From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

1. Captain of the host of Jabin, the Canaanite king who reigned in Hazor (See Jabin ; Jael; Barak; Deborah; Kishon ) Sisera resided in Harosheth of the Gentiles. (See Harosheth .) His doom was a standing reference in after times ( 1 Samuel 12:9;  Psalms 83:9). The "curdled milk", still offered by Bedouin as a delicacy to guests, is called Leben .

It is not only refreshing to the weary, but also strongly soporific, and Jael's aim would be to cast Sisera into a sound sleep. In  Judges 5:20, "the stars in their courses fought against Sisera," the reference is not only to the storm of hail beating in the enemy's face which Josephus describes, but also to the falling meteoric stars of autumn which descended as the defeated host fled by night. (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, July 1878, P. 115-116.) The divine approval of the faith of Jael in killing Sisera involves no approval of her treachery. So in the case of Gideon, Samson, Jephthah, God in approving their faithful zeal in executing His will gives no sanction to the alloy of evil which accompanied their faith ( Hebrews 11:32). From this great enemy sprang Israel's great friend, Rabbi Akiba, whose father was a Syrian proselyte of righteousness; he was standard bearer to Bar Cocheba in the Jewish war of independence (Bartolocci 4:272).

2. One of the Nethinim who returned with Zerubbabel ( Ezra 2:53;  Nehemiah 7:55). Canaanite captives were dedicated to help the Levites in the heavier work of the temple.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

SISERA . 1 . In   Judges 4:2 ff. Sisera is represented as captain of the host of Jabin , a Canaanite king; his army is overcome by the Israelites under Barak. In his flight after the battle, Sisera, overcome by fatigue, seeks refuge in the tent of Jael , who treacherously kills him while asleep. In another account (  Judges 5:1-31 , the older account) Sisera appears as an independent ruler, and Jabin is not even mentioned; the two accounts differ in a number of subsidiary details, but in two salient points they agree, namely, as to the defeat of Sisera and as to the manner of his death. It is clear that two traditions, one concerning Jabin and another concerning Sisera, have been mixed up together; in order to harmonize them Sisera has been made Jabin’s captain (see Barak, Deborah, etc.). 2 . A family of Nethinim (  Ezra 2:53 = 1Es 5:32 Sam erar ).

W. O. E. Oesterley.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [3]

1. Captain of the army of Jabin king of the northern Canaanites. His army was overthrown with great destruction, through God's intervention, by Deborah and Barak. Sisera, thirsty and weary, sought shelter in the tent of Jael, who killed him with a tent peg driven through his head with a hammer — showing how God can energise a feeble instrument to work out His deliverance. See JAEL.  Judges 4:2-22;  Judges 5:20-31;  1 Samuel 12:9;  Psalm 83:9 .

2. Ancestor of some Nethinim who returned from exile.   Ezra 2:53;  Nehemiah 7:55 .

Smith's Bible Dictionary [4]

Sis'era. (Battle Array).

1. Captain of the army, of Jabin, king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. He himself resided in Harosheth of the Gentiles. The particulars of the rout of Megiddo, and of Sisera's flight and death are drawn out under the heads of Barak, Deborah, Jael, Kishon. (B.C. 1296).

2. After a long interval, the name appears in the lists of Nethinim, who returned from the captivity, with Zerubbabel.  Ezra 2:53;  Nehemiah 7:55. It doubtless tells of Canaanite captives, devoted to the lowest offices of the Temple. (B.C. before 536).

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

  • The ancestor of some of the Nethinim who returned with Zerubbabel ( Ezra 2:53;  Nehemiah 7:55 ).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Sisera'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • Holman Bible Dictionary [6]

     Judges 4:2 Judges 4:21 2 Ezra 2:53 Nehemiah 7:55Jabin

    American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [7]

    A general in the army of Jabin king of Hazor, sent by his master against Barak and Deborah, who occupied Mount Tabor with an army. Being defeated, he fled on foot, and was ingloriously slain by Jael,  Judges 4:1-5:31 . See Jael .

    Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [8]

    The captain of Jabin's army. ( Judges 4:1-24; Judges 5:1-31) Some derive his name from Susraah, to see an horse.

