Barak in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
("lightning".) So the family name of Hannibal was Barres,
"the thunderbolt of war"; also Boanerges, "sons of thunder,"
applied to James and John. Son of Abinoam, of Kedesh, a
refuge city of Naphtali. Incited by Deborah the prophetess
to deliver Israel from the yoke of Jabin II, king of
northern Canaan, of which Hazor, on lake Merom (now Hulah),
was the capital. Hazor had been destroyed with Jabin I, its
king, more than a century before, under Joshua; but owing to
Israel's unfaithfulness had been permitted to be rebuilt,
and a succeeding Jabin regained the possessions taken from
his forefather. But his general Sisera, of Harosheth,
inhabited by a race half Israelite half Gentile, where he
had systematically and "mightily oppressed Israel" for 20
years, was defeated by Barak and Deborah at the head of
10,000 men of Naphtali and Zebulon (Psalm 83:9-10).
This little army, aided by a providential storm in
the enemy's face (according to Josephus), rushed down the
hill of their encampment, Tabor, and routed Jabin's 900 iron
chariots and unwieldy host in the plain of Jezreel
(Esdraelon), "the battlefield of Israel." The Kishon's
impetuous current (especially that of Megiddo, its western
branch), and the sandy soil (as Taanach means), contributed
to the enemy's disaster, as their chariots were entangled,
like Pharaoh's at the Red Sea. Harosheth was taken, Sisera
slain by Heber's wife, Jabin's country taken, and a peace of
40 years secured. The triumphal ode of Deborah and Barak is
very spirited (Judges 4; 5). Lord Hervey makes the narrative
a repetition of Joshua 11:1-12, from the sameness of names,
Jabin and Hazor; the subordinate kings (Judges 5:19; Joshua
11:2, etc.); the locality; the chariots; "Mizrephoth Maim,"
burning by the waters; margin.
But if fancied chronological difficulties Judges be
hereby removed, geographical difficulties are thus created;
above all, the plain word God, which "cannot be broken"
makes Jabin's oppression of Israel: Hazor to be "when Ehud
was dead"; it is impossible then it can be identical with
the narrative in Joshua. (See JUDGES.) The judges Othniel,
Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, and Barak, did not rule all their
lives, but were raised up at intervals as need required.
Jabin ("prudent") was probably a standing title of the kings
of Hazor. Heretofore, foes without, Mesopotamia and Moab,
had chastised Israel; but now their sin provokes God to
raise an oppressor within their own borders, Canaan itself!
Jabin seduced them into idolatry, besides oppressing them
(Judges 5:8). Barak is made an example of faith (Hebrews
11:32), though it was weak; he was therefore deprived of the
glory of stronger faith by a woman, Jael (compare Judges
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