Judges 4:20
Again he said to her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man does come and inquire of you, and say, Is there any man here? that you shall say, No.
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(20) Stand.—The imperative here used has the masculine, not the feminine termination, but probably only because it is used generally.

That thou shalt say, No.—In that age, and among those nations, and under such circumstances, a lie would have been regarded as perfectly natural and justifiable; even under the Christian dispensation, many casuists declare a lie for self-preservation to be venial, though it is to be hoped that there are millions who, without condemning such a falsehood in others, would suffer any extremity rather than be guilty of it themselves. Under any circumstances, it would be very unfair to judge by the standard of Christianity the words and actions of ignorant nomads and idolatrous Canaanites, more than a thousand years before Christ. Sisera and Jael would have acted, without the faintest sense of conscientious scruple, on the heathen advice of Darius—“When it is necessary to lie, lie” (Herod. iii. 72).

4:17-24 Sisera's chariots had been his pride and his confidence. Thus are those disappointed who rest on the creature; like a broken reed, it not only breaks under them, but pierces them with many sorrows. The idol may quickly become a burden, Isa 46:1; what we were sick for, God can make us sick of. It is probable that Jael really intended kindness to Sisera; but by a Divine impulse she was afterwards led to consider him as the determined enemy of the Lord and of his people, and to destroy him. All our connexions with God's enemies must be broken off, if we would have the Lord for our God, and his people for our people. He that had thought to have destroyed Israel with his many iron chariots, is himself destroyed with one iron nail. Thus the weak things of the world confound the mighty. The Israelites would have prevented much mischief, if they had sooner destroyed the Canaanites, as God commanded and enabled them: but better be wise late, and buy wisdom by experience, than never be wise.Stand in the door ... - The characteristic duplicity of the Oriental character, both in Sisera and Joel, is very forcibly depicted in this narrative. It is only by the light of the Gospel that the law of truth is fully revealed. 20. he said unto her, … when any man doth come and enquire of thee and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No—The privacy of the harem, even in a tent, cannot be intruded on without express permission. He speaks imperiously to her; but it is observable, that she gives him no promise to do so, nor makes him any answer; possibly because though she knew her design upon him was warrantable, yet she had proceeded too far in using dissimulation therein. And he said unto her, stand in the door of the tent,.... This he said, not in an imperious way, as some think, but by entreaty:

and it shall be, when any man shall come and inquire of thee; seeing her at the door, and where he desired she would stand to prevent their coming into the tent:

and say, is there any man here? any besides what belongs to the family? or any of Sisera's army?

that thou shalt say, no; there is no man; but to this she made no answer that is recorded.

Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and enquire of thee, and say, {i} Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No.

(i) That is, Sisera.

As soon as Sisera received tidings of the march of Barak to Mount Tabor, he brought together all his chariots and all his men of war from Harosheth of the Goyim into the brook-valley of the Kishon. Then Deborah said to Barak, "Up; for this is the day in which Jehovah hath given Sisera into thy hand. Yea (הלא, nonne, as an expression indicating lively assurance), the Lord goeth out before thee," sc., to the battle, to smite the foe; whereupon Barak went down from Tabor with his 10,000 men to attack the enemy, according to Judges 5:19, at Taanach by the water of Megiddo.
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