More about Jael & Deborah
‘Jael is unique among the women in the Bible in her use of a weapon to slay a male adversary with her own hands, but she is also a trickster in the tradition of Rebekah, Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth.
According to the Bible, she offers food and shelter in order to lure Sisera into her tent.
The ancient author known as Pseudo-Philo paints a more lurid scene in which she spikes his milk with wine and strews her bed with rose petals as a further enticement. The rabbis preserve a tradition that Jael gave him milk from her own breast and “surrendered herself to Sisera’s passion” as “the only sure means to get hold of him and kill him.” (Ginzberg, L. The Legends of the Jews, vol.4, p198)
So Jael shows herself to be “a warrior and seducer, alluring and dangerous, nurturing and bloodthirsty.”
When Sisera falls dead at Jael’s feet in the tent where he sought shelter, we are reminded of the (Levite’s) wretched concubine as she falls, dead or dying, at the door of the house where she, too, sought shelter-—and a certain rough justice is done.’
‘The Harlot by the Side of the Road’, Jonathan Kirsch, Ballantine Books, 1997, p.260