The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 118.

Debbora and Jael.

In the Book of Judges we read how the children of Israel, in consequence of the evil which they did in the sight of The Lord, were delivered up into the hands of Jabin, king of Chanaan and Sisera the general of his army, who had nine hundred chariots set with scythes, and for twenty years had grievously oppressed them. And there was at that time Debbora a prophetess who judged the people, and she sat under a palm-tree which was called after her name, and the children of Israel came up to her for all judgments. And she sent and called Barac the son of Abinoem out of Cedes in Nephtali, and she said to him : ' The Lord God of Israel hath commanded thee : Go and lead an army to Mount Tabor, and thou shalt take with thee ten thousand fighting men of the children of Nephtali and of the children of Zabulon. And I will bring unto thee, in the place of the torrent Cison, Sisera, the general of Jabin's army, and all his multitude and will deliver them into thy hand.' And Barac said to her: ' If thou wilt come with me, I will go ; if thou wilt not come with me, I will not go.' She said to him: * I will go indeed with thee, but at this time the victory shall not be attributed to thee, because Sisera shall be delivered into the hand of a woman.'

God delivered Sisera into the hand of a woman, Jael by name, who by divine inspiration—in order to save her people—smote him with a hammer and drove the nail into his head.

"In that day Debbora and Barac son of Abinoem sang, and said : O you of Israel, that have willingly offered your lives to danger, bless ye the Lord . . . the valiant men ceased and rested in Israel, until Debbora arose, until there arose a mother in Israel."  . . . My heart loveth the princes of Israel; O you that of your own good will offered yourselves to danger, bless ye the Lord. . . . Arise, arise, O Debbora, arise, arise and utter a canticle. Arise, Barac and take hold of thy captives, O son of Abinoem. The remnants of the people are saved, the Lord hath fought amongst the valiant ones . . . war from heaven was made against them, the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. Blessed amongst women be Jael, the wife of Heber the Cimite. Blessed may she be in her tent. ... So let Thine enemies perish, O Lord, and let them that love Thee shine, as the sun shineth in his rising."

A writer of a Homily to be found amongst the works of St. John Chrysostom comments as follows :

"And even now there is not wanting to God a Debbora, there is not wanting to God a Jael. For if some chance woman obtained a victory, how much more does not the Mother of Christ confound the enemies of the truth? . . . What I have said just now I repeat : Let us beseech Mary, the Holy Glorious Virgin and Mother of God."