I’ve Got Your Back, Deborah…

I’m a fan of Deborah. The prophetess and judge appears in one of my favorite passages of Scripture, Judges 5, The Song of Deborah. This passage was the focus of my second Hebrew reading class many years ago. It’s a fun chunk of text because it is really, really old.

You see, Deborah has gotten a bad rap over the years, one that, as far as her story in the OT is concerned, is unwarranted.

How often have you heard someone say that Deborah was used as a means of judgment, because God only puts women in leadership in order to judge a nation? Maybe Deborah was usurping authority? She certainly must have had some character flaws. I’ve heard this said on one of the largest news networks on television. And it irks me.

Deborah is often disregarded despite her presence and position in Scripture demanding at least some consideration as to what it means for women in the church. She doesn’t fit the framework of complementarianism and so she is considered an anomaly, or a judgment sentence, or whatever, because she’s a woman. Because she’s in the Old Testament. Because 1 Timothy 2:12 trumps Judges 4 and 5. Because every piece has to fit together. Because, because, because.

Read the text of Judges 4 and 5.
There is nothing there to condemn her.
And if the Scriptures don’t condemn her, then I certainly won’t.

What Judges 5 does says is that Deborah’s leadership resulted in forty years of peace (verse 31).


5 thoughts on “I’ve Got Your Back, Deborah…

  1. Deborah is one of my favorite women in the Bible. I translated both Judges 4-5 in Hebrew class too then Deborah and Jael went on to be a big chunk of my thesis. They get talked about a lot of on my website too. Deborah and her husband Lappidoth have been one of my favorite biblical couples for years. Lappidoth had no problem with his wife leading troops into war! I’m fortunate I found my own Lappidoth, who supports me in all I do. You’re not the only one who has Deborah’s back. 🙂 I’m so glad Rachel is doing this syncroblog. I am meeting so many cool people.

    • Jael has always been my favorite Bible story since I was a little girl. Everyone always thinks that is creepy, and maybe it is…although Noah’s Ark is pretty disturbing if you really look at it! But now, I love that I’ve always loved that story. I love what it says about women. I grew up with a super domineering/controlling/legalistic mom, and maybe subconsciously I just loved how Jael took charge and broke the mold. I don’t know. But it’s so awesome, LOL.

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