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‘Are they not finding, are they not dividing the spoil?
A woman, two women for every warrior;
for Sisera a spoil of dyed garments,
a spoil of ornate dyed garments,
a pair of ornate dyed garments for the necks as spoil?’ Bible

“woman.” The Hebrew word is “womb,” which highlights the sexual nature of the Canaanite oppression of Israel. Sexual perversity in life and worship was part of the Canaanite lifestyle, and even Sisera’s mother expected him to come home from the battle with a “womb” or two—slave women for his pleasure. It was fitting in this time of Canaanite oppression, which was especially hard on the women, that Deborah would arise as the prophetess who would engineer the defeat of the Canaanites, and Jael the wife of Heber would kill Sisera, the Canaanite commander.

“for the necks as spoil?” This is a very difficult phrase in Hebrew, but it is poetry. The idea seems to be that the garments were taken as spoil (cp. ESV). However, it could be that the garments were on the necks of the spoil (the women), or even that the garments were for the necks of the spoilers, but that involves a change to the text.


Commentary for: Judges 5:30