I've noticed a number of similarities between the language of Tehillim 68 and the Song of Deborah (Shofetim 5).

Some examples:

Tehillim 68:8-9:

אֱ‍ֽלֹהִ֗ים בְּ֭צֵאתְךָ לִפְנֵ֣י עַמֶּ֑ךָ בְּצַעְדְּךָ֖ בִֽישִׁימ֣וֹן סֶֽלָה׃ אֶ֤רֶץ רָעָ֨שָׁה ׀ אַף־שָׁמַ֣יִם נָטְפוּ֮ מִפְּנֵ֪י אֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים זֶ֥ה סִינַ֑י מִפְּנֵ֥י אֱ֝לֹהִ֗ים אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

O God, when You went forth at the head of Your army, when You marched through the desert, selah the earth trembled, the sky rained because of God, yon Sinai, because of God, the God of Israel.

Shofetim 5:4-5:

יְהוָ֗ה בְּצֵאתְךָ֤ מִשֵּׂעִיר֙ בְּצַעְדְּךָ֙ מִשְּׂדֵ֣ה אֱד֔וֹם אֶ֣רֶץ רָעָ֔שָׁה גַּם־שָׁמַ֖יִם נָטָ֑פוּ גַּם־עָבִ֖ים נָ֥טְפוּ מָֽיִם׃ הָרִ֥ים נָזְל֖וּ מִפְּנֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה זֶ֣ה סִינַ֔י מִפְּנֵ֕י יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

O LORD, when You came forth from Seir, Marched from the country of Edom, The earth trembled; The heavens dripped, Yea, the clouds dripped water, The mountains quaked— Before the LORD, Him of Sinai, Before the LORD, God of Israel.

Tehillim 68:14:

אִֽם־תִּשְׁכְּבוּן֮ בֵּ֪ין שְׁפַ֫תָּ֥יִם

even for those of you who lie among the sheepfolds

Shofetim 5:16:

לָ֣מָּה יָשַׁ֗בְתָּ בֵּ֚ין הַֽמִּשְׁפְּתַ֔יִם

Why then did you stay among the sheepfolds

Tehillim 68:22:

אַךְ־אֱלֹהִ֗ים יִמְחַץ֮ רֹ֤אשׁ אֹ֫יְבָ֥יו

God will smash the heads of His enemies

Shofetim 5:26:

מָחֲקָ֣ה רֹאשׁ֔וֹ וּמָחֲצָ֥ה וְחָלְפָ֖ה רַקָּתֽוֹ

She crushed his head, Smashed and pierced his temple.

Do any midrashim / classical or modern commentaries / academic scholars note this connection? What is the reason for it?


2 Answers 2


Rabbi Yehoshua Inbal in his essay in Hebrew "שחזור קטע מספר הישר" (The Restoration of a Segment from Sefer Hayashar) believed that verses such as these (from Shoftim 5 and Tehillim 68), and from other places all over Tanach, are quotes or paraphrases from the now-lost Sefer Hayashar, which according to him, may have been a compilation of ancient songs and poems written about the greatness of Hashem and was still around during the time of the prophets (see Yehoshua 10:13 and Shmuel 2:1:18). Various prophets included portions of it in their writings, copied phrases and expressions, etc. For this reason, parallels can be found between certain verses in Tanach (he made a whole table collecting all of these verses). He further theorized that the similar verses could be put together to re-form one of these ancient songs.


Daat Mikra noticed the 1st and 2nd similarities.

About the first similarity, Daat Mikra says that both talk about the showing of the divine presence (also, see Deuteronomy 33:2 and Habakkuk 3:3 !!)

About the second and third, it's just the word for sheepfolds or smashing, and no additional connection is hidden here.

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