The Guest D'rash and the Scriptures that we will be reading this Shabbat for Beshalach from Rabbi Michael Hillel:
TORAH ~ Exodus 13:17-17:16
HAFTARAH ~ Judges 4:4-5:31 BRIT CHADASHA ~ Revelation 5:4-14
Parashat Beshalach, Exodus 13:17–17:16 Rabbi Michael Hillel, Netanya, Israel In today’s world, with the plethora of GPS apps on our phones, when we go on a journey we can select the settings that will give us the best route according to our desires. Sometimes we want the fastest route and sometimes the shortest route. When the Israelites left Egypt, however, they did not have a choice about their route. They moved according to Hashem’s plan. We can learn much that is applicable to our own life journey from the opening verses of this week’s Torah portion.
Now when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although it was nearer; for God said, “The people may have a change of heart when they see war and return to Egypt.” So God led the people roundabout, by way of the wilderness at the Sea of Reeds. (Exod 13:17–18, NJPS) First, note that God had a plan. Israel’s travels were led by Hashem. B’nei Israel, the children of Israel, would not be wandering aimlessly or haphazardly. They saw Hashem’s guidance literally in the pillar of cloud that led them by day and the pillar of fire that led them by night (Exod 13:21). The words spoken by Hashem to Israel centuries in the future through the prophet Jeremiah held true for B’nei Israel when they left Egypt: “‘For I am mindful of the plans I have made concerning you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a hopeful future’” (Jer 29:11, NJPS).
The second point is found in the statement, “God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although it was nearer.” Often when we read this phrase, we associate the designation “land of the Philistines” with all the problems that Israel would have with the Philistines in the future. This application is problematic because it is an anachronism. The Philistines did not settle in the south of Canaan until about a hundred years after the Exodus. At the time of the Exodus, that route was called the Way of Horus and was rife with Egyptian fortresses. Considering the impending death of Pharaoh and his army at the Reed Sea (Exod 14:24ff), Israel would surely have faced military repercussions that would indeed have “changed the heart of the people.” Hashem was looking out for their welfare, something that he continues to do for all of his children. He protected them from a situation that they could not endure. Rav Shaul affirms this principle to the Yeshua-followers in Corinth. No temptation has taken hold of you except what is common to mankind. But God is faithful—He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can handle. But with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so you will be able to endure it. (1 Cor 10:13 TLV) While the English word “temptation” usually carries the nuance of falling prey to sin or transgression, the word can also carry the connotation of trial or testing. In other words, Hashem did not allow B’nei Israel to fall subject to the trial of facing further military conflict; rather he provided a way of escape—he “led the people roundabout, by way of the wilderness.”
Third, had B’nei Israel gone by the Way of Horus, they could have arrived in Caanan in a relatively short time, nine or ten days. However, the presence of the Egyptian military outposts would have probably caused the journey to take quite a bit longer. A talmudic tale attributed to Rabbi Yehoshua ben Ḥananya illustrates a similar point.
One time I was walking along the path, and I saw a young boy sitting at the crossroads. And I said to him: On which path shall we walk in order to get to the city? He said to me: This path is short and long, and that path is long and short. I walked on the path that was short and long. When I approached the city, I found that gardens and orchards surrounded it, and I did not know the trails leading through them to the city. I went back and met the young boy again and said to him: My son, didn’t you tell me that this way is short? He said to me: And didn’t I tell you that it is also long? (b.Eruvin 53b)
Many of us, like Rabbi Ḥananya, want to finish our journey in the shortest amount of time. But as the rabbi discovered there are often detours or obstacles in our paths that lengthen our travels or derail them all together. Sometimes the detours or obstacles we face are well beyond our control. The Egyptian outposts and the testing they represented were in position, regardless of B’nei Israel’s presence or absence. Sometimes, however, just as with Israel, the obstacles or detours we face are of our own making. On B’nei Israel’s journey, taking the roundabout way from Egypt to Mount Horeb would have been roughly a three-day journey. From there, according to Deuteronomy 1:2, they should have continued on to Kadesh Barnea on the edge of the Wilderness of Zin, which is the southern entrance to Canaan, a trip that should have taken about eleven days. However, due to grumbling, complaining, and times of faithlessness, the potential two-week journey morphed into forty years (Deut 1:3).
