12th of the 2nd month 2019/2020
Tehillah/Psalm 40:16 “Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let those who love Your deliverance always say, “יהוה be exalted!”
These words gripped me greatly this week, and as I meditated upon this powerful exhortation given for all who love the deliverance of יהוה to say, “יהוה be exalted!”, I was greatly stirred by the urgency of this and how extremely important it is for us to declare this!
In the Hebrew text (verse 17), this phrase is written as follows: יִגְדַּל יהוה – yigdal YAHWEH
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘exalted’ is יִגְדַּל – yigdal, which comes from the root verb גָּדַל gaḏal – Strong’s H1431 which means, ‘to grow up, become great, to cause to be large, magnify, boast, lift up, promote’, and is used 115 times in the Tanak and is often used as a word to express praise for יהוה.
In this Psalm of praise, Dawiḏ calls for those who love the deliverance of יהוה to always be saying, “יהוה be exalted!”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘always is תָּמִיד tamiyḏ – Strong’s H8548 which means, ‘continuity, all times, always, constantly, regularly, continually’.
This word תָּמִיד tamiyḏ – Strong’s H8548 is frequently used in an adjective construction with the word עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 which carries the meaning of, ‘whole burnt offering, ascent, staircase, stairway’, in reference to the ‘continual burnt offering’ that was to be made at the door of the Tent of Meeting, every morning and evening.
The עֹלָה olah offering represents a giving totally of oneself to יהוה, as we recognise how we are to present your bodies as a living offering!
A living offering that is set-apart and well-pleasing to Elohim, for this is our reasonable worship unto יהוה.
In the Tabernacle and Temple, the lamps were to ‘burn continually’, and so too do we recognise, as we walk in the Master and uphold His Torah, that we are to keep shining the Light of His Truth!
And this we are to do continually!
This is a clear picture for us in the command to keep our lamps burning continually:
Tehillim/Psalm 119:44 “That I might guard Your Torah continually, forever and ever”
How we keep our lamps burning continually, is to be a people who are guarding His pure and clear Torah, day and night!
Our ability to always say, “יהוה be exalted!”, can only be effectively done when we delight ourselves in Him and walk in His Torah, and letting our lives reflect a true love for His deliverance!
In a message called, “יהוה be exalted!”, I would like to take a closer look at a very powerful poetic song that was sung, in victorious praise and exaltation of יהוה and the deliverance He brought by defeating and destroying the enemies of Yisra’ěl!
As part of this week’s Torah portion readings from Shemoth/Exodus 13:17-17:16, we will also be reading from Shophetim/Judges 4:5-5:31 and it is Shophetim/Judges 5 that I want to take a closer look at, in this message, as we dig a little deeper into this powerful song of deliverance that was sung by Deḇorah and Baraq.
Please read Shophetim/Judges 5
After a very clear account of the victory over the Kenaʽanites in Chapter 4, we comes to Chapter 5 of the book of Shophetim/Judges, which presents to us one of the oldest poetic songs contained in the Tanak, and is a song that we can be greatly encouraged and challenged by, as we allow the mirror of the Word to cause us to reflect on our own lives, both individually as well as a collective body, and determine if our lives are truly proclaiming the love for the deliverance of יהוה and if we are, in fact, being continually enabled and equipped to say, “יהוה be exalted!”
Let us therefore take a journey through this extremely poetic song and dig in to some key words that can enlighten our eyes to the reality of our need to be a people that love the deliverance of יהוה and are declaring it, both in word and deed!
In verse 1 the chapter starts off with the phrase, ‘and on that day,’ when telling us when Deḇorah and Baraq sang this song. Chapter 4 ends with the confirmation of how the hand of Yisra’ěl had grown stronger and stronger against Yaḇin, sovereign of Kenaʽan, until they had cut him off!
On that day – the day of victory over Kenaʽan – Deḇorah and Baraq sang this song!
This was a spontaneous and instantaneous praise, in response to the victory over Kenaʽan!
The proper praise and response to victory was not delayed, but was instantaneous!
How about you?
Have you found yourself in a place where praise ought to have been rendered unto יהוה, yet you find that your response has sadly been delayed and, as a result, you have lost the fervency and zeal to continue being a bold ambassador of the Good News of Messiah, as you should?
The Hebrew name דְּבוֹרָה Deḇorah – Strong’s H1683 means, ‘a bee’ and comes from the primitive root word דָּבַר daḇar – Strong’s H1696 which means, ‘to speak, word, command, counsel, declare, proclaimed, converse, warn, threaten, promise’.
The Hebrew name בָּרָק Baraq – Strong’s H1301 which means, ‘flash of lighting’ which comes from the primitive root verb בָּרַק baraq – Strong’s H1299 which means, ‘to flash (of lightning), to flash forth’, and this primitive root word is only used once in Scripture, in a psalm of Dawiḏ which calls for יהוה’s deliverance:
Tehillah/Psalm 114:6 “Send forth lightning and scatter them, send forth Your arrows and confuse them.”
The first use of the phrase ‘send forth’ in this psalm is translated from the root verb בָּרַק baraq – Strong’s H1299, while the second phrase that is translated as ‘send forth’ comes from the root word שָׁלַח shalaḥ – Strong’s H7971 which means ‘to send or to bring forth, cast out, shoot’.
