1. Exposition

What does Deborah mean with saying that Sisera's mother "answers herself"?

Judges 5:29 (ESV)

29 Her wisest princesses answer, indeed, she answers herself,

This line can be understood in two different ways. It could mean:

  1. that Sisera’s mother gave the same answer to her question in Judges 5:28 that her companions did;

  2. that she kept repeating her own words and anxious questions to herself while listening to her ladies’ answer

"In the first case she accepted her companions’ reassuring words; in the second, her misgivings were too great. Other possibilities make sense psychologically…. The fact that the verb in verse 29b (which is different from that in 29a) nowhere has the meaning 'reply' is decisive. A literal translation would be 'she caused her words to return to herself,' and only the second of the above possibilities does justice to this. The meaning is thus that the dark forebodings of the mother’s heart could not be dispelled by the cheerful fancies of the 'wise' but ultimately superficial ladies."1