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [9]

    (Heb. Sisera', סַיסְרָא , Battle-Array [Gesenius], or Lieutentant [Furst]; Sept . Σισάρα v.r. [in Ezra and Nehemiah] Σισαρίθ , etc.; Josephus, Σισάρης . [ Ant. 5, 5, 4]), the name of two men.

    1. Captain ( שִׂר ) of the army of Jabin, king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. He himself resided in Harosheth of the Gentiles. As this is the only instance in those early times of armies being commanded by other than kings in person, the circumstance, taken in connection with others, intimates that Sisera was a general eminent for his abilities and success. All that we really know of him is stated in the Biblical account of the battle under the conduct of Barak and Deborah (Judges 5). B.C. 1409. (See Jabin).

    The army was mustered at the Kishon, on the plain at the foot of the slopes of Lejjun. Partly owing to the furious attack of Barak, partly to the impassable condition of the plain, and partly to the unwieldy nature of the host itself, which, among other impediments, contained 900 iron chariots a horrible confusion and rout took place. Sisera deserted his troops and fled on foot. He took a northeast direction, possibly through Nazareth and Safed, or, if that direct road was closed to him, stole along by more circuitous routes till he found himself before the tents of Heber the Kenite, near Kedesh, on the high ground overlooking the upper basin of the Jordan valley. Here he met his death from the hands of Jael, Heber's wife, who, although "at peace" with him was under a much more stringent relation with the house of Israel ( Judges 4:2-22;  Judges 5:20;  Judges 5:26;  Judges 5:28;  Judges 5:30). His name long survived as a word of fear and of exultation in the mouths of prophets and psalmists ( 1 Samuel 12:9;  Psalms 83:9). (See Jael).

    The number of Jabin's standing army is given by Josephus ( Ant. 5, 5, 1) as 300,000 footmen, 10,000 horsemen, and 3000 chariots. These numbers are large, but they are nothing to those of the Jewish legends. Sisera "had 40,000 generals, every one of whom had 100,000 men under him. He was thirty years old, and had conquered the whole world; and there was not a place the walls of which did not fall down at his voice. When he shouted, the very beasts of the field were riveted to their places. Nine hundred horses went in his chariot" (Jalkut, ad loc.). "Thirty-one kings (comp.  Joshua 12:24) Went with Sisera and were killed with him. They thirsted after the waters of the land of Israel, and they asked and prayed Sisera to take them with him without further reward" ( Ber. Rab. c. 23; comp.  Judges 5:19). See Stanley, Hist. Of The Jewish Church, lect. 14. It is remarkable that from this enemy of the Jews should have sprung one of their most eminent characters. The great rabbi Akiba, whose father was a Syrian proselyte of justice, was descended from Sisera of Harosheth (Bartolocci, 4, 272). The part which he took in the Jewish war of independence, when he was standardbearer to Bar-cocheba (Otho, Hist. Doct. Misn. 134, note), shows that the war-like force still remained in the blood of Sisera.

    2. After a long interval the name reappears in the lists of the Nethinim as the head of one of the families who returned from the captivity with Zerubbabel ( Ezra 2:53;  Nehemiah 7:55). B.C. ante 536. Sisera is another example of the foreign names occurring in these lists, and doubtless tells of Canaanitish captives devoted to the lowest offices of the Temple, even though the Sisera from whom the family derived its name were not actually the same person as the defeated general of Jabin. It is curious that it should occur in close companionship with the name Harsha ( Ezra 2:52), which irresistibly recalls Harosheth.

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [10]

    sis´ẽr - a ( סיסרא , ṣı̄ṣerā' , of doubtful meaning; ρ Ο2 Σπ ( ε ) ισάρα , S ( e ) isára ):

    (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 4,5 , 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 - Ḥarithı̄yeh , 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. See Deborah .

    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.

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [11]

    Sisera (Battle-array) the general in command of the mighty army of the Canaanitish King Jabin. As this is the only instance in those early times of armies being commanded by other than kings in person, the circumstance, taken in connection with others, intimates that Sisera was a general eminent for his abilities and success. He was, however, defeated by Barak, and slain , under the circumstances which have been described in the article Jael.