Psalter manuscript

Song of Deborah – Judges Ch 5


When leaders fearlessly lead, long-haired, in Israel
When people cheerfully yield themselves in war as well
There is the Church at its best,
Trembling of earth turns to rest
And Jesu, Jehovah, the Lord God of heaven is blessed! (men)

Give ear O princes and kings of the nations
The mountains resound with God’s praise
Rainfall like fountains from Edom to Seir marked His ways;
Highways deserted for fear of an ambush,
Were no longer busy nor walked;
Village life ceased, every doorway was closed, no-one talked;
Till Deb’rah arose to declare
How mischief had gotten them there,
Indicting the leaders for sporting with wickedness,
Spurning God’s patience and care

Where there was war in the gates of the city
Hostility ceased, peace returned
Far from the noise of the archers each neighbourhood learned
Stories of heavenly angels and providence
Bristling with myst’ry and power
Wondrous salvation reserved for that glorious hour
For Deb’rah awoke with her song,
“Arise noble Barak and come
And lead in procession your spoils and possessions
To here where, with us, they belong!

Down came the Lord against all of His enemies
Ephraim and Benjamin first
Rulers of Machir joined Zebulun heeding God’s curse;
Princes of Issachar loyal to Deborah
Rode into enemy lines
Reuben and Gilead, Asher and Dan stayed behind.
O why remain steadfast, asleep
Attending to pipings of sheep
Divisions in Reuben and jeopardised Zebulun
Makes the heart wonder and weep.

Kingdoms of Canaan by waters of Megiddo
Chariots of iron at their helm
Met with the torrents of Kishon which them overwhelmed
Jael pretending to comfort old Sisera
Beckoned him sleep in her tent
Subtle deception concealed and constrained her intent;
She pounded his temple and head
Until he lay dead in his bed
His mother perceived his delay in returning
From confidence entertained dread!

Steve Layfield

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