It is important to remember that regardless of the source of the obstacles or detours along our life’s journey, whether they are things beyond our control or because of our actions or inactions, Hashem always cares for us throughout the journey. Moshe reminded the second generation of B’nei Israel that throughout their arduous journey, neither their clothes nor their sandals wore out, and while they may not have had choice breads and wine, Hashem fed them manna, quail, and fresh water (Deut 29:4–5 [5–6]). So no matter where our life’s journey takes us or the path it travels, Hashem’s care for us never falters. He has a plan for each of us, a plan for our welfare and not for disaster to give each of us a hopeful future. Shabbat Shalom! TORAH READING: EXODUS 13:17 – 17:16 13:17 Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, G-d did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for G-d said, "The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt." 18 Hence G-d led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, "G-d will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you." 20 Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The L-rd was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people. 14:1 Now the L-rd spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Tell the sons of Israel to turn back and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you shall camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it, by the sea. 3 "For Pharaoh will say of the sons of Israel, 'They are wandering aimlessly in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.' 4 "Thus I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the L-rd." And they did so. 5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, "What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?" 6 So he made his chariot ready and took his people with him; 7 and he took six hundred select chariots, and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. 8 The L-rd hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he chased after the sons of Israel as the sons of Israel were going out boldly. 9 Then the Egyptians chased after them with all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and they overtook them camping by the sea, beside Pi-ha-hi-roth, in front of Baal-zephon. 10 As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the L-rd. 11 Then they said to Moses, "Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? 12 "Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians '? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness." 13 But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the L-rd which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. 14 "The L-rd will fight for you while you keep silent." 15 Then the L-rd said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. 16 "As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. 17 "As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 "Then the Egyptians will know that I am the L-rd, when I am honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen." 19 The angel of G-d, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. 20 So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night. 21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the L-rd swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. 22 The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. 24 At the morning watch, the L-rd looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. 25 He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from Israel, for the L-rd is fighting for them against the Egyptians." 26 Then the L-rd said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen." 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak, while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then the L-rd overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh's entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained. 29 But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 30 Thus the L-rd saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 When Israel saw the great power which the L-rd had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the L-rd, and they believed in the L-rd and in His servant Moses. 15:1 Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the L-rd, and said, "I will sing to the L-rd, for He is highly exalted; The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea. 2 "The L-rd is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; This is my G-d, and I will praise Him; My father's G-d, and I will extol Him. 3 "The L-rd is a warrior; The L-rd is His name. 4 "Pharaoh's chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; And the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea. 5 "The deeps cover them; They went down into the depths like a stone. 6 "Your right hand, O L-rd, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O L-rd, shatters the enemy. 7 "And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up against You; You send forth Your burning anger, and it consumes them as chaff. 8 "At the blast of Your nostrils the waters were piled up, The flowing waters stood up like a heap; The deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea. 9 "The enemy said, 'I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; My desire shall be gratified against them; I will draw out my sword, my hand will destroy them.' 10 "You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; They sank like lead in the mighty waters. 11 "Who is like You among the G-ds, O L-rd? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders? 12 "You stretched out Your right hand, The earth swallowed them. 13 "In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation. 14 "The peoples have heard, they tremble; Anguish has gripped the inhabitants of Philistia. 15 "Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed; The leaders of Moab, trembling grips them; All the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. 16 "Terror and dread fall upon them; By the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone; Until Your people pass over, O L-rd, Until the people pass over whom You have purchased. 17 "You will bring them and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, The place, O L-rd, which You have made for Your dwelling, The sanctuary, O L-rd, which Your hands have established. 