Tag Archives: judges 5

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 the choreography, but it probably didn’t involve dancing 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.

Continue reading Stateswoman or Propagandist? Unraveling the Song of Deborah

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?