Judges 5:27: The Death of Sisera

Verse 27:[1] At (Heb. between[2]) her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead (Heb. destroyed[3]).


[He was rolled before her feet] Not with his head, since Jael had already fixed that with a nail, but in shaking and trembling the legs and flanks, while Sisera was expiring (Tostatus).


[בֵּ֤ין רַגְלֶ֙יהָ֙ כָּרַ֣ע[4]] Between her feet he was bowed, or, he bowed himself (Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus, Vatablus, Junius and Tremellius), or, lowered himself, that is, he fell (Vatablus).


[He was lying down dead, etc., בַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר כָּרַ֔ע שָׁ֖ם נָפַ֥ל שָׁדֽוּד׃[5]] And where (or, in which [Montanus], or, in the place in which [Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Tigurinus], with מָקוֹם/place understood) he bowed himself (had lain down [Tigurinus], fell down [Syriac], fell [Arabic]), there fell desolate (Munster), or, devastated (Pagnine, Piscator), or, killed (Arabic), spoiled (Jonathan, Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus), understanding, of life (Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus); which is to say, she killed him with one stroke (Vatablus). Just as [they appear to have read כַּאֲשֶׁר] he lay down, there he fell, expiring (Septuagint). Now, this is a most lively ὑποτύπωσις/hypotyposis,[6] in which the matter conducted is set before the eyes with clarity; and the motions that are proper to those perishing suddenly and with a violent death are described. Indeed, with this most grievous wound received, the body curved up two or three times. For he was trying to get up, and, being deprived of strength, he sank back down again, and was lying wretchedly between Jael’s feet (Martyr).


At her feet he bowed, etc.: Here is a lively representation of the thing done. At the first blow or wound he was awakened, and made some attempt to rise; but being astonished and very weak, she also following her first blow with others, he found himself impotent, and fell down dead; and then she struck the nail quite through his head into the ground, as is said, Judges 4:21.

[1] Hebrew: בֵּ֣ין רַגְלֶ֔יהָ כָּרַ֥ע נָפַ֖ל שָׁכָ֑ב בֵּ֤ין רַגְלֶ֙יהָ֙ כָּרַ֣ע נָפָ֔ל בַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר כָּרַ֔ע שָׁ֖ם נָפַ֥ל שָׁדֽוּד׃


[2] Hebrew: בֵּין.


[3] Hebrew: שָׁדוּד.


[4] Judges 5:27: “At her feet he bowed (בֵּ֣ין רַגְלֶ֔יהָ כָּרַ֥ע; inter pedes ejus ruit, between her feet he fell, in the Vulgate), he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed (בֵּ֤ין רַגְלֶ֙יהָ֙ כָּרַ֣ע; volvebatur ante pedes ejus, he was rolled before her feet, in the Vulgate), he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.”


[5] שָׁדַד signifies to despoil, to devastate, to ruin.


[6] That is, a vivid and graphic description.

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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