This song celebrates the deliverance of Elohim and with the name of Baraq having the meaning of a flash of lightning, and the name of Deḇorah coming from the root that means ‘word’, we are able to see the prophetic shadow picture of the deliverance of Elohim who sends forth His lightning and scatters His enemies, according to the clear prophesy of His Word! And this song celebrates the clear lightning power of the Word of Elohim, and calls us to be bold in our declaration of making יהוה great!
In the opening words of this poetic song of deliverance, we see, in verses 2-3, a clear call to praise Elohim!
This was a call for all to praise Elohim!
In an instantaneous response to this victory, Deḇorah and Baraq call for all the leaders and for all the people who volunteered themselves, to bless יהוה!
This call is, in a way, a clear call being given to all of us today, as our lives of set-apartness must be the result of us being a daily voluntary living offering, out of a loving response to our Master’s deliverance that He has brought us!
This was for all to bless יהוה, along with the personal response of the one calling for the praise to be done!
As we call others to praise יהוה for the victory that He has brought us, the question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are blessing and praising Him too?
We are to lead the way, as a witness of His victorious work of deliverance in our own lives, inciting others to do the same, calling them to bless and praise, just as we do! Are you leading the way, in your esteemed praise of Elohim or do you find yourself being silenced by crippling and worrying circumstances that hinder your ability to properly praise and bless His Name?
This is a clear call to bless יהוה!
The people who had volunteered themselves for battle, were being called to bless יהוה.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘volunteering’ comes from the primitive root verb נָדַב naḏaḇ – Strong’s H5068 which means, ‘to incite, impel, make offerings willingly, volunteers’. A word that is derived from this root verb is the noun נְדָבָה neḏaḇah – Strong’s H5071 which means, ‘voluntariness, freewill offering, volunteer freely, willingly’, and is the word that is used to describe the voluntary offerings!
Tehillah/Psalm 54:6 “Voluntarily I slaughter to You; I praise Your Name, O יהוה, for it is good.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:8 “Please accept the voluntary offerings of my mouth, O יהוה, and teach me Your right-rulings.”
This speaks of our willing choice to offer up our lives in wholehearted devoted service unto our Master, as we fight the good fight of the belief!
And to do so voluntarily, is a great expression of our joy in loving Him, as we should, with praise and thanksgiving.
This speaks of our eagerness and willingness to freely offer up our lives, as a living offering, and incite others to do so too!
The call to bless יהוה is for us all, especially as we consider the words of Dawiḏ, in the following Psalm:
Tehillah/Psalm 103:20-22 “Bless יהוה, you His messengers, mighty in power, who do His Word, listening to the voice of His Word. 21 Bless יהוה, all you His hosts, you His servants, who do His pleasure. 22 Bless יהוה, all His works, in all places of His rule. Bless יהוה, O my being!”
The Hebrew word that is translated in Shophetim/Judges 5:2 as ‘bless’ is בָּרֲכוּ baraḵu, which comes from the primitive root verb בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 which means, ‘to abundantly bless’ and it literally carries the meaning, ‘to kneel or bow down, to show respect, to bring a gift to another while kneeling out of respect’.
It is written here in the ‘piel’ verb tense, which usually expresses an intensive or intentional action.
A life of praise is seen in the proper respect that we give unto our Elohim, and this word depicts the action of showing true reverence, implying a continual consciousness of the presence of our Master and Elohim, which results in a continual ‘bowing’ in obedience.
Dawiḏ said the following when he was driven from Aḇimeleḵ, after he changed his behaviour:
Tehillah/Psalm 34:1 “I bless יהוה at all times; His praise is continually in my mouth.”
No matter who might be against you, never stop living a life of praise unto our Master and Elohim, and bless Him at all times!
In verse 3 a call is given for sovereigns and prices to give proper attention to this call! No matter your standing, you had better listen up, is what is clearly being implied here! First the leaders and all who had volunteered were called to bless יהוה, and then Sovereigns and princes and told to give ear and hear!
Those who may think that they have some kind of royal positions that demands their subjects to submit to them, had better give careful attention to what is being proclaimed, as there is only One Sovereign that is to be blessed and praised, and that is יהוה our Master and Elohim!
Sovereigns and princes had just been defeated and now a call to give ear was being loudly proclaimed! And with that call comes the clear confession of praise and esteem that is given to יהוה, represented by Deḇorah’s response to her own summons that was given for all to bless יהוה! She declares that she sings to יהוה and sings praises to Him!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘sing’ is שִׁיר shiyr – Strong’s H7891 and simply means ‘sing’, but also carries the meaning, ‘to use one’s voice as an instrument to sing musical tones, rhythms, and often words’.
Using our voice to sing to יהוה is an attribute of giving thanks or rather, that which should flow from giving thanks.
So many people are too shy to sing, yet we should not worry what others may think of our voice, as we sing to the One who causes us to be – He loves to hear you sing!
Singing to יהוה is a great implement or tool, not only for great celebration of His great loving-commitment, but as we know from Scripture, is a great tool for war!!!
This word שִׁיר shiyr – Strong’s H7891 is identical to the primitive root word שׁוּר shur – Strong’s H7788 which means, ‘to travel, journey, carriers’.