18 "The L-rd shall reign forever and ever." 19 For the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, and the L-rd brought back the waters of the sea on them, but the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea. 20 Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing. 21 Miriam answered them, "Sing to the L-rd, for He is highly exalted; The horse and his rider He has hurled into the sea." 22 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 24 So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?" 25 Then he cried out to the L-rd, and the L-rd showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them. 26 And He said, "If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the L-rd your G-d, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the L-rd, am your healer." 27 Then they came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped there beside the waters. 16:1 Then they set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the sons of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt. 2 The whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 The sons of Israel said to them, "Would that we had died by the L-rd's hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger." 4 Then the L-rd said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction. 5 "On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily." 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the sons of Israel, "At evening you will know that the L-rd has brought you out of the land of Egypt; 7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the L-rd, for He hears your grumblings against the L-rd; and what are we, that you grumble against us?" 8 Moses said, "This will happen when the L-rd gives you meat to eat in the evening, and bread to the full in the morning; for the L-rd hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the L-rd." 9 Then Moses said to Aaron, "Say to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, 'Come near before the L-rd, for He has heard your grumblings.'" 10 It came about as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the sons of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the L-rd appeared in the cloud. 11 And the L-rd spoke to Moses, saying, 12 "I have heard the grumblings of the sons of Israel; speak to them, saying, 'At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the L-rd your G-d.'" 13 So it came about at evening that the quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew evaporated, behold, on the surface of the wilderness there was a fine flake-like thing, fine as the frost on the ground. 15 When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, "It is the bread which the L-rd has given you to eat. 16 "This is what the L-rd has commanded, 'Gather of it every man as much as he should eat; you shall take an omer apiece according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent.'" 17 The sons of Israel did so, and some gathered much and some little. 18 When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered as much as he should eat. 19 Moses said to them, "Let no man leave any of it until morning." 20 But they did not listen to Moses, and some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them. 21 They gathered it morning by morning, every man as much as he should eat; but when the sun grew hot, it would melt. 22 Now on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23 then he said to them, "This is what the L-rd meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the L-rd. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning." 24 So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not become foul nor was there any worm in it. 25 Moses said, "Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the L-rd; today you will not find it in the field. 26 "Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be none." 27 It came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 Then the L-rd said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions? 29 "See, the L-rd has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." 30 So the people rested on the seventh day. 31 The house of Israel named it manna, and it was like coriander seed, white, and its taste was like wafers with honey. 32 Then Moses said, "This is what the L-rd has commanded, 'Let an omerful of it be kept throughout your generations, that they may see the bread that I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.'" 33 Moses said to Aaron, "Take a jar and put an omerful of manna in it, and place it before the L-rd to be kept throughout your generations." 34 As the L-rd commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the Testimony, to be kept. 35 The sons of Israel ate the manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 36 (Now an omer is a tenth of an ephah.) 17:1 Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the L-rd, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, "Give us water that we may drink." And Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the L-rd?" 3 But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, "Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?" 4 So Moses cried out to the L-rd, saying, "What shall I do to this people? A little more and they will stone me." 5 Then the L-rd said to Moses, "Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 "Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink." And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 He named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the L-rd, saying, "Is the L-rd among us, or not?" 8 Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, "Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of G-d in my hand." 10 Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. 13 So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 Then the L-rd said to Moses, "Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven." 15 Moses built an altar and named it The L-rd is My Banner; 16 and he said, "The L-rd has sworn; the L-rd will have war against Amalek from generation to generation." HAFTARAH READING: JUDGES 4:4 – 5:31 4:4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5 She used to sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel came up to her for judgment. 6 Now she sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali, and said to him, "Behold, the L-rd, the G-d of Israel, has commanded, 'Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men from the sons of Naphtali and from the sons of Zebulun. 7 'I will draw out to you Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his many troops to the river Kishon, and I will give him into your hand.'" 8 Then Barak said to her, "If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go." 9 She said, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the honor shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the L-rd will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman." Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh, and ten thousand men went up with him; Deborah also went up with him. 11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, from the sons of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh. 12 Then they told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13 Sisera called together all his chariots, nine hundred iron chariots, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon. 14 Deborah said to Barak, "Arise! For this is the day in which the L-rd has given Sisera into your hands; behold, the L-rd has gone out before you." So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. 15 The L-rd routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16 But Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth-hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not even one was left. 17 Now Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, "Turn aside, my master, turn aside to me! Do not be afraid." And he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19 He said to her, "Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty." So she opened a bottle of milk and gave him a drink; then she covered him. 20 He said to her, "Stand in the doorway of the tent, and it shall be if anyone comes and inquires of you, and says, 'Is there anyone here?' that you shall say, 'No.'" 21 But Jael, Heber's wife, took a tent peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died. 22 And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, "Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking." And he entered with her, and behold Sisera was lying dead with the tent peg in his temple. 23 So G-d subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the sons of Israel. 24 The hand of the sons of Israel pressed heavier and heavier upon Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin the king of Canaan. 5:1 Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying, 2 "That the leaders led in Israel, That the people volunteered, Bless the L-rd! 3 "Hear, O kings; give ear, O rulers! I-- to the L-rd, I will sing, I will sing praise to the L-rd, the G-d of Israel. 4 "L-rd, when You went out from Seir, When You marched from the field of Edom, The earth quaked, the heavens also dripped, Even the clouds dripped water. 5 "The mountains quaked at the presence of the L-rd, This Sinai, at the presence of the L-rd, the G-d of Israel. 6 "In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, In the days of Jael, the highways were deserted, And travelers went by roundabout ways. 7 "The peasantry ceased, they ceased in Israel, Until I, Deborah, arose, Until I arose, a mother in Israel. 8 "New G-ds were chosen; Then war was in the gates. Not a shield or a spear was seen Among forty thousand in Israel. 9 "My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel, The volunteers among the people; Bless the L-rd! 10 "You who ride on white donkeys, You who sit on rich carpets, And you who travel on the road-- sing! 11 "At the sound of those who divide flocks among the watering places, There they shall recount the righteous deeds of the L-rd, The righteous deeds for His peasantry in Israel. Then the people of the L-rd went down to the gates. 12 "Awake, awake, Deborah; Awake, awake, sing a song! Arise, Barak, and take away your captives, O son of Abinoam. 13 "Then survivors came down to the nobles; The people of the L-rd came down to me as warriors. 14 "From Ephraim those whose root is in Amalek came down, Following you, Benjamin, with your peoples; From Machir commanders came down, And from Zebulun those who wield the staff of office. 15 "And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; As was Issachar, so was Barak; Into the valley they rushed at his heels; Among the divisions of Reuben There were great resolves of heart. 16 "Why did you sit among the sheepfolds, To hear the piping for the flocks? Among the divisions of Reuben There were great searchings of heart. 17 "Gilead remained across the Jordan; And why did Dan stay in ships? Asher sat at the seashore, And remained by its landings. 18 "Zebulun was a people who despised their lives even to death, And Naphtali also, on the high places of the field. 19 "The kings came and fought; Then fought the kings of Canaan At Taanach near the waters of Megiddo; They took no plunder in silver. 20 "The stars fought from heaven, From their courses they fought against Sisera. 21 "The torrent of Kishon swept them away, The ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon. O my soul, march on with strength. 22 "Then the horses' hoofs beat From the dashing, the dashing of his valiant steeds. 23 'Curse Meroz,' said the angel of the L-rd, 'Utterly curse its inhabitants; Because they did not come to the help of the L-rd, To the help of the L-rd against the warriors.' 24 "Most blessed of women is Jael, The wife of Heber the Kenite; Most blessed is she of women in the tent. 25 "He asked for water and she gave him milk; In a magnificent bowl she brought him curds. 26 "She reached out her hand for the tent peg, And her right hand for the workmen's hammer. Then she struck Sisera, she smashed his head; And she shattered and pierced his temple. 27 "Between her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay; Between her feet he bowed, he fell; Where he bowed, there he fell dead. 28 "Out of the window she looked and lamented, The mother of Sisera through the lattice, 'Why does his chariot delay in coming? Why do the hoofbeats of his chariots tarry?' 29 "Her wise princesses would answer her, Indeed she repeats her words to herself, 30 'Are they not finding, are they not dividing the spoil? A maiden, two maidens for every warrior; To Sisera a spoil of dyed work, A spoil of dyed work embroidered, Dyed work of double embroidery on the neck of the spoiler?' 31 "Thus let all Your enemies perish, O L-rd; But let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might." And the land was undisturbed for forty years. B’RIT CHADASHAH READING: REVELATION 5:4-14 5:1 I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?" 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. 4 Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; 5 and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals." 6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of G-d, sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a n