Israel’s Woman Liberator

We need to be like the 84 year old grandmother who fiercely maintained her independence and lived alone in the old family home. Her 4 children lived in the same town, but she rarely called them except in emergencies. It was with some apprehension, therefore, that one of her sons … More


We are introduced to Deborah, the prophetess, the fourth judge,  and the only woman judge, who lived in central Palestine. For 20 years the Canaanites oppressed Israel and God raised up this prophetess to lead the way to victory (vv. 1-7). Associated with her was Barak, a military leader from the tribe of Naphtali to the north. He insisted that Deborah accompany him in the battle (v.8) which revealed his fear and weakness in the faith.

Following the battle plan laid out by Deborah, Barak with 10,000 troops descended swiftly down Mt. Tabor and a mass destruction of the enemy forces took place (vv. 9-11). The general of the Canaanites, Sisera, fled and found shelter in the tent of a Henite woman named Jael (v. 12). The Henites were a people friendly to Israel because of their connection with Moses’ family but also they were friendly to Jobin the king (vv. 13-16). Jael offered him hospitality and a comfortable bed but while he was sleeping she drove a nail into his head killing him (vv. 17-24). Barak ran up a while later to find his enemy dead and the glory of his victory went to a woman. Of course it was the Lord who delivered the enemy into her hands.


Barak was afraid to go to battle unless Deborah would go with him. When is the last time I have been afraid to go into a certain situation without someone with me? Do I ever find myself afraid to do certain things for the Lord without the security of others around me?

Judges 4:1-24 (English Standard Version)

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