Daily Tanach, Wednesday: Shoftim Chapter 5 Part 1-The song of Devorah

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 5: The song of Devorah

1.       The song-Introduction:

  • Devorah, and Barak the son of Avinoam, sang a song on that day [which caused all the sins of the Jewish people to be forgiven, and begin a new page in their relationship with G-d[1]].
  • G-d took vengeance on behalf of the Jewish people, when his people stepped up and repented, and we will now bless G-d for doing so.
  • Hear oh kings, listen to a song, I am to G-d and I will sing and praise G-d, the G-d of Israel.
  • The leave of Sinai: Upon G-d leaving Seir [i.e. Har Sinai[2]], and walking through the field of Edom, the earth shook, and the heavens and clouds dropped rain [of resurrection[3]]. Mountains shed water before G-d, which is Sinai.

2.       The state of the nation in the times of Yael:

  • In the days of Shamgar Ben Anas, and Yael [who was also a Judge in those days[4]], the Jewish people feared traveling by road [due to potential attacks by their enemies] and rather traveled through back windy paths. They feared living in open cities, and dwelled in fortified cities, due to fear of attack by their enemies. This was all until Devorah became a mother onto Israel. [These words were said by Devorah herself, and being viewed as a tinge of haughtiness, G-d punished her by removing Ruach Hakodesh from her.[5]] This need to wage war against their enemies was all due to the sins of idolatry of the Jewish people, and they therefore had to galvanize an army of 40,000 soldiers.

3.       The love of the Sages and the talk of the miracle:

  • My heart [i.e. love] goes to the legislatures of Israel [i.e. the Sages] who devote themselves to the Jewish people. The riders of white mules are dignitaries who sit in judgement of the Jewish people, while the simple man walk and talk with their friends of the miracles of Hashem. The voice of the archers can be found amongst the water drawers, and there they talk of the greatness of God and what He did for the Jewish people.
  • Wake up Devorah, wake up and sing praise. Wake up Barak and capture captives, the son of Avinoam. Then Hashem gave us the Jewish people sovereignty over the gentile nations.

4.       The tribes who joined the war and those who did not:

  • Soldiers from the tribe of Ephraim waged war against Amalek. Afterwards would come Binyamin and finish them off. From Machir came generals and conquerors. From Zevulun came the Sofrim, and Sages. From Yissachar came the aristocrats, the leaders of the Sanhedrin. They worked with Devorah to strengthen the nations Torah observance. The rest of the tribe of Yissachar was obedient to Barak, and listened to all his instructions regarding the war that was waged. The tribe of Reuvein however, was divided in their hearts, and they acted with contempt, waiting to see who would win the battle prior to joining. Gilad dwelled across the Jordon [and thus did not join the war[6]]. Dan prepared ships with all their belongings to escape the land. Asher sat at the beach and guarded the seaport from the enemies. Zevulun gave up their lives to fight in the battle. Likewise, Naftali joined and fought in the battle. [The tribes who stayed away from joining the battle should be ashamed, as] Other kings joined the battle to help Sisra without any monetary incentive, and they fought in Tanach and Meiy Megido.


[1] Rashi 6:1; Midrash Tehillim 18:6

[2] Rashi 5:3

[3] Rashi 5:3

[4] Rashi 5:6

[5] Pesachim 66b; Rashi 5:12

[6] Rashi 5:17; However. See Radak and other Mefarshim ibid who argue and say that they did come to war

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