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Judges 4:17

However Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Tent. The women had separate tents from their husbands. Haber, it seems, was from home, and was not molested by the Chanaanites. He continued neuter during this war. What then must we think of the conduct of his wife? Commentators generally justify her, as the Scripture gives her great commendations, and as the family of the Cinites enjoyed the religion and privileges of the Israelites. Hence this portion of it could not make a league with the enemy of God's people, to the detriment of the latter; and if they did, they were bound to break it as soon, at least, as God manifested his will, that the enemy should be destroyed. Jahel might however deserve the praise of fortitude, which the Scripture gives her, and yet mingle some human imperfection in her manner of acting. She seems to speak with fraud, and to betray the sacred rights of hospitality; and it is doubtful whether Haber himself could renounce the alliance with Jabin, (particularly if they had taken mutual oaths to observe it, as was then customary) without informing him of his resolution. Fides, quando promititur, etiam hosti servanda est. (St. Augustine, ep. i. ad Bonif.) See Grotius, Jur. iii. 19. (Calmet) Yet, if she told a lie, it was only an officious one, (Menochius) such as Sisara desired should be told for his safety, ver. 20. (Haydock) It is lawful to use stratagems against an enemy. (Salien, in the year of the world 2741.) See Josue ii., and viii. 4. Debbora pronounces the name of Jahel to be most blessed, (chap. v. 24,) which shows that she was inspired by God to kill Sisara. If we consider her action in any other light, it will certainly appear very shocking, as Rahab could not escape the accusation of treason towards her country by any other means. Aod, Judith, who washed their hands in the blood of sinners, (Psalm lvii. 11,) would undoubtedly have been condemned at any merely human tribunal, which would not admit the plea of inspiration. (Haydock) Besides this secret impulse, Jahel might be acquainted with the prediction of Debbora, (ver. 9,) and with the miraculous victory which encouraged her to destroy the common enemy, (Abulensis, Josephus; Tirinus) the only remnant of an immense army. (Haydock) The peace which subsisted between her family and the Chanaanites, was a forced one, (Tirinus) and perhaps consisted only in the former being allowed to live quietly (Du Hamel) in the midst of these idolaters, whose manners they abhorred; (Haydock) while the Israelites, though at a greater distance, were so severely treated even when they were so weak as to adore the idols (Tirinus) of their oppressors. Thus the divine Providence was pleased to reward virtue, and to punish infidelity. (Haydock) The Fathers consider Debbora as a figure of the Synagogue, which begins the attack against the empire of the devil, while the victory is reserved for the Christian Church, represented by Jahel, a woman living among the Israelites, though of a different nation, and engrafted, as it were, like the wild olive on the good olive tree. She gains strength in the midst of persecutions, and, armed with the cross of Christ, destroys the captain of the worldly empire. (Origen, hom v.; St. Augustine, contra Faust. xii. 31) (Calmet) Jahel was also a figure of the blessed Virgin, who crushed the serpent's head. (Worthington)

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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