One lexicon describes this word as ‘strolling singer’, and figuratively shows us how Dawiḏ would sing wherever he went! Praise could not be withheld from his lips, no matter who looked on! How about you?
And so too do we see here, in this declaration of praise unto יהוה, being given by Deḇorah, teaching us that we need not be shy in our singing unto our Master, but must rather be bold!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘sing praise’ in Shophetim/Judges 5:3 comes from the primitive root verb זָמַר zamar – Strong’s H2167 which means, ‘to make music (in praise of Elohim), sing praises’.
This also means, ‘striking with the fingers’, and more properly mean, ‘to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument’
Tehillah/Psalm 66:2 “Sing out the splendour of His Name; make His praise esteemed.”
The word זָמַר zamar – Strong’s H2167 is one of the musical verbs for ‘praise’, in the Tehillim (Psalms), and is often translated as ‘sing praises’:
Tehillim/Psalms 101:1 “I sing of loving-commitment and right-ruling; To You, O יהוה, I sing praises.”
In Tehillah/Psalms 149:3 we see זָמַר zamar – Strong’s H2167 being used as ‘sing praises’ or in other translations as ‘make melody’ with tambourine and harp.
What a joy it is to have the gift of זָמַר zamar – Strong’s H2167 praise happening here in our midst at ATFOTC, as יהוה continues to inspire Carlien and others to produce such wonderful songs, in praise unto our Elohim – together with the ‘striking of the fingers’!
We are to make great His Name among the nations and sing praises to His Name, with word, song and works of obedience, as we exult His Name in all we do!
A bold declaration of belief in our Master, is seen in one’s ability to properly praise Him and make music to His Name! We may not all be gifted musicians and may not have the ability to write or compose music, but we all have breath, and we are clearly told at the end of all the Tehillim/Psalms, that everything that has breath, praise יהוה!
The last Tehillah of the Tehillim/Psalms makes this call to be praising and singing unto יהוה very clear:
Tehillah/Psalm 15:1-6 “Praise Yah! Praise Ěl in His set-apart place; praise Him in His mighty expanse! 2 Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness! 3 Praise Him with the blowing of a shophar; praise Him with the harp and lyre! 4 Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! 5 Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with resounding cymbals! 6 Let all that has breath praise Yah. Praise Yah!”
Deḇorah made it abundantly clear who she was singing praise to – unto יהוה and no one else! And the sovereigns and princes needed to hear this! For every knee will bow and every tongue confess that we have one sovereign and Saviour and there is none beside Him!
In verses 4-5 we see the magnificence of יהוה’s thundering presence being described from Mount Sinai, which would be a clear reminder to all Yisra’ěl, who it is that they are to be serving and who it is that they are to be worshipping in Spirit and Truth! יהוה Ěl Shaddai, is He who came forth and was seen by all Yisra’ěl at Mount Sinai, when He entered into Covenant with Yisra’ěl as His Bride!
In a call to praise יהוה and make music to His Name, we too need to be reminded who it is that we are to be praising!
So many today, are simply offering up a vain lip service, while their hearts are far from Him!
Our praise toward Him, done voluntarily, is done out of a clear remembrance and understanding of who He is! He is the cloud rider – He is יהוה Ěl Shaddai, and when He appears again, the heavens and the earth will be shaken! This is the One who we are to bless, praise and sing praises to!
As we begin to see the poetic structure of this song, we are able to see how the call that was being made, was abundantly clear about who it is that we are all to be blessing and singing to!
Then in verse 6-8 we are given the record of a sad reality of the time of apostasy, where Yisra’ěl had forsaken יהוה Ěl Shaddai. This was a time of no obedience and during this time, יהוה raised up deliverers for Yisra’ěl! Two of which are made mention of here in this song.
Firstly, we are given reference to the days of Shamgar, which we are able to read about in Shophetim/Judges 3:31. Shamgar arose as judge, after a period of 80 years of peace and rest, yet Yisra’ěl had strayed once again and Shamgar saved them, striking 600 philistines with an ox goad!
In the days of Ya’ěl, we have the account of Yaḇin, sovereign of Kenaʽan, who was oppressing Yisra’ěl, as יהוה has sold Yisra’ěl into his hand because they had done evil in the eyes of יהוה (Shophetim/Judges 4:1-2).
This Ya’ěl had put to death the commander of Yaḇin’s army, whose name was Sisera, and she was praised for her courageous act and was praised as being a woman above all woman (Shophetim/Judges 4:17-18).
Amidst this time of apostasy, Shamgar and Ya’ěl are given recognition for their boldness in standing up for the Truth, and teaches us a vital lesson for us all today, in that we too can be bold ambassadors amidst a darkened and apostate people that have forsaken Elohim!
This song highlights the state of their days, as it says that in their days there was no righteousness, for the highways had been deserted and travellers had gone in crooked ways! This is a clear picture of how the proper paths of righteousness were not being adhered to at all!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘highways’ comes from the word אֹרַח oraḥ – Strong’s H734, and figuratively speaks of the way of living, and comes from the root verb אָרַח araḥ – Strong’s H732 which means, ‘to wander, journey, go, travel, traveller’.
When we look at the ancient pictographic rendering of these words, we are able to get some great insight in recognising our need to be faithful sojourners and ambassadors who are proclaiming the reign of the Heavens to which we belong, and is soon coming here to earth!
In the ancient script the word אֹרַח oraḥ – Strong’s H734 which means, ‘a way, path, highway, course’ looks like this:
Aleph – אֹ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of an ox’, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!
Resh – רַ:
The Ancient picture for this letter is , which is ‘the head of a man’. This letter has the meanings of ‘head or man’ as well as ‘chief, top, beginning or first’.
Ḥet – ח:
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall.
The two-letter parent root of this word is רַח – which Jeff Benner explains in his AHLB (Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible) the following:
The pictograph is a picture of ‘the head of a man’, the pictograph is a picture of ‘a wall’ that separates the inside from the outside. Combined these two pictographic letters mean, “MAN OUTSIDE“. The responsibilities of the nomad outside of the tent include the feeding, watering and caring for the livestock. Livestock are healthier and more productive when on a routine, therefore the man follows a routine or “A PRESCRIBED PATH” each day when caring for his livestock.
With the letter אֹ – Aleph – – at the beginning of this word, we are able to see the strength we have in our Master and Elohim to sojourn here in the prescribed path given for us through His Torah, as we await His soon return! The ox representing a yoke speaks of being driven or guided in a prescribed direction, under the hand of a master. This word can also render for us:
ONE WHO FOLLOWS A PRESCRIBED PATH TO ARRIVE AT A SPECIFIC DESTINATION
We all know what the prescribed path of righteousness is – the Way of Truth – which we walk in, as we stay in Messiah and walk according to His Torah, which lights our path!
The prescribed path of obedience had been deserted!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘deserted’ is חָדַל ḥaḏal – Strong’s H2308 which means, ‘desist, cease, come to an end, leave off, forsake’. This same root word is translated as ‘ceased’ in verse 7, where we are told that leadership had ceased in Yisra’ĕl! There was no leadership in Yisra’ĕl, which highlights the saddened sate of unrighteousness, as no proper right-rulings were being given.
Travellers were walking in crooked ways, instead of being shown the way of set-apartness!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘ways’ is אֹרַח oraḥ – Strong’s H734, which we have already looked at, and instead of travellers being shown a prescribed path of obedience, they went in crooked ways!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘crooked’ is עֲקַלְקָל aqalqal – Strong’s H6128 which means, ‘crooked ways’ and comes from the primitive root עָקַל aqal – Strong’s H6127 meaning, ‘to bend, twist’.
We see so much twisting of the Truth going on, as many are devising their own crooked way by twisting or bending the truth to suit self!
We are given a clear warning of what will happen to those who turn aside to crooked ways:
Tehillah/Psalm 125:4-5 “Do good, O יהוה, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts. 5 But those who turn aside to their crooked ways, יהוה shall lead them away with the workers of wickedness. Peace be upon Yisra’ěl!”
יהוה is Master, Elohim and King, yet this was a time when no one had listened to or obeyed His Torah!
Then יהוה rose up Deḇorah, as a mother in Yisra’ĕl! This, in itself, speaks prophetically and metaphorically of Him causing His Torah to be that which equips us to turn away from crooked ways and turn back to Him.
In Mishlĕ/Proverbs, we are able to see how Shelomoh clearly uses the picture of the role of a mother being likened to the role of the Torah in our lives, which we are not to forsake or turn away from:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:8 “My son, heed the discipline of your father, and do not forsake the Torah of your mother”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:20 “My son, watch over your father’s command, and do not forsake the Torah of your mother.”
In Shophetim/Judges 5:8 we are told that the people had chosen ‘new mighty ones’, which highlights how they had chosen falsehood and the depravity of the nations, over the יהוה and the authority of His Torah. As a result, fighting was in the gates!
The Hebrew word for ‘gates’ comes from the root word שַׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8179 meaning, ‘gate, door, entrance’, which comes from the root verb שָׁעַר sha’ar – Strong’s H8176 which means, ‘to think, split open, reason out, calculate, reckon, estimate’.
Anyone entering into the city gates would be clearly acknowledging their submission to the rules and laws of the city that they were entering in to. In fact, the ancient gates were a kind of check point, as well as where proper execution of the laws of the city were administered, teaching us to recognise that we who desire, and long to enter into the gates of the kingdom of Elohim, must acknowledge, submit to and abide by His Torah and commands.
Instead of the proper right-ruling, according to the Torah, being administered in the gates, there was fighting!
Why? Because they had chosen new mighty ones and had forsaken the Torah of Elohim.
With all the corrupt and crooked ways of the nations being accepted, along with the acceptance of the worship of false mighty ones, there could be no more unity within the gates of the city and therefore there was only fighting in the gates!
This highlights for us the clear picture of disorder, where we see that with everyone doing whatever is right in their own eyes, the outcome is fighting and strife! There is only One Way, and our Master tells us that the way to life is narrow and few find it, whereas the way to destruction and death is very broad and many walk on it!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘fighting’ comes from the root word לָחֶם lachem – Strong’s H3901 which means, ‘war, fightings’ and comes from the primitive root word לָחַם laḥam – Strong’s H3898 which means, ‘to fight, do battle, conquer’ and can also carry the meaning, ‘consume, to use as food, eat’.
