Monday, October 1, 2007


Hebrew Prophetess

Deborah/Debbora was the wife of Lappidoth. She was reputedly the only woman Judge in Israel. Deborah had been endowed with the gift of prophecy - this gave her authority over the tribes of Israel. She was said to sit under a tree between Ramah and Bethel, where people would come for her judgement on many matters. Deborah persuaded Barak to free her people from Canaanite oppression.

She told Barak to gather a great army about him, with which he would defeat the Canaanites. Barak agreed to do so on the proviso that Deborah accompany him. She agreed and further prophecised that it would be a woman who would kill the Cannanite general Sisera. Deborah instructed Barak how to deploy his troops, and when and how to attack the Canaanites. Sisera and the Canaanites were defeated at the Battle of Esdraelon. Sisera fled the battlefield and was killed, by Jael, wife of Heber the Henite, an ally of Canaan.

Following this victory, a long period (40 years) of peace ensued. It may be assumed that Deborah had a prominent role in the affairs of Israel during this time.

~~~ Melisende (first pub: 1998 Women of History)

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