And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not…
"What then!" might we, upon the first cursory perusal of this narrative, be inclined to exclaim. "Has the all pure and all holy Jehovah belied His unspeakable attributes, has He laid aside His thunder, and renounced those direful visitations which, by the mouth of His servant Moses, He had threatened against the wilful shedder of man's blood? Why are the rights of hospitality, so jealously hedged in, in the Mosaic law, and so sacredly observed in many previous instances (as in the preservation of his guest by the besieged Lot and the sparing of the Gibeonites by the deceived yet forbearing Joshua), why are these rights, here first, with impunity violated?"
I. The whole of the Canaanitish nations had long since by their idolatrous iniquities and abounding profligacy and wickedness, merited the condemnation and fiery wrath of Jehovah, which had indeed been denounced against them unambiguously by the mouth of Moses on the other side of Jordan in the wilderness. No one who has read the intimations of their guilt in the Book of Leviticus can question for one moment the justice of the Almighty in blotting them from the face of the earth. Jabin, king of Canaan, trusted in the number and weight of his iron chariots, and in the almost countless host of his armed men. The God of Israel designed, therefore, to humble him to the dust by scattering his forces before the resolute assault of but a few ill-equipped Israelites, while He would sell the mighty leader of all this armament into the hands of a weak and unarmed woman. Thus would He teach the rebellious nations to "put not their strength in horses, nor in the sons of men," but to fear and reverence the one true and only God, the Lord of lords, and King of kings — the fearful God of Sabaoth.
II. The Scripture narrative simply details the progress of these wonderful events for our warning and exhortation, but not necessarily for our example. It would be as reasonable to assert that, because in the book of God's revealed truth we read of the cruelty of Saul and the transgression of David, that therefore we are to imitate them in their wickedness, as to infer from this history of the slaughter of Sisera that hence treachery is allowable. Jael's conduct, like that of the unjust steward in the parable, is commended to our notice — not for imitation, but for warning.
(F. F. Statham, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle.