Biblical People

Biblical People: Jael

When Barak and the Israelite army rout Sisera’s army, Sisera escapes and takes refuge with Jael because her family has a connection with his country. Pretending to protect him, Jael takes him in and cares for him.

Once he falls asleep, she impales him with a tent peg through his temple. Though gruesome, it’s likely the only means she has to kill him. She is brave enough to act and strong enough to pierce his skull.

This fulfills the prophecy of Judge Deborah who, after Barak’s reluctance to obey God, foretells that credit for Sisera’s death will go to a woman instead of Barak. As a tribute to her valor, Deborah immortalizes Jael’s actions in song.

Will the things we do be worth singing about and told to future generations?

[Discover more about Jael in Judges 4:15–22 and Judges 5:24–27.]

Learn about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at