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ZionTimes Torah Archive Torah Archive - Haftaras Beshalach (Shabbat Shirah) ZionTimes Torah Archive

Shoftim/Judges  4:4 - 5:31

~ Ashkenazim begin the Haftarah here ~
Chapter 4

4 Deborah was a prophetess, a fiery woman; she was the judge of Israel at that time.  5 She would sit under Deborah's Palm Tree, between the Ramah and Bethel of Mount Ephraim, and the Children of Israel would go up to her for judgment.  6 She sent to summon Barak son of Abinoam of Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, "Has not Hashem, the God of Israel, commanded, 'Go and draw [people] toward Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men from the children of Naphtali and from the children of Zebulun.  7 And to Kishon Brook, I will draw toward you Sisera, the general of Jabin's army, his chariots and his multitude, and I shall present him into your hand'? "

8 Barak said to her, "If you go with me, I will go, but if you do not go with me, I will not go."

9 She said, "I will surely go with you, except that the path upon which you go will not be for your glory, for Hashem will deliver Sisera into the hand of a woman." Then Deborah stood up and went with Barak to Kedesh.

10 Barak had Zebulun and Naphtali summoned to Kedesh and he brought up on foot ten thousand men, and Deborah went up with him.

11 Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, from the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and pitched his tent as far as the Plain of Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.

12 They told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor.  13 Sisera summmoned all his chariots — nine hundred iron chariots — and all the people with him, from Harosheth-hagoiim to Kishon Brook.

14 Deborah said to Barak, "Arise! For this is the day when Hashem has given Sisera into your hand — has not Hashem gone forth before you?" So Barak descended from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men behind him.  15 Hashem confounded Sisera and all the chariots and the entire camp by the blade of the sword before Barak; Sisera dismounted from the chariot and fled on foot.  16 Barak chased after the chariots and after the camp until Harosheth-hagoiim; and the entire camp of Sisera fell by the blade of the sword, not a single one was left.

17 Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin, king of Hazor, and the house of Heber the Kenite.  18 Jael went out toward Sisera and said to him, "Turn, my lord, turn to me, do not fear." He turned off to her to the tent and she covered him with the cloak.

19 He said to her, "Give me a bit of water to drink, because I am thirsty," and she opened the container of milk, gave him to drink, and covered him.  20 He told her to stand at the entrance of the tent, "And it shall be that if any man will come and ask you, saying, 'Is there a man here?' you are to say, 'No!' "

21 Jael, Heber's wife, took the tent-peg and placed the hammer in her hand; she came to him stealthily and drove the peg into his temple and pierced the ground — for he was asleep and exhausted — and he died.  22 Behold! — Barak was pursuing Sisera, and Jael went out toward him and told him, "Go and I will show you the man whom you seek!" He came to her and behold! — Sisera was fallen dead with the peg in his temple.

23 On that day God subjugated Jabin, king of Canaan, before the Children of Israel.  24 The hand of the Children of Israel became progressively harsh over Jabin, king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin, king of Canaan.

~ Sephardim begin the Haftarah here ~
Chapter 5

1 On that day, Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang, saying:

2 Whether [God] wreaks vengeance against Israel or the people dedicate themselves [to Him] — bless Hashem.

3 Hear, O kings, give ear, O princes - I, to Hashem shall I sing, I shall sing praise to Hashem, God of Israel.

4 Hashem, as You left Seir, as You strode from the field of Moab, the earth quaked and even the heavens trickled; even the clouds dripped water.

5 The mountains trembled before Hashem — this was Sinai — before Hashem, the God of Israel.

6 In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Jael roadtravel ceased, and those who traveled paths went by out-of-theway roads.

7 They ceased living in unwalled towns in Israel — they ceased; until I, Deborah, arose; I arose as a mother in Israel.

8 When it [Israel] chose new gods, war came to its gates; was even a shield or a spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?

9 My heart is with the lawgivers of Israel who are dedicated to the people — saying, "Bless Hashem."

10 [The wealthy] riders of white asses, those who sit in judgment, and those who walk the roads — tell [of God's salvation].

11 Instead of the whistling sound of arrows among the waterdrawers, there they will recount the charities of Hashem, the charities to His open cities in Israel; then the people of Hashem will descend [again] to the gates.

12 Awake, awake, O Deborah; awake, awake, utter a song; stand up, O Barak, and capture your prisoners, O son of Abinoam.

13 Then the survivor will dominate the mightiest of the people; Hashem has given me domination over the strong ones.

14 From Ephraim, whose root is in [Joshua, the conqueror of] Amalek; after you came [Saul, of] Benjamin with your peoples; from Machir descended lawgivers; and from Zebulun those who ply the scribal quill.

15 The leaders of Issachar were with Deborah, and Issachar was like Barak, into the valley he was sent on foot — but the withdrawal of Reuben requires great heartfelt contemplation.

16 Why did you remain sitting between the boundary-lines to hear the bleatings of the flocks? — the withdrawal of Reuben requires great heartfelt investigation.

17 Gilead remained dwelling across the Jordan; and Dan, why did he gather [his valuables] onto ships? But Asher lived at the seashore and had to remain by his undefended cities.

18 Zebulun is a people that risked its life as far as death, and so was Naphtali, on the heights of the battlefield.

19 Kings came and fought [with Sisera], then the kings of Canaan fought from Taanach until the waters of Megiddo, without accepting monetary gain.

20 From the heaven they fought, the stars from their courses battled Sisera.

21 Kishon Brook swept them away — the ancient brook, Kishon Brook — I, myself, trampled them with power.

22 Then the horses' heels were pounded by the galloping, the galloping of their mighty riders.

23 "Curse Meroz," said the angel of Hashem. "Cursed, curse its inhabitants, for they failed to come to aid [the people of] Hashem, to aid [the people of] Hashem against the mighty."

24 Blessed by women is Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite, by the women in the tent is she blessed.

25 He asked for water, she gave him milk; in a saucer of nobility she presented butter.

26 She extended her hand to the peg and her right hand to the laborer's hammer; she hammered Sisera, severed his head, smashed and pierced his temple.

27 Between her legs he knelt, toppled, lay; between her legs he knelt and fell, where he knelt, there he fell vanquished.

28 Through the window Sisera's mother peered and whimpered, through the window. "Why has his chariot delayed its coming, why are the hoofbeats of his chariots so late? "

29 The wisest of her ladies answer her, and she, too, gives herself responses.

30 "Are they not finding and dividing loot? A virgin or two for every man, booty of colored garments for Sisera, booty of colored embroidery, doubly embroidered garments for the necks of the looters."

31 So may all Your enemies be destroyed, Hashem. And let those who love Him be like the powerfully rising sun. And the land was quiet for forty years.


Parashas Beshalach

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