Bible Study Moment

Deborah is unique among the judges in the book of Judges. Not only is she the only woman but she is also the only one doing something that sounds like a judge. Judges 4:5 says that the Israelites would come to her to settle disputes.

The judges in the book are not so much judges as deliverers, usually by winning some military battle. And during Deborah’s time there is a foe to be defeated in battle; Sisera, the military commander for the Canaanite king.

Deborah tells Barak, the Israelite military leader, to assemble 10,000 men to do battle with Sisera’s forces. Barak will only do it if Deborah goes with him. She says she will definitely go but the honor of defeating Sisera will be a woman’s. If you think she means herself that is understandable but incorrect. The woman who defeats Sisera is Jael, and the story of how she does it is first told in Judges 4:17-22, and then is sung about in Judges 5 as part of the song that Deborah and Barak sing after the victory.


Mark Phillips