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Judges 5:25

ESV He asked for water and she gave him milk; she brought him curds in a noble’s bowl.
NIV He asked for water, and she gave him milk; in a bowl fit for nobles she brought him curdled milk.
NASB He asked for water, she gave him milk; In a magnificent bowl she brought him curds.
CSB He asked for water; she gave him milk. She brought him cream in a majestic bowl.
NLT Sisera asked for water, and she gave him milk. In a bowl fit for nobles, she brought him yogurt.
KJV He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish.

What does Judges 5:25 mean?

After explaining the great battle between Canaan and Israel, Deborah greatly slows the pace of the story in her song (Judges 5:1). This could be compared to the slow-motion sequences used in modern videos. The dramatic shift in time scale enhances the emphasis on that moment. Jael's slaying of the cruel oppressor Sisera is put to music as the high point of Deborah's victory song.

Another parallel to modern events is how the defeat of great enemies is celebrated in songs, movies, books, and other forms of art. Each generation has told detail-laden stories of the end of men like Adolf Hitler, the terrorist Osama bin Laden, or others. Sisera's sudden death is both a sober event and a cause for relief. It's rightly met with celebration for those who feared he would take more lives and harm more people (Judges 4:1–3; 5:30).

Deborah's song reveals more of the significance of Jael's response to Sisera's request for water (Judges 4:19). Instead of merely giving him water to quench his thirst, she honored him—or so it seemed—with milk and curds presented to him formally in the bowl of a nobleman. She treated Sisera as a highly regarded official. This gave him every reason to trust her enough to open an opportunity for betrayal.
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