Blessed Amongst Women

“Blessed amongst women is Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite; of the women who dwell in tents, she is blessed.

(Judges 5:24)

Oh, how I love this verse! I particularly love this verse when around Roman Catholic friends in the community because they love to make a big deal about Mary, the mother of Jesus, who is referred to as “blessed amongst women” (Luke 1:42). Yet, there are two women in the Bible who are given this distinction — Mary and Jael! In fact, Luke’s phrasing is a near quote from the ancient Greek of the Septuagint for this verse. And yes, it often makes Romanists squirm a bit when you point this out.

So, why is Jael referred to in such a way? I believe it is because Jael’s action foreshadows the action of Christ as promised in Genesis 3:15. It is the Messiah who is promised to crush the head of the serpent who has oppressed God’s people; Jael crushes the head of Sisera who was oppressing God’s people. We need to be careful that we do not push the connections so far that we spiritualize the text, but we certainly see foreshadowings such as this scattered throughout the scriptures.

So, blessed amongst women is Jael! The woman who crushed Sisera’s skull and the woman who foreshadows Christ’s crushing the skull of the devil and breaking his power eternally. Jael’s action liberated the people from Jabin’s chains for forty years; Christ’s actions liberated his people eternally. Indeed, our God is a mighty warrior, the warrior of Israel!

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