Jael is one of those women of the Bible who we don’t get a lot of details or background on. All we know for sure, besides the account of her story, is that she was a Bedouin and the wife of Heber the Kenite.
Before we talk anymore about Jael, we have to talk about what was going on in Israel at the time.
Israel was at war with the Canaanites. Judges 4 tells us that God “sold Israel into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan” because the Israelites were doing what was evil in His sight.
Deborah and Barak
At the time a prophetess named Deborah was judge over Israel, and people went to her in matters of justice. Judges 4:6 tells us that she summoned a man named Barak, who God chose to be the leader of Israel’s army against Jabin’s forces.
Sisera was the commander of the Canaanite army. He was a powerful and cruel man who oppressed the Israelites for twenty years.
Deborah went on to tell Barak to gather his men for the battle, and Barak responded this way:
“If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.”
Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain