Jael is the woman who killed Sisera. She was the wife of Heber the Kenite. During the war that Deborah and Barak fought against Jabin, king of Hazor and the commander of his army, Sisera, Barak and his ten thousand men "went down Mount Tabor and routed Sisera's army. The entire army of Sisera fell beneath the sword, not even one man surviving."Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael. Jael told Sisera 'come in my lord, come in with me; do not be afraid.' So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a rug." Sisera gave Jael instructions not to let anybody know he was hiding in her tent. "Instead Jael, wife of Heber, got a tent peg and took a mallet in her hand. While Sisera was sound asleep, she stealthily approached him and drove the peg through down into the ground, so that he perished in death." When Barak arrived, Jael showed him Sisera's body (Judges 4:12-24).
Jael's husband Heber was a descendant of Moses' father-in-law Jethro. Jael's act ensured that the Kenites would have good relations with the newly powerful nation of Israel. In the song of Deborah, Jael is celebrated "Blessed among women" (Judges 5:24).
The word Jael means "mountain goat."
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