Sisera’s death – ATA

Was Sisera asleep (Judges 4:21) or awake (Judges 5:25-27) when he was murdered? Is there a contradiction?

In Judges 4:19, we are told that Sisera asked Jael for a drink of water, but she gave him milk instead, and then covered him with a blanket (urging sleep). In Judges 5:25, we are told that Sisera asked Jael for water, but she gave him milk instead. Chapter 5 doesn’t tell us about the blanket and him falling asleep, but goes straight to his death. A lack of details is not a contradiction.

How successful do you suppose Jael would be at hammering a tent peg through Sisera’s temple if he were awake, alert and standing up? The writer had already told us he was sleeping in the previous chapter, there is no need to tell us again.

I suppose the questioner might question the wording of Judges 5:27. If he were asleep as chapter 4 says, how did he sink at her feet and fall?

The Hebrew word כךע {sank} means to prostrate, bow, bring low, cast down, feeble, smite, subdue (Strong’s). Nothing about the word requires that he was standing. She struck him and his dead body went limp. The word for fell is נפל, which means to be cast down, cease, die, divide, fail, fall, etc. (Strong’s). The only difference between the account in chapter 4 & 5 is that a detail is not repeated. Nothing contradictory is recorded.

There is no contradiction.

A response to 1001 Bible Contradictions.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email