It is from this root word that we get the word לֶחֶם leḥem – Strong’s H3899 which means, ‘bread, food, provision’. Understanding that the word for fighting or war/battle comes from the same root word from which bread comes from, which, as we know from Scripture, that bread is a symbol or picture of community, then it helps us further understand the fact that when we stand up and fight against ‘self’ and the lusts of the flesh that wage war in our lives; we are in fact feeding the community with growth, as we conquer that which does not belong, in order to enrich the community or body that we are made a part of!
This ‘fighting at the gates’ was not a healthy ‘fighting the good fight’, but was rather an unhealthy fighting that was breaking down community rather than building it up… all because people do not get what they want!
There are so many today who are ‘fighting the evil fight’ so to speak, as they hold firm to walking in crooked ways, as opposed to fighting the good fight by guarding the Word of Elohim and submitting to proper obedience to His Torah!
This song of deliverance highlights for us that there was no shield or spear within the army of Yisra’ĕl!
A weaponless army and fightings in their gates! This is a terrible picture of what we still see happening today!
There was no proper army and no proper dress code of righteousness and therefore, no proper armour of Elohim!
In the armour of Elohim that Sha’ul teaches we should put on, in Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6, we take note that the shield is likened to belief and the spear/sword is the Word. Therefore, the picture we are able to recognise here, metaphorically, is a faithless people who do not know how to rightly handle the Word of Elohim!
This is the sad state of many claiming believers today! Faith comes by hearing the Word of Elohim and then guarding to be doers of the Word and not hearers only! With ears that are turning away from the hearing of the Torah, many are not being properly equipped in the belief and as a result they stand unarmed and weaponless in the fight, in which we are called to stand firmly in the Master!
Without the Torah of Elohim, one cannot be properly equipped to take up, and put on, the armour of Elohim and stand firm in the Truth!
In describing some of Dawiḏ mighty brave men, we take note of the following, in:
Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 12:8 “And some Gaḏites separated themselves to Dawiḏ at the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty brave men, men trained for battle, who could handle shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as gazelles on the mountains”
I have highlighted the wording that emphasizes how some of his mighty brave men could handle the shield and spear!
The reason for me presenting this picture is to simply show the contrasting picture given to us in Shophetim/Judges 5:8, which states that there was no shield or spear among forty thousand in Yisra’ĕl!!!
When we consider the wording that is used here in Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 12:8, to describe how these mighty men could handle the shield and spear, we are able to get the clear image of how skilled, prepared and equipped these men were. These were men who could be trusted to fight as they were expertly skilled in handling the shield and spear, which would take a lot of training to do!
As we also consider the armour of Elohim that Sha’ul describes in his letter to the believers in Ephesos we take note of how we too are to be able to handle the shield (of belief) and the spear (sword of the Spirit), while being properly dressed in righteousness (breastplate) and walk in Truth (belt), having our minds transformed by being renewed each day (helmet), standing firm in the fullness of our Master’s provision and protection and favour, being fitted for the good works He has prepared for us (shoes of peace).
The picture of these mighty brave men who could handle shield and spear highlights a clear image that Sha’ul may have reflected on when he instructed Timotiyos in:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your utmost to present yourself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth.”
Only those who have truly separated themselves are able to be properly strengthened in the Word and equipped to handle the Word of Truth without being ashamed!
These guys were trained for battle and were not novices – they could handle both shield and spear with great precision and craftsmanship. The shield and spear represent for us both offensive and defensive weapons and speaks of their ability to handle any situation in standing firm in their belief!
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 4:2 “Proclaim the Word! Be urgent in season, out of season. Reprove, warn, appeal, with all patience and teaching.”
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:15-16 “But set apart יהוה Elohim in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone asking you a reason concerning the expectation that is in you, with meekness and fear, 16 having a good conscience, so that when they speak against you as doers of evil, those who falsely accuse your good behaviour in Messiah, shall be ashamed.”
Being skilled in sword and shield is not simply a physical or bodily function but is also the ability to show great reverence through being skilled in one’s faith through the application and doing of the Word.
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 4:8 “For bodily exercise is profitable for a little, but reverence is profitable for all, having promise of the present life, and of that which is to come.”
These might brave men were skilled in their following the commands of their king and making their stand firm in every way.
We know that the shield pictures for us faith or belief and the sword as the Word and the two go hand in hand to be a skilled mighty child of the Living Elohim. It is the hearing of the Word that brings the belief and is lived out in the active doing of the Word. Ya’aqoḇ/James tells us that a man is declared right by works and not by belief alone! (2:24)
Being skilled for the king entails being a proper doer of His Word and to do that you have to be trained in His Word and to do that you have to be immersed in His Word, diligently seeking and studying and meditating on His Word, day and night!
To be able to handle shield and spear takes continued effort and diligence, which is why so many fail, due to lack of discipline, in their assumed strength, when the battles that rage against them come rushing in and they find that they do not know how to rightly handle the Word!
The state of a crooked Yisra’ěl was clearly one that was unable to rightly handle the Truth and this is why יהוה raised up Deḇorah and Baraq!
In verses 9-11 we see a call of praise being given for יהוה’s righteous acts.
Deḇorah expresses her delight in Yisra’ĕl, as a covenanted people of Elohim, and praises יהוה for the volunteers who had responded to the call to arms. Her heart was toward the inscribers!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘inscribers’ comes from the primitive root verb חָקַק ḥaqaq – Strong’s H2710 which means, ‘to cut, inscribe, hack, engrave, decree, carve, sceptre, lawgiver’.
