Tag Archives: deborah

Stateswoman or Propagandist? Unraveling the Song of Deborah

deborah-detailWhere we left off in our story, Deborah and Barak– with an assist from a housewife and a tent spike– had succeeded in conquering Jabin, one of the kings of the Canaanite kingdoms, and his 900 iron-fortified chariots. This post will revisit a lot of that material, so see my previous entry if you want a refresher.

What did they do when they won this peace? Like any great Broadway musical, they sang a song about it. I will leave you to imagine theĀ choreography, but it probably didn’t involveĀ dancingĀ girls. The Song of Deborah offers a second look at the events of Judges 4, but also depicts how Deborah wanted the story to be remembered. This song, far from being just an epilogue, depicts a woman that was both an expert at statecraft and perhaps a little bit of propaganda. Read on for the end of the story about this amazing woman.

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Who was Deborah, the Mother of Israel?

Today’s post was inspired by my wife. And whidevorahle I say “inspired”, I mean something else entirely. When I come home from work, if she beats me home, our conversations start off something like this:

Me: Hello! How was your day?

Wife: Have your written that post about my Hebrew name yet? (*)

And you know, I was going to get around to it… in a few years… when I made it to the Book of Judges. My wife’s Hebrew name is “Dvora”, better known in English as Deborah, the so-called “mother of Israel” and the only female Judge mentioned in the Bible. And while I thought I could hold off, in truth Deborah is a fascinating biblical figure and worthy of a deeper look. She’s also one that I had only the vaguest recollection of before I started working on this blog.

But what made the story of Deborah so special? Not one, but two powerful and influential women and a fantastic bit of false foreshadowing that reads like something out of the Lord of the Rings. Read on for more.

Continue reading Who was Deborah, the Mother of Israel?