Jael stood above the adversary crushed by her hand. Her
heart swelled with the joy of victory over the enemy nationat the hand of a woman.
She laughed out loud in delight as she washed the blood from her hands.
The sound of horses could be heard in the forest. Leaving the man lying in death, Jael
went out to greet her visitors.
A large contingent of Israeli soldiers had accompanied Barak in pursuit of Sisera.
"Come, Commander Barak," Jael beckoned, motioning with her hand, "I will show
you the man you're looking for."
Dismounting, he entered the tent with her. Discovering the impaled man, Barak's eyes
met Jael's in a penetrating stare as he suddenly recalled Deborah's prophecy, "for
the LORD will hand Sisera over to a woman."
Author's note: Adapted from Judges 4:2 23. NIV.
In those days, it was the women's job to erect the tents, so wielding the hammer and
tent-pegs would have been a very familiar role for Jael, but killing a man with these
tools was indeed, a very gutsy act!
Karen Elengikal is an inspirational, published writer from Sydney, Australia. Karen's first book 'Kidz Battle Zone' was released in 2007. (see FW Book Review).