Her heart was towards those who meditate on the Torah of Elohim, day and night, so to speak! This is a picture of delighting in those who delight in the Word of Elohim!
She delighted in the lawgivers who volunteered themselves among the people. These prophetic words of Deḇorah echo the heart of this song of praise unto יהוה – in calling to arms, those who will faithfully give themselves voluntarily to the service of Elohim and fight the good fight of the belief – those in whose hearts the Torah resides!
In verse 10 we see a call being given for the rich traders to carefully ponder and meditate on the Truth of יהוה and His sudden deeds and righteous acts!
Every knee will bow and every tongue confess the sovereignty and rulership of יהוה our Saviour. This was a clear call for the proud and lofty ones to humble themselves before our Mighty Elohim and render the proper praise and esteem to His Name!
The rich were called to declare! The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘declare’ comes from the root word שִׂיחַ siaḥ – Strong’s H7878 means, ‘talk, speak, meditate’. We are to open up our mouths and speak the Truth! However, to be able to speak the Truth you have to know the Truth and know what you are proclaiming; and one’s ability to speak Truth only gets better by meditating on the Word day and night! If you are not meditating on His Word daily how do you think you will be able to speak it???
This word is translated as ‘talk’, in:
Tehillah/Psalm 77:12 “And I shall meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.”
The basic meaning of this verb שִׂיחַ siaḥ – Strong’s H7878 seems to carry the picture of ‘rehearsing, repent or go over a matter in one’s mind’.
The rich and lofty ones who relied upon their riches and their own works, were being called to think upon the righteous acts of יהוה, as His righteous acts will be proclaimed everywhere! By the voice of shouters, between the places of drawing water!
These words that we see being given to us in verse 11 simply highlights how the Good news will be heard everywhere and, in the places, where people were once being confused by the shouters who sowed division, the truth will be proclaimed!
The places of drawing water can be a metaphor for us of the places of drawing life – that is – the collection points for praise! Between those places, many may have previously been led astray by shouters along the way, yet now the Truth of the True Living Waters will be boldly declared for all to hear!
Yeshayahu 12 echoes this same call of deliverance that will be heard everywhere:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 12:1-6 “And in that day you shall say, “I thank You יהוה, though You were enraged with me, Your displeasure has turned back, and You have comforted me. 2 “See, Ěl is my deliverance, I trust and am not afraid. For Yah, יהוה, is my strength and my song; and He has become my deliverance.” 3 And you shall draw water with joy from the fountains of deliverance. 4 And in that day you shall say, “Praise יהוה, call upon His Name; make known His deeds among the peoples, make mention that His Name is exalted. 5 “Sing to יהוה, For He has done excellently; this is known in all the earth. 6 “Cry aloud and shout, O inhabitant of Tsiyon, for great is the Set-apart One of Yisra’ěl in your midst!”
In verse 11 we are told that with the declaration of the righteous acts of יהוה, the people of יהוה would go down to the gates! This is a picture of people seeking יהוה and His righteousness. When the Good News is properly proclaimed, people will seek proper right-ruling from the Word of Elohim and they will hunger and thirst for righteousness, with the gates being restored top administering His Torah!
Then in verses 12-18 we see a clear wakeup call being given!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘wake up’ comes from the root verb עוּר uwr/oor – Strong’s H5782 which means, ‘to rouse oneself, awake, arise, stirred’.
The call to ‘wake up’ is often used in the context of warfare and triumph, usually with an action associated with it, as in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 51:9 “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of יהוה! Awake as in days of old, everlasting generations. Was it not You who cut Rahaḇ apart, and pierced the Crocodile?”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 51:17 “Awake, awake yourself! Rise up, O Yerushalayim, you who have drunk at the hand of יהוה the cup of His wrath. You have drunk the dregs of the cup of reeling, and drained it out.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 52:1 “Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Tsiyon, put on your garments of splendour, O Yerushalayim, the set-apart city! For no more do the uncircumcised and the unclean come into you.”
This call to wake up is a call to arms! Get excited, wake up from slumber, put on righteousness for it is time to act!
Get excited – yes – but use the excitement productively by waking up and arming yourself in the Truth!
Wake up and sing a song is what is being called for here!
Wake up and sing!!!
For many, this would not seem to be the appropriate way to fight, yet we take note of the power of praise, as seen in multiple examples we have in Scripture, where we see how praise of יהוה is what caused the people to walk in victory, as praise for Him and His Name led the way!
Wake up and sing a song! The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘sing’ in Shophetim/Judges 5:12 comes from the primitive root word דָּבַר daḇar – Strong’s H1696 which means, ‘to speak, word, command, counsel, declare, proclaimed, converse, warn, threaten, promise’.
We are to wake up and ‘speak the song’! We are to be vocal in our praise! In other words, let our praise be heard! Praise unto יהוה is how we are to walk out in victory and be overcomers in Him!
Deḇorah was being summonsed here, in this song, to pronounce the song of victory and Baraq was being summonsed to lead his captives away and stand up and fight!
As mentioned earlier, with the name of Baraq meaning, flash forth or lightning flash, we are able to see a prophetic announcement of the arm of יהוה being awakened to bring deliverance, as proclaimed in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 51:9!
