|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
(Egypt. Ses-Ra, "servant of Ra").
(1.) The captain of Jabin's army (Judges 4:2), which was routed and destroyed by the army of Barak on the plain of Esdraelon. After all was lost he fled to the settlement of Heber the Kenite in the plain of Zaanaim. Jael, Heber's wife, received him into her tent with apparent hospitality, and "gave him butter" (i.e., lebben, or curdled milk) "in a lordly dish." Having drunk the refreshing beverage, he lay down, and soon sank into the sleep of the weary. While he lay asleep Jael crept stealthily up to him, and taking in her hand one of the tent pegs, with a mallet she drove it with such force through his temples that it entered into the ground where he lay, and "at her feet he bowed, he fell; where he bowed, there he fell down dead." The part of Deborah's song (Judges 5:24-27) referring to the death of Sisera (which is a "mere patriotic outburst, " and "is no proof that purer eyes would have failed to see gross sin mingling with Jael's service to Israel") is thus rendered by Professor Roberts (Old Testament Revision):
"Extolled above women be Jael, The wife of Heber the Kenite, Extolled above women in the tent. He asked for water, she gave him milk; She brought him cream in a lordly dish. She stretched forth her hand to the nail, Her right hand to the workman's hammer, And she smote Sisera; she crushed his head, She crashed through and transfixed his temples. At her feet he curled himself, he fell, he lay still; At her feet he curled himself, he fell; And where he curled himself, there he fell dead."
(2.) The ancestor of some of the Nethinim who returned with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:53; Nehemiah 7:55).
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
sis'-er-a (cicera', of doubtful meaning; S(e)isara):
(1) Given in Judges 4 as the captain of the army of Jabin, king of Hazor. The accounts given of the battle of Sisera with Barak, as found in Judges 4 and 5, have important points of difference. The first is a prose, the second a poetic narrative. In the first only Naphtali and Zebulun are mentioned as being under the command of Barak; in the second 6 tribes are given as being under his command. In Judges 4 Sisera is known as the captain of Jabin's forces, while in Judges 5 he seems to have been an independent leader. There is also a difference as to the scene of the battle and as to the manner in which Sisera met his death at the hand of Jael. Because of these points of difference, added to the fact that this is the only account, in these early times, where a king did not lead his own forces, it is thought by many that there is here the combination of two traditions dealing with different and distinct events.
Sisera resided in Harosheth of the Gentiles, a place identified with el-Charithiyeh, on the right bank of the Kishon and commanding the way from the Central Plain to the sea. Taking the versions in the two chapters of Judges as being the account of a single campaign, we find Deborah urging Barak to combine the forces of Israel to wage war with Sisera as the representative of Jabin, the king of Hazor. The scene of the battle was on the plain at the foot of the slopes of Mt. Tabor (Judges 4:12-14), or at the foot of the Carmel heights (Judges 5:19). The attack of Barak and Deborah was so furious, animated as it was by the hatred of Sisera and the Canaanites, that the hosts of Sisera were put to rout, and Sisera, deserting his troops, fled on foot to the Northeast. He took refuge in the tent of Heber, near Kedesh, and here met death at the hands of Jael, the wife of Heber (see JAEL). Sisera's name had long produced fear in Israel because of his oppression of the people, his vast army and his 900 chariots of iron. His overthrow was the cause of much rejoicing and was celebrated by the song in which Deborah led the people.
It is interesting to note that the great rabbi Aqiba, who fought so valiantly in the Jewish war for independence as standard bearer to Bar-cocheba, was descended from the ancient warlike Sisera of Harosheth.
(2) In Ezra 2:53 and Nehemiah 7:55 the name Sisera, after a long interval, reappears in a family of the Nethinim. There is no evidence that the latter Sisera is connected by family descent with the former.
C. E. Schenk
Sisera (18 Occurrences)
Judges 4:2 Yahweh sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth of the Gentiles. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Judges 4:7 I will draw to you, to the river Kishon, Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into your hand.'" (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Judges 4:9 She said, "I will surely go with you: nevertheless, the journey that you take shall not be for your honor; for Yahweh will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman." Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Judges 4:12 They told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to Mount Tabor. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Judges 4:13 Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles, to the river Kishon. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Judges 4:14 Deborah said to Barak, "Go; for this is the day in which Yahweh has delivered Sisera into your hand. Hasn't Yahweh gone out before you?" So Barak went down from Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Judges 4:15 Yahweh confused 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 his feet. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Judges 4:16 But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the army, to Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; there was not a man left. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Judges 4:17 However Sisera fled away on his feet 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. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Judges 4:18 Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, "Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; don't be afraid." He came in to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Judges 4:22 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 seek." He came to her; and behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent peg was in his temples. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Judges 5:20 From the sky the stars fought. From their courses, they fought against Sisera. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Judges 5:26 She put her hand to the tent peg, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer. With the hammer she struck Sisera. She struck through his head. Yes, she pierced and struck through his temples. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Judges 5:28 "Through the window she looked out, and cried: Sisera's mother looked through the lattice.'Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why do the wheels of his chariots wait?' (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS NIV)
1 Samuel 12:9 "But they forgot Yahweh their God; and he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Ezra 2:53 the children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Temah, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Nehemiah 7:55 the children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Temah, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Psalms 83:9 Do to them as you did to Midian, as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the river Kishon; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)