The Song of Deborah

Praise ye the Lord, who hath avenged

Author: John Barnard
Published in 1 hymnal

Representative Text

1.Praise ye the Lord, who hath avenged
His Israel, on their haughty foes;
When the brave people freely did
Their lives, for liberty, expose.
3. Hear, O ye kings, princes give ear,
Whilst I to great Jehovah sing;
In sacred numbers shout the praise
Of Israels God, the almighty King.

4. When God from Mount Seir marched in state,
And turned from Edom's lofty towers,
The earth shook, the heavens in thunders dropped,
The clouds poured down their rapid showers.
5. The mountains flamed, and melting flowed,
Nor could Jehovah's presence bear;
So Sinai unknown terrors felt,
When Israel's God was present there.

6. In Shangar's Anath's valiant son,
And famous Jael's former days,
The roads, by travelers were untrod;
Who fearful, walked through secret ways.
7. The villages were broken up,
Their lands uncultivate were laid;
Until I Deborah was raised
And mother in God's Israel made.

8. New gods their sickly fancies chose,
Fierce wars their gates invaded then;
Was shield, or spear, in Israel's tents
Seen among forty thousand men?
9. My heart is set on Israel's chiefs,
Who offered of their own accord,
Bravely to join, and head the troops
In battle: blessed be the Lord.

10. Sing ye that on white asses ride.
And now secure in judgment sit.
Ye travelers join the sacred song,
Who safely go where ye think fit.
11. Ye that from the archer's noise are freed,
Lurking at every watering place,
Jehovah's righteous doings, now
May there rehearse, in songs of praise:

The truly gracious actions he
To Israels villages hath shown;
That now the people of the Lord,
Safe to their borders, may go down.
12. Wake Deborah, wake, excite thy powers,
His fame, in sacred hymns, to spread;
Rise, Barak, thou Abinoam's son,
Thy captive foes, in triumph, lead.

13. Thus Carman's nobles he reduced,
And put beneath his remnant's feet;
The Lord, to my dominion, forced
Their mighty captains to submit.
14. From Ephraim's mount there came a root,
Which with fierce Amalek engaged.
Benjamin followed close, and joined
His forces, where the battle raged.

From Machir's stock, renowned of old,
There come great captains, famous men;
And Zebulun sent such as knew
To wield the sword, and use the pen.
15. The noble lords of Isachar
To Deborah their forces led;
On foot they marched down to the vale,
With gallant Barak at their head.

But Reuben separate remained,
Distant in mind, much more than parts;
The conduct of which potent tribe
Made great impressions on our hearts.
16. Didst fear the losing of thy sheep,
That thou among the sheepfolds stayed?
Thee, has the bleating of thy flocks,
To base neutrality betrayed?

Truly thy conduct, Reuben, who
So wholly separate remained;
And would not join so good a cause,
Our hearts has grieved, thy glory stained.
17. So beyond Jordan, Gilead stayed:
And why did Dan in ships abide?
While Ashur clung to his sea shore,
To hide in creeks, or curb the tide.

18. But Zebulun, and Naphtali,
Were ready, for the public good,
In the high places of the field,
To risk their lives, and spend their blood.
19. Confederate kings of Canaan came,
With Jabin joined, and for him sought,
In Tannach, by Megiddo's stream;
But lost the booty which they fought.

20. They fought from heaven, the marshaled stars,
Each active in their stated course,
Exert their influence, and fought;
Against proud Sisera bent their force.
21. The River Kishon swept them off;
That ancient river, here well known
A brook, now to a river swollen:
Thou, O my soul, hast strength trod down?

22. The fierce encounters of their horse,
In hasty flight, each other wound;
Their speed is stopped, they tumbling cast
Their mighty riders to the ground.
23. Curse Meroz, said God's angel, Curse
All bitterly to her belong;
For they refused to help the Lord,
To aid his arms against the strong.

24. Blessed Jael Kenite Heber's wife,
Shall be above all women-kind;
Her fame, beyond her sex, shall spread,
In every tent, to every wind.
25. He water asked; to quench his thirst,
She gave him milk, beyond his wish:
She brought forth butter to regale,
And served him in a lordly dish.

26. She took the tent nail in her hand,
Her right hand seized the hammer fast;
Through Sisera's temples drove the spike,
And then cut off his head at last.
27. He started, staggered, in a maze,
He fell, down at her feet lay spread;
Close at her feet he bowed, he fell,
There where he bowed, he fell down dead.

28. His mother through the window looked,
And cried, impatient for her son,
Why does his chariot stay so long?
Why do the wheels so slowly run?
29. Her prudent ladies answered her;
Yea, eager, she herself replied,
30. Have they not sped? and now a prey,
To each a maid or two, divide?

Isn't Sisera choosing, from the spoils,
Rich robes, which beauteous colors deck,
Of needlework, on either side,
Fit to adorn the conqueror's neck?
31. So, Lord, may all thine enemies
In ruin sink, and perish quite:
But those that love thee, like the sun
Be when he marcheth in his might.

A New Version of the Psalms of David, 1752

Author: John Barnard

John Barnard, born in Boston, Nov. 6, 1681; in 1752 made a version of psalms with the music; settled at Marblehead; introduced new music ther; died Jan 14, 1770, aged 89. A Dictionary of Musical Information by John W. Moore, Boston: Oliver, Ditson & Company, 1876  Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Praise ye the Lord, who hath avenged
Title: The Song of Deborah
Author: John Barnard
Place of Origin: Marblehead, Massachusetts
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


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A New Version of the Psalms of David #263

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