This song of deliverance also prophetically shadow pictures יהושע Messiah coming to lead captivity captive and give the gift of deliverance to His remnant!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:7-8 “But to each one of us favour was given according to the measure of the gift of Messiah. 8 That is why it says, “When He went up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”
Sha’ul was quoting from:
Tehillah/Psalm 68:18 “You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive, You have received gifts among men, and even the rebellious, that Yah Elohim might dwell there.”
In Shophetim/Judges 5:13 we see the song of praise being given for the establishment of יהוה’s order and the appointment of His remnant that shall rule with Him!
In verse 14 we are told that out of Ephrayim their root is against Amalěq. Deḇorah was from the tribe of Ephrayim, but what I see here, in this song, is a prophetic shadow picture of Messiah defeating our enemies, that is being declared through the picture of Yehoshua who had defeated Amalĕq in the valley of Rephiḏim. Yehoshua was from the tribe of Ephrayim and he too was a clear shadow picture of יהושע Messiah, who would lead us into His reign and give us our inheritance!
Deḇorah credits the tribes who had risen up to the call to arms, while revealed that there were among the tribe of Re’uḇĕn, those who had great searchings of heart! This implies that there were those in the tribe of Re’uḇĕn that had resistance to being called up to war and they refused to get involved!
This is a clear picture of so many today, who will sit on the sidelines, so to speak, and are unwilling to actually get up and engage in fighting the good fight of the belief. They will have great searchings of heart and come up with various excuses as to why they cannot or should not stand up and fight! SO many will reason away their need to obey the Torah, through great searchings of heart… not a proper searching of the Torah that is supposed to be upon the heart, but rather a searching of vain excuses that validate their own minds as to why they do not need to do what the Word commands!
Having great searchings of heart simply highlights a compromised and crooked heart that is selfish, seeking only that which will benefit themselves and have no care for others whatsoever!
There were those of Dan and Asher who had stayed where they were and refused to move from their position of comfort, which is another picture of so many today who are extremely comfortable in their falsehood and the following of vain and corrupt traditions, that they will not wake up and get armed in the Torah.
Those in Zeḇulun and Naphtali, however, are described as ones who risked their lives to the point of death!
This highlights for us the picture of true overcomers in Messiah!
Ḥazon/Revelation 12:10-11 “And I heard a loud voice saying in the heaven, “Now have come the deliverance and the power and the reign of our Elohim and the authority of His Messiah, for the accuser of our brothers, who accused them before our Elohim day and night, has been thrown down. 11 “And they overcame him because of the Blood of the Lamb, and because of the Word of their witness, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
Yoḥanan Alep/1 John 3:16-18 “By this we have known love, because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his tender affections from him, how does the love of Elohim stay in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
Shophetim/Judges 5:19-23 gives us a recounting of the battle. Sisera, the commander of the army of Yaḇin, thought that he would easily walk over and wipe out Yisra’ěl! Yet when the sovereigns came out against Yisra’ěl, Yisra’ěl overcame – beginning with a song and proper call to arms!
In verse 19 we are told that no spoils of silver were taken, and this is another highlighting victory of how the remnant fighters were not corrupt, but had rather sought the righteousness of Elohim. The fighters from Zeḇulun and Naphtali would have followed Yehoshua’s pattern of destroying all idols and anything that was associated with the enemy and its pagan practices that had led Yisra’ěl astray! And there was no ‘Aḵan’ in the camp so to speak, who would try to steal and hides spoils for himself! The point of the battle was the destruction of the enemy, not the spoils of war!
In verse 20 we are told that the heavenly host fought for Yisra’ěl, highlighting for us that יהוה Ěl Shaddai was leading them in victory!!!
We are then told in verses 21-22 that the wadi Qishon had swept the enemy away!
What is worth taking note of here, is that a few centuries later, we see how Eliyahu killed the 450 Ba’al prophets at the wadi Qishon (Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 18:40).
יהוה had destroyed the enemy and their horses and chariots at the wadi of Qishon and this further highlights for us the need for us to trust in יהוה and not in horses and chariots!
In verse 23 we are told that Meroz was cursed, and this was a town that was situated in the vicinity of the battle and they had not come out to help and were cursed by a messenger of יהוה.
In contrast to those who were cursed at Meroz, we see in verse 24, highlighting the actions of Ya’ěl, calling her blessed above all women! She stood up and put Sisera to death with a tent peg and a hammer! This took courage and determination to put the enemy to death! Sisera is thought to have been one of the greatest powers of that time, as he had conquered the known world, so to speak and Ya’ěl put him to death!
He is a picture of Satan who shall be destroyed!
The name of יָעֵל Ya’ěl – Strong’s H3278 means, ‘mountain goat’, and while this may seem insignificant, I find that it actually bears great significance here, in the prophetic picture that highlights the binding of Satan on Yom Kippur and the 2 goats that are taken, one for Azazel and one for Yisra’ěl, with the one for Azazel being taken into the Wilderness and the one for Yisra’ěl being offered up on the slaughter place, we are able to see the prophetic picture of redemption being made complete, as Satan I destroyed!
