Deborah and Jael

Day 115

Judges 4:1‐5:31; Luke 22:35‐53; Psalm 94:1‐23; Proverbs 14:3‐4

Deborah and Jael

Eve tempting Adam to eat, Sarai scoffing at the idea of bearing Abram’s son to the point of laughter, Rebekah deceiving Isaac to gain favor and a blessing for Jacob, and so on. Women’s roles in the Bible up to the Book of Judges were less than positive. Then two women come to the forefront in the Book of Judges. Deborah sat under the Palm of Deborah, “…and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment” (4:5). She is in a position analogous to that of Joshua, and identical to that of the other judges. No higher position existed in Israel during this period. She speaks the truth of God and has national recognition and acceptance. Barak, the chosen commander for the key battle with King Jabin, will not go to war without her being there, reminiscent of Israel’s forces prevailing while Moses’ arms were raised and flagging when they were lowered.

Deborah not only speaks authoritatively of Barak’s victory, but also has knowledge from God that the enemy commander, Sisera, will not fall into Barak’s hands, but instead into the hands of a woman. Sisera escapes the battle on foot and, thinking a tent woman (nomad) named Jael will submit to his authority, makes himself incredibly vulnerable. He did not ascertain to whom she owed allegiance, and got a tent peg driven through his temple for his mistake. This to many would seem to be a gruesome, reprehensible act in our modern point of view, but the act of a tough woman in time of war.

Joe Pollock
St. Peter’s
Lake Mary, FL

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