In the last few days my quiet time brought me to the books of Judges and Ruth. Three stories, which I assume are true, made me ponder the the treatment of women in the Old Testament. I will bring the stories to light with my thoughts, which you may or may not agree with. I’m not a Bible scholar. I would love to hear your thoughts as well. I will post Deborah today. Tomorrow the Concubine, and finally Ruth. I hope this will be fun and enlightening. The news about Brett Kavanagh and his accusers gave me the idea, but this is only about the women in the Old Testament history.
Judges tells about the men and two women who served the Israelite people in the years before Saul became king. God wanted to be their king, but the people begged for a man, so God gave them what they wanted.
In Chapters 4 and 5, Deborah, a prophetess and wife of Lapidoth, sat under a palm tree between Ramah and Bethel, where the people came to her for judgement. She called for Barak in Kadesh and told him the Lord gave him a charge to go and deploy troops at Mt. Tabar. He needed to take ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and Zebulun. God promised He would route Sisera into Barak’s hand. Barak said he would only go if Deborah went with him. She agreed, but she told Barak there would be no glory for him if she went, for the Lord would sell Sisera into the hands of a woman. Barak summoned Zebulon and Kedesh to Naphtali. He went up with 10,000 men, and Deborah.
Heber, the Kenite, of the children of Hobab, Moses’ father-in-law, had a from the Kenites. His tent was near the teberinth tree beside Kedesh. He told Sisera that Barak had gone to Mt. Tabor. So Sisera gathered nine hundred chariots of iron and all the people who were with him. Deborah said to Barak, “Up! for this is the day the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hands.”
The Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army before Barak, but Sisera left on foot and went to the tent of the Jael, Heber’s wife. “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me. Do not fear,” she said. He entered her tent and asked for a drink, so she gave him some milk. He told her to sit at the edge of the tent, and if anyone asked if there was a man there, she should say no. While Sisera rested Jael drove a tent-peg into his temple and he died. When Barak pursued him, Jael showed him where she left him after she killed him, so Barak didn’t get the glory. The Lord gave the two women glory for the death of Sisera, which is rare in Bible times.
My thoughts on the story of Deborah: She was a brave and powerful woman with a tremendous amount of influence on the people and leadership of Israel.
My thoughts on Jael: She was in the right place at the right time, and she wisely used her God-given advantage to help save the Israelites from Sisera.
Both women deserve applaud for their work.
Both women were probably well-respected and treated well.
God guided both women to make decisions that would bless their nation.
I urge you to read Deborah’s story in Judges 4.
You might also enjoy The Song of Deborah in Judges 5.
Please comment and tell me what you think about Deborah and Jael.
It could lead to some interesting conversations.
Come back tomorrow to find out about another woman in Israel, The Concubine