Sisera was, by all accounts, a mommy’s boy, so to speak, as we see the recording here of his mother mourning for her son, which is another picture of the depravity of the enemy and his false system of worship that will be completely destroyed, as the abominable practice of ‘weeping for Tammuz’ will be destroyed! The ‘weeping for Tammuz’ was an occultic practice that was instituted by his mother, which later became known as lent which precedes the abominable child sacrificial pagan fertility worship of Ishtar, now known by the masses as Easter!
Verse 31 makes it clear – all of the enemies of יהוה will perish and be destroyed, while those who love Him will be like the sun rising in its might!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day”
In contrast to the path of the wicked, what is made perfectly clear here is that the path of the righteous shines brighter and brighter. The Hebrew word that is translated as righteous is צַדִּיק tsaddiq –Strong’s H6662 which means, ‘just, righteous, blameless, lawful’ and comes from the primitive root צָדֵק tsaḏeq – Strong’s H6663 which means, ‘to be just or righteous, justified, properly restored’.
The Hebrew word רָשָׁע rasha – Strong’s H7563 which means, ‘wicked, criminal, evil, offender’, is frequently placed in Scripture, especially in Proverbs, as being in direct and unequivocal opposition to צַדִּיק tsaddiq –Strong’s H6662.
The book of Mishlĕ/Proverbs contains a great deal of antithetical parallelism, which contrasts the רָשָׁע rasha and the צַדִּיק tsaddiq in black and white terms.
The focus is on both the quality of lifestyle and the results of these two ways of living. Whereas the wicked forsake יהוה, the righteous cling to him.
Though the wicked are oppressive and dishonest, the righteous are upright and lovers of truth, etc.
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 28 clearly deals with the blessings for the righteous (verses 2-14) and the curses for the wrong (verses 15-68)!
Here in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:18 Shelomoh praises the brightness of the way of righteousness after having warned the hearer to not be enticed or led astray by the ways of the wrong, which is evil and dark.
This verse echoes a clear picture of growth and a continual growing of a true set-apart one from day to day.
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.”
Why I have mentioned this verse, from Deḇarim, is to point out that ‘righteousness’ is clearly explained to us very plainly, as ‘guarding to do’ all the commands of Elohim!
Therefore, the way we ‘walk in righteousness’ or rather, the ‘path of the righteous’ – that is the way that the righteous walk – is like the dawning of a new day that just gets brighter and brighter!
As we diligently walk in the commands of Elohim our walk shines brighter and brighter amidst a dark world, and we are able to shine the light of the Truth as we walk in our Master and guard His commands!
As we grow in our knowledge and understanding of His Word, by guarding the path of righteousness, we shine more and more and grow in our perfecting of set-apartness until the perfect day comes when our Master and Elohim comes to fetch His ready and perfected Bride!
As we walk in the Master, the Light of the World, we shall by no means walk in darkness!
Yoḥanan/John 8:12 “Therefore יהושע spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but possess the light of life.”
Walking in the light causes us to praise Him for calling us out of darkness!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light”
Are you proclaiming the praises of Him who called you out of darkness?
The Greek word translated as ‘you should proclaim’ is ἐξαγγέλλω exaggellō – Strong’s G1804 which means, ‘tell out, proclaim, publish, declare, make known by praising or proclaiming’, and we see this word being used in the LXX (Septuagint) and translated as ‘we show forth’ in:
Tehillah/Psalm 79:13 “And we, Your people and the sheep of Your pasture, we give thanks to You forever; from generation to generation we show forth Your praise.”
The Greek word used in Kěpha’s letter for ‘praises’ is ἀρετή aretē – Strong’s G703 and it carries the meaning of ‘moral excellence, virtue, purity, praise, etc.’
In essence, this can carry the understanding of being faithfully set-apart, as well as our ability to bring the proper rejoicing praise to Elohim in declaring the excellence of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light and are now the sheep of His pasture, who hear His voice and gather and rejoice at His command!
As we consider this song of Shophetim/Judges 5, that Deḇorah and Baraq sang, we would do well to learn from this song, our need to wake up and be armed in the Torah of Elohim, and be joyful in our resounding proclamation of praise that is be given to our Master and Elohim!
As we love Him and love His deliverance, we ought to be equipped to continually say, יִגְדַּל יהוה – yigdal YAHWEH:
יהוה be exalted!
Do not be like those who have great searchings of heart and are reluctant to obey, but rather be like those who risk their lives unto death and are strong and courageous, ready to put to death all that exalts itself against Elohim!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not fight according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons we fight with are not fleshly but mighty in Elohim for overthrowing strongholds, 5 overthrowing reasonings and every high matter that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to the Messiah, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
It is time to wake up and sing! It is time to bless יהוה and sing praises to Him. It is time for those who love His deliverance to always say:
יהוה be exalted!
Are you able to do this continually, or do you find yourself having great searchings of heart and being too comfortable in compromised ways! Let this song of victory stir you to wake up and sing and be equipped to be armed in The Torah and ready to overthrow every matter that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim!
Join with me, and the rest of the rejoicing, singing and praising remnant Bride, in being trustworthy, to always say:
יהוה be exalted!
Our Master is coming soon, and He is coming for His Ready Bride! How ready are you?
Let His Word cause you to be awake, have eyes to see, ears to hear and be equipped with His strengthening joy to be glad, give thanks and rejoice with the voice of song, declaring His praises continually!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom