Judges 5:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 5:11, NIV: the voice of the singers at the watering places. They recite the victories of the LORD, the victories of his villagers in Israel. 'Then the people of the LORD went down to the city gates.

Judges 5:11, ESV: To the sound of musicians at the watering places, there they repeat the righteous triumphs of the LORD, the righteous triumphs of his villagers in Israel. “Then down to the gates marched the people of the LORD.

Judges 5:11, KJV: They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the LORD, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the LORD go down to the gates.

Judges 5:11, NASB: At the sound of those who distribute water among the watering places, There they will recount the righteous deeds of the LORD, The righteous deeds for His peasantry in Israel. Then the people of the LORD went down to the gates.

Judges 5:11, NLT: Listen to the village musicians gathered at the watering holes. They recount the righteous victories of the LORD and the victories of his villagers in Israel. Then the people of the LORD marched down to the city gates.

Judges 5:11, CSB: Let them tell the righteous acts of the Lord, the righteous deeds of his villagers in Israel, with the voices of the singers at the watering places. Then the Lord's people went down to the city gates.

What does Judges 5:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Deborah has called out to the rich and the poor on the roadways to tell the story of her song (Judges 5:1), celebrating the Lord's salvation of Israel from the Canaanites (Judges 4:12–16). Now she adds that they should tell it to the sound of the musicians or singers at the watering places.

Scholars say the exact meaning of this phrase is difficult to translate. Even so, there is no doubt about the intent. Places with easily accessible water were key points along roadways. Travelers would stop and rest there, trading news and telling stories. Entire communities would gather at these spots.

Deborah is telling those who hear her song to sing it themselves to others, to keep passing on the story of God's victory everywhere they go. This is her distribution model for this amazing news in Israel. She tells her listeners to repeat the righteous triumphs of both the Lord and His villagers in Israel, meaning those who volunteered to follow Barak into battle against the Canaanites (Judges 4:10; 5:9).

This verse ends with a sentence introducing the next passage. Deborah celebrates those people of the Lord who willingly marched down from the hill country to do battle at the gates of their oppressors.