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Thread: Which Tent?

  1. #1
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    Which Tent?

    You have to read carefully, IMO, because the story seems to hang on so few words, and may even depend on whether you believe there’s a difference between “the tent” and “her tent”.

    Briefly; an escaped fugitive seeks refuge from a woman who is ‘home alone’ and she offers him some buttermilk when he’s thirsty, and a place to sleep in the tent. We aren’t told much about his character, but he warns Jael (her name) not to reveal him to anyone who comes looking, and then goes to sleep.

    Apparently he never wakes from that sleep because she takes a tent peg and hammer, and kills him! Later, she tells the authorities what she’s done, and shows them the dead body in “her tent”.

    This all happens in Judges 4 (you’ll want to read it for yourself), and leaves us with more questions than answers. Maybe he didn’t like buttermilk? Maybe she didn’t like being ordered around? Did she know him, but didn’t let on?

    My understanding is that women had separate tents, based on the story in Gen31:33 about Rachel hiding the idols, and it appears to me that Sisera had only himself to blame. What do YOU think?
    Dux allows: "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out the matter". Pr25:2

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    Quote Originally Posted by duxrow View Post
    You have to read carefully, IMO, because the story seems to hang on so few words, and may even depend on whether you believe there’s a difference between “the tent” and “her tent”.

    Briefly; an escaped fugitive seeks refuge from a woman who is ‘home alone’ and she offers him some buttermilk when he’s thirsty, and a place to sleep in the tent. We aren’t told much about his character, but he warns Jael (her name) not to reveal him to anyone who comes looking, and then goes to sleep.

    Apparently he never wakes from that sleep because she takes a tent peg and hammer, and kills him! Later, she tells the authorities what she’s done, and shows them the dead body in “her tent”.

    This all happens in Judges 4 (you’ll want to read it for yourself), and leaves us with more questions than answers. Maybe he didn’t like buttermilk? Maybe she didn’t like being ordered around? Did she know him, but didn’t let on?

    My understanding is that women had separate tents, based on the story in Gen31:33 about Rachel hiding the idols, and it appears to me that Sisera had only himself to blame. What do YOU think?
    He was not just an escaped fugitive, but the chieftain of the army of the king of Canaan, His army was defeated, all of his men feel "by the edge of the sword".


    v.18 "And he turned in to her into the tent" Hebrew: "vayasar eileiha haohèlah" -- I think might as wel be translated as "he turned in to her into her tent".


    "the authorities" is the one whom Deborah had sent out to pursue him.
    Last edited by sylvius; 08-06-2014 at 06:58 AM.

  3. #3
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    Jael - means "chamois". Don't mess with this lady. She offered Sisera buttermilk when he'd only asked for water--"she brought forth butter in a lordly dish". (COVENANT OF SALT) - Deborah had prophesied the outcome: Jael offered the protection of "the" tent, but he had cowardly crawled into "her tent" (OFF LIMITS to men) and fallen asleep, so she killed him with a tent peg to the head. Judg4:22

    From http://cswnet.com/~duxrow/Women.htm
    Dux allows: "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out the matter". Pr25:2

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    Yes it definitely seems that husbands and wives did not share tents in those times..... Jael was a hero because she cunningly used ALL she had to defeat the enemy in defense of her people. And what Barak was not able to accomplish through brute force Jael was able to accomplish through everything she had learned up to that point.

    It seems apparent to me that Sisera's identity was never in question... the fact that he agreed to be hid in HER tent confirms this... a normal lowly vagrant or guest would never take quarter in a wifes tent lest a husband discover him there..more than likely this was SO forbidden in those days that any pursuing authorities might not even look for the enemy general there. Actually in verse 11 we see that Heber (Jaels husband) was on the side of Jabin and Sisera. So Sisera just assumed that he was in allied territory. Heber may even have been upset with Jael for what she did.

    Also the fact that he tells her to claim that she had not seen anyone around precludes that knowledge that they both knew he was a hunted man.
    The fact that immediately after committing the deed she directed the hunting party to his location in her tent seems to show this.

    The fact that Jael gave Sisera Milk when he asked for water was probably to Sisera a sign that he was held in respect and in less danger from Jael, as more than likely when he was young his own mother would give him milk, she also Tucked him in like a mother would a child. All of this to Soothe him into a Trusting state.

    Jael knew what she was doing.... More than likely she had raised children and knew that when you gave them milk they slept more soundly.

    The method of execution she choose was also very telling..... it was a humane death "INSTANT" she could have just nailed his Leg to the ground and alerted authorities. It was also a skill that she was probably very adept at in that it was the wifes job at the time to pitch the tents so she was very handy with hammer and tent peg. A 20th century retelling of the story might have involved her using a cast iron frying pan instead....

    So in many ways the amazing part of this story shows Sisera being defeated by his misconceptions of women predominant in those times, and Jael becoming victorious by overcoming those same misconceptions.

    1. Women are physically less dangerous then Men.
    2. A wife is bound to do the will of her husband.


    It also could be that Sisera was assured she would not do anything to him in "HER" tent because she could be judged for him being in her tent, his very presence there making them co conspirators. Jael also was taking a leap of faith that she would not be judged for his presence in her tent. This may also be why SHE wasted no Time once he was asleep... if he was found alive in her tent it would of meant her certain death also, not just from the pursuing authorities but possibly from her husband also.

    Sisera had put Jael (and himself) in a VERY precarious position indeed. In some ways the VERY fact that he entered her tent had sealed his fate.

    Just some observations.... i am sure there is much more to glean from the story... just putting in my 2 cents worth....

    With Utter devotion to Love and Truth,
    Matthjar.
    Last edited by Matthjar; 08-06-2014 at 10:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duxrow View Post
    Jael - means "chamois". Don't mess with this lady. She offered Sisera buttermilk when he'd only asked for water--"she brought forth butter in a lordly dish". (COVENANT OF SALT) - Deborah had prophesied the outcome: Jael offered the protection of "the" tent, but he had cowardly crawled into "her tent" (OFF LIMITS to men) and fallen asleep, so she killed him with a tent peg to the head. Judg4:22

    From http://cswnet.com/~duxrow/Women.htm


    She gave him milk because it slackens the body and causes drowsiness.

    http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_...showrashi=true

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    Well Sylvie, it appears that Rashi didn't have a text showing the difference between HER TENT and The 'Main or men's Tent, so his note about milk to help you sleep may have been because he thought her a deceptive and murderous woman. Rashi won't be someone I'd follow..
    Dux allows: "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out the matter". Pr25:2

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    Quote Originally Posted by duxrow View Post
    Well Sylvie, it appears that Rashi didn't have a text showing the difference between HER TENT and The 'Main or men's Tent, so his note about milk to help you sleep may have been because he thought her a deceptive and murderous woman. Rashi won't be someone I'd follow..

    He is smarter than you ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
    He is smarter than you ...
    Aargh! You really know how to hurt a guy, Sylvie, but maybe that belongs on another thread. (BACK TO SUBJECT)..
    Now then, was Jael a (your opinion) :

    a. brave lady
    b. murderous villain
    c. other
    Dux allows: "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out the matter". Pr25:2

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    Don't think Sylvie agrees with us about Jael, Matt -- He may be rooting for Hamas.. ouch!
    So many aspects to this story, but in general I'm agreeing with you.
    Dux allows: "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out the matter". Pr25:2

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by duxrow View Post
    Aargh! You really know how to hurt a guy, Sylvie, but maybe that belongs on another thread. (BACK TO SUBJECT)..
    Now then, was Jael a (your opinion) :

    a. brave lady
    b. murderous villain
    c. other
    a warrior

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