Deborah the Judge

Did you know that the ancient Israelites has women judges? Well, they did, & one of them was Deborah who we can reader about, appropriately, in the Book of Judges. She was not only a judge, but a prophetess too, like Abigail & Hannah.

Deborah is the only female judge mentioned in the Bible, but there is no reason to think she was unique. She was also a general who led a successful counterattack against Canaan.

For you who may have friends named Deborah, or maybe it’s even your name, did you know that it translates to “bee”? Appropriate for this leader of the Hebrew people — she must have been a bee in the bonnet of Jabin, king of Canaan, indeed.

Deborah was famous for rendering her judgements under a date palm tree & she is sometimes referred to as Mother of Israel, as mentioned Judges 5:7.

Jabin had oppressed Israel for 20 years & the Israelites were living in terrible conditions. Deborah, having had enough, incited a rebellion. She musters 10,000 troops & sends them to attack Mount Tabor. She then draws the opposing forces away to the River Kishon, so they cannot send reinforcements.

Sisera, the opposing general, collects 900 chariots & a host of warriors to send again the Hebrews.

When Deborah sees this army, she says:

“Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him.

(Judges 4:14)

As Deborah prophesied, there is a great battle & Sisera is completely defeated.

For 40 years, Deborah served as a judge. She must have been a wise woman indeed.

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