Discover the facts of Bible history in this famous story about Deborah, Judge of Israel, from the book Her Story - A Study on Biblical Women, by Susanna L. Jordan

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Bible History

Deborah (Cont.)
Judge, Warrior and Prophetess


determination in that step. And can you hear the confidence in her voice as she told Barak the commands from God?

There she is, sitting tall on her horse, her turban flying in the wind. She had never sought out this position of boldness, but willingly occupied it as God called her to do. She was a go-getter—she “arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.” (v. 9b)

She was a woman of action. She didn’t just sit back and wait. She believed God, that He would deliver them. As they came close to Sisera’s army Deborah said to Barak, “Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the Lord gone out before thee?” (v. 14a)

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True to His word, God did something miraculous. He sent a hailstorm and blinding rain straight into the faces of the Canaanites. The pounding rain brought flooding to the river of Kishon. The slingers and archers couldn’t see to aim their sling-shots and arrows because of the rain and hail. Nor could the swordsmen make their way toward their foes as they were being beaten by the storm, as well.

In her song of praise Deborah sings about this storm. “The earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water. The mountains melted from before the Lord, even that Sinai from before the Lord God of Israel.” (Judges 5:4b-5)

The storm was in the faces of the enemy but behind Deborah, Barak and their 10,000 men. As the river flooded, Sisera’s heavy iron chariots sank in the mud and many of the drivers were slain. The horses’ hoofs carried a small remnant away in retreat. 

Sisera fled on foot from his chariot and ran for his life. "...and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left." (Judges 4:16b) Deborah gained undying fame and became known as the woman who rescued her people from the Canaanites.

Deborah was also a poetess. She wrote the song of triumph that she and Barak sang. We find it in Judges 5. This song is one of the earliest recorded songs in history (Miriam’s song being earlier. Ex. 15:20-21).

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They praised God first for their victory. She took none of the credit, but gave all the glory and honor to God. "Praise ye the Lord for the avenging of Israel...I, even I, will sing unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel." (vs. 2-3) They referred back to a previous judge, Shamgar (Judges 3:31; 5:6) and how the people were afraid to go out and about, but then arose Deborah, “a mother in Israel.” (v. 7)

We are never told if Deborah was an actual mother to Lapidoth’s children; if they were ever blessed with children of their own, but she is called “a mother in Israel.” Deborah was a maternal figure. She, like a mother, had led her panicked children to a mighty victory. Towards the end of the song they cry to her again. “Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song.” (v. 12a)

Deborah’s time as a judge was brilliant because of her faith in God and because her heart was fixed upon God. She carried a song on her lips and a sword in her hand.

But you may be asking, what about Sisera? Did he get away? What happened to him? Let’s find out.

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SusannaLJordan From the book,
Her Story - A Study on Biblical Women, by Susanna L. Jordan


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