1. Army chief under Canaanite King Jabin. Sisera, who lived at Harosheth rather than at Jabin’s city Hazor, is more prominent in the account than King Jabin. Sometime after Judge Ehud had overthrown Moabite domination, Sisera and Jabin came to oppress Israel for twenty years.—Judg. 4:1-3; 1 Sam. 12:9.
On hearing that Deborah and Barak had mustered the Israelites to fight against him, Sisera collected his forces, including his nine hundred iron-scythed chariots, and engaged Israel at the torrent valley of Kishon. But Jehovah fought against Sisera and threw his whole army into confusion, resulting in their total defeat.—Judg. 4:7, 12-16, 23; 5:20, 21; Ps. 83:9.
His chariots bogged down (compare Judges 5:21), Sisera fled on foot and came to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, who was at peace with Jabin. She invited him inside. Exhausted from the battle and the flight, the weary Sisera, depending on the safety of Jael’s tent, decided to rest. She gave Sisera some milk to drink and he asked her to stand guard. When he had fallen into a sound sleep, Jael stealthily went up to him and drove a tent pin through his temples into the earth. When Barak arrived, Jael presented to him the fallen enemy. (Judg. 4:9, 17-22; 5:25-27) Sisera’s mother and her household waited in vain for him to return with great spoil.—Judg. 5:28-30.
2. Forefather of a family of Nethinim that returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel in 537 B.C.E. (Ezra 2:1, 2, 43, 53; Neh. 7:55) War captives were included among the Nethinim, and while some may have been taken at the time Sisera (No. 1 above) was defeated and may have become temple servants, there is no reason to conclude that the Nethinim who returned from Babylon were descendants of the Sisera of Barak’s time.