To get what Judges 4:21 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity.

“Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.”

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Popularity relative to other verses in Judges chapter 4 using average monthly Google searches.

Judges 4:21 Translation & Meaning

What does this verse really mean? Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew Scripture. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Follow the buttons in the right-hand column for detailed definitions and verses that use the same root words. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. Information based on Strong's Exhaustive Concordance[1].

KJV Verse Original Hebrew Meaning/ Definition
This is a simplified translation of the original Hebrew word. Follow the buttons on the right to get more detail.
Use the buttons below to get details on the Hebrew word and view related Bible verses that use the same root word.
Then Jael יָעֵ֣ל Jael, a Canaanite Then Jael
Heber's חֶ֠בֶר Cheber, the name of a Kenite and of three Israelites Hebers
wife אֵֽשֶׁת A woman wife
took וַתִּקַּ֣ח To take (in the widest variety of applications) took
a nail יְתַ֨ד A peg nail
of the tent, הָאֹ֜הֶל A tent (as clearly conspicuous from a distance) tent
and took וַתָּ֧שֶׂם To put (used in a great variety of applications, literal, figurative, inferentially, and elliptically) took
an hammer הַמַּקֶּ֣בֶת Properly, a perforator, i.e., a hammer (as piercing) hammer
in her hand, בְּיָדָ֗הּ A hand (the open one [indicating power, means, direction, etc.], in distinction from H3709, the closed one); used (as noun, adverb, etc.) in a great variety of applications, both literally and figuratively, both proximate and remote [as follows] hand
and went וַתָּב֤וֹא To go or come (in a wide variety of applications) and went
softly בַּלָּ֔אט Properly, muffled, i.e., silently softly
unto אֵלָיו֙ Near, with or among; often in general, to unto
him, and smote וַתִּתְקַ֤ע To clatter, i.e., slap (the hands together), clang (an instrument); by analogy, to drive (a nail or tent-pin, a dart, etc.); by implication, to become bondsman by handclasping) smote
the nail הַיָּתֵד֙ A peg nail
into his temples, בְּרַקָּת֔וֹ Properly, thinness, i.e., the side of the head temples
and fastened וַתִּצְנַ֖ח To alight; (transitive) to cause to descend, i.e., drive down fastened
it into the ground: בָּאָ֑רֶץ The earth (at large, or partitively a land) ground
for he וְהֽוּא He (she or it); only expressed when emphatic or without a verb; also (intensively) self, or (especially with the article) the same; sometimes (as demonstrative) this or that; occasionally (instead of copula) as or are for he
was fast asleep נִרְדָּ֥ם To stun, i.e., stupefy (with sleep or death) fast asleep
and weary. וַיָּ֖עַף To fly; also (by implication of dimness) to faint (from the darkness of swooning) weary
So he died. וַיָּמֹֽת׃ To die (literally or figuratively); causatively, to kill died

Verse Context

See Judges 4:21 with its adjacent verses in bold below. Follow either of the two large buttons below to see these verses in their broader context of the King James Bible or a Bible concordance.

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  • 19  And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.

  • 20  Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and inquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No.

  • 21  Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

  • 22  And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples.

  • 23  So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel.


The King James Bible (1611) and Strong's Concordance (1890) with Hebrew and Greek dictionaries are sourced from the BibleForgeDB database (https://github.com/bibleforge) within the BibleForge project (http://bibleforge.com). Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

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