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He asked for water; she gave him milk.
She brought near to him curds in a princely bowl. Bible

“She brought near to him curds.” The Hebrew word translated “brought near” is qarab (#07126 קָרַב), and it is used in Leviticus 1 of “bringing near” an offering to God; “approaching” God with an offering (see commentary on Lev. 1:2, “approaches with”). There are other Hebrew words for the simple act of bringing, or giving, something to someone, so it seems that this is the author’s deliberate use of qarab in a way that adds to the irony of the whole situation between Jael and Sisera. Jael “brought near” the curds as if bringing a sacrifice or offering to Sisera, but as the record continued, Sisera himself became the sacrifice.

“curds.” The Hebrew is difficult to exactly reproduce in English. It is milk that is in the process of souring, but it is not really “curds” in the true sense of the word, although that is close, nor is it “butter” (KJV), “curdled milk” (HCSB); “cream” (DBY; NKJ); or “yogurt” (NLT). In the hot climate of the ancient Near East, “milk” did not stay milk for very long, so it was always in the process of becoming something more cheese-like.


Commentary for: Judges 5:25