(bay' rack) HEBREW: BARAQ

The son of Abinoam, Barak was from Kedesh, a city of refuge in the northern region of Naphtali. He was evidently a tribal leader, known for his military prowess.

In the 12th century B.C., the Israelites in the north were dominated by Jabin, the Canaanite king of Hazor, who fielded chariots of iron, while the Israelites were largely unarmed. The prophetess Deborah, who was judging in the hill country of Ephraim to the south, summoned Barak and commanded him in the name of Yahweh to muster an army at Mount Tabor and confront Jabin's forces under his general Sisera. Aware of Israel's weakness, Barak refused to do so unless Deborah herself would accompany him. She agreed but warned Barak that for his reluctance he would lose to a woman the personal glory of defeating Sisera. Barak led militias mobilized from the northern tribes to crush Sisera's chariots in the muddy, rain-drenched plains by the river Kishon. But true to Deborah's word, Sisera escaped, and a woman named Jael gained renown by killing him.

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

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