Barak Previews Christ

Brian Kuehmichel
December 5, 2015



And [Deborah] sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand. (Jud 4:6-7)


"Harosheth of the Gentiles" (Harosheth Haggoyim) is thought to be located 10 miles east of Caesarea in northwestern Samaria near Katzir. It is a fortress described in the Book of Judges as the base of Sisera, commander of the army of "Jabin, King of Canaan." A commander who had "nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him" (vs 13) is not to be trifled with. It takes great courage to oppose such an enemy. Barak was not going alone in this venture. With him was an army of fellow countrymen, and without him leading there was nothing. Barak held the confidence of "ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun" who submitted to his leadership. (vs 6) Why should he lead them astray? Why shouldn't he be careful and certain?

Since the book of Hebrews asserts faith is built upon evidence (11:1-2) then why not be certain that this is God's will and timing? Moses had already directed Israel how to test a false prophet. "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Deut 18:22) But Moses also said, "I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him." (Deut 18:18-19) Barak was in a dilemma. So, if he believed the prophecy, went into battle and the prophecy was from human origin, then he most likely would perish in battle. And Israel would be soundly defeated and much worse off than before. But, if it is really from God and Barak does not believe the prophecy and does not act upon it, God would require it of him and punish him for disobedience.

This is the very first prophecy given since Moses spoke. How would you resolve this? "And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go." (vs 8) It was a very simple way for Barak to be certain about Deborah's own confidence in the prophecy spoken by her in vs 6-7, that it was from God and not from a human source. By going along with Barak she was putting her own "life on the line." Deborah's own life was tied to the outcome, "and she said, I will surely go with thee." Through this simple test Barak became certain these were God's words and that they would be fulfilled. Why should Barak have any shame in seeking and obtaining the prophecy's validation as genuine through Deborah's presence? Hebrews chapter 11 verses 32-34 only gives him honor.

Later near the battle site, Deborah reaffirmed her prophecy by saying, "Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the Lord gone out before thee?" (vs 14) "And the Lord discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet. But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left." (vs 15-16)

Barak listened to God's words, took to heart Moses' words, applied the scripture to his circumstance and proceeded with confidence in obedience to the prophecy. Now that is a man of faith! In this way Barak is a preview of Christ Jesus.


Barak previews some of the qualities of Christ Jesus.

8 Comparisons Between Barak and Christ Jesus
Item:BarakChrist
Barak's background — portrays Jesus.

out of Kedeshnaphtali
"And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?" (Jud 4:6)"Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined." (Isa 9:1-2); "And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles." (Matt 4:13-15)
Barak's confidence in God's word — portrays Jesus.

listened to God's words
"Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. ... And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them." (Jud 2:16, 18); " And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand. ... And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the Lord gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him." (Jud 4:6-7, 14)"And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" (Luke 2:42-49); "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." (John 3:34); "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." (John 14:10)

took to heart Moses' words
"I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee." (Exo 23:29-31); "But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell." (Num 33:55); "Understand therefore this day, that the Lord thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the Lord hath said unto thee." (Deut 9:3); et cetera"And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them." (Matt 8:4); "He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." (Matt 19:8); "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me." (Luke 24:44)

applied the scripture to his circumstance
"When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Deut 18:22); But Moses also said, "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him." (Deut 18:18-19); [See: took to heart Moses' words]"The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." (Matt 19:3-8); "And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh." (Mark 10:2-8)

proceeded with confidence in obedience to the prophecy
"And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him. ... And they shewed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor." (Jud 4:10, 12)"And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem." (Luke 9:51); "And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again." (Matt 20:17-19)
Barak's capacity — portrays Jesus.

leader of men, captain of army
"And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him." (Jud 4:10)"And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan." (Matt 4:25); "When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him." (Matt 8:1); "But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all." (Matt 12:15); "And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there." (Matt 19:2); "And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles." (Luke 6:13); "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come." (Luke 10:1); "Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am." (John 13:13); "And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him." (Matt 27:55); "Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem." (Mark 15:41); et cetera; "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." (Heb 2:10); ["Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach." (Heb 13:13)]

brought judgment upon the gentiles
"And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles. And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel." (Jud 4:2-3); "And the Lord discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet. But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left." (Jud 4:15-16); "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." (Isa 42:1); "And charged them that they should not make him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles." (Matt 12:16-18); "But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?" (John 12:37-38)

conquered his enemy
"But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left." (Jud 4:16); "So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan." (Jud 4:23-24)"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." (Matt 4:1-11); "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor 15:57)
and perhaps more ...
"And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets." (Heb 11:32)

For further study of Barak as a type:

Types And Shadows: The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ

Images of the Savior (10 - Deborah and Barak)

Deborah Pt 6: Barak and the 2nd Coming of Christ

Chapter 3 — Shamgar, Deborah and Barak

The Story of Deborah