Deborah’s name means “a bee.” We’ve all heard the phrase “busy as a bee.” Deborah surely measured up to this phrase. She was a wife, a prophetess, an agitator, a ruler, a warrior and a poetess. Bees have been ranked in the animal kingdom as highest in intelligence and Deborah stands out as one of the wisest women in the Old Testament.2
We are told in Judges 4:4 that Deborah was “the wife of Lapidoth.” His name is the only information we are given about him. They lived between Ramah and Bethel in Mount Ephraim. “And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Beth–el in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.” (Judges 4:5) This palm tree named after her was most likely a date palm and would have been well known because palms were rare in Palestine at that time.
This was where Deborah sat as the people came to her for counsel and judgment. Deborah was a rare breed, as women didn’t usually rise to places of prominence in that day. She can be counted among the company of Joan of Arc who led 10,000 French troops to a victory over England. History tells us Joan of Arc struck terror into the hearts of her enemies. I would venture to say Deborah did the same.God raised up Deborah and gave her special gifts for counsel and judgment and the deliverance of His people as they cried to Him for help. “And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles. And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord.” (Judges 4:2-3a)
Ehud had been the judge before Deborah, but when he died the Israelites turned their back on the Lord once again. “And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, when Ehud was dead.” (Judges 4:1) For twenty years they had been living under the oppression of Jabin, king of Canaan, and the captain of his army, Sisera. Sisera came into their land with violence and destroyed their vineyards, dishonored their women and killed many people.
This is where Deborah’s story begins. The judges in those days were more than the typical judges that we would be familiar with these days. They were true heroes. They did
Her Story - A Study on Biblical Women, by Susanna L. Jordan
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