Judges 5:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 5:4, NIV: When you, LORD, went out from Seir, when you marched from the land of Edom, the earth shook, the heavens poured, the clouds poured down water.

Judges 5:4, ESV: “ LORD, when you went out from Seir, when you marched from the region of Edom, the earth trembled and the heavens dropped, yes, the clouds dropped water.

Judges 5:4, KJV: LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water.

Judges 5:4, NASB: LORD, when You went out from Seir, When You marched from the field of Edom, The earth quaked, the heavens also dripped, The clouds also dripped water.

Judges 5:4, NLT: 'LORD, when you set out from Seir and marched across the fields of Edom, the earth trembled, and the cloudy skies poured down rain.

Judges 5:4, CSB: Lord, when you came from Seir, when you marched from the fields of Edom, the earth trembled, the skies poured rain, and the clouds poured water.

What does Judges 5:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Deborah has announced her intention to sing to the Lord and to make melody to the God of Israel (Judges 5:1–3). This is part of a song celebrating God's provision of victory over the Canaanites (Judges 4:22–24). Here, that song begins in earnest.

She pictures the Lord as a conquering king who moved from Seir and from the region of Edom. Scholars have long debated why Deborah mentions these places. Perhaps the best explanation is that she is showing the Lord is with Israel: He moved with them from outside the Promised Land into Canaan itself. This phrasing may have been a direct attack on the power of Baal. Baal was the most prominent false god worshiped by the Canaanites, as well as by Israelites during their seasons of rebellion. Deborah may be saying that Baal no longer reigns supreme over Canaan. The Lord has occupied the land.

Deborah adds that when the Lord marched from those other places and into Canaan, the earth trembled, and water poured from the clouds in the heavens. Baal was said to ride on the clouds to help his people in Canaan, but the God of Israel had truly brought rain from clouds to help His chosen ones. Many scholars point to verses 19–21 to suggest that God used a rainstorm to help His people defeat Sisera and his iron chariots (Judges 4:1–3).