Deborah: The Judge & Prophetess
God used Deborah to deliver HIS people from Canaanite oppression.
Deborah was a Prophetess who judged Israel. Deborah's prophecy was fulfilled. (Judges 9:9)
The judges were temporary deliverers, sent by God to deliver the Israelites from their oppressors. Their name in Hebrew is Shophetim and, which is the same as that for ordinary judges. For, though their first work was that of deliverers and leaders in war, they then administered justice to the people and their authority supplied the want of a regular government.
The Book of Judges called in Hebrew 'Shofetim" (judge), a term identical with the Carthaginian 'Sufetes,' althought the two offices were not of the same nature.
The Book may be divided into three parts. Chapters 2:6-16 begins with an introduction explaining the spiritual significance of the events narrated.
Fourth Judge: Deborah and Barak
Let's look at Judges 4:4-9; 14, 15 and 17a
verse 4...And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
Deborah was not chosen by the people or appointed by the people. God raised her up to help His people, and thus she judged Israel at that time. The record teaches us that Deborah was a prophetess. Deborah was the judge and one who had the gift of prophecy.
verse 5...And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
Mount Ephraim is all the hill country belonging to the tribe of Ephraim. The word "dwelt" could be that Deborah lived there or that was the place at which she gave justice to those who came up to her for judgment.
verse 6...And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-naphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying: Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?
Barak lived around 80 miles to the north of where Deborah held court, but it appears he came when Deborah called him. Deborah told Barak that she was giving him the message of the Lord God of Israel, not of her own. God wanted Barak to assemble an army of 10,000 men from the tribe of Naphtali which was Barak's own tribe and the neighbor tribe of Zebulun. Barak was to lead the army to Mount Tabor.
verse 7...And I will draw unto thee, to the river Kishon, Sisera the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand.
The Lord planned to deliver the men into Barak's hand: He promised victory to Barak and his army.
verse 8...And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, I will not go.
Barak trusted the Lord and recognized that Deborah was his "link with headquarters." If God prophetess would not go with him on this mission, then he would not go.
verse 9...And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.
A leadership team is formed. God is the commander, Deborah will convey God's order to Barak then Barak would command the army. Deborah told Barak that he would not receive the credit for Israel's victory. The victory would be given to a woman.
verse 14...And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.
The prophetess gave the command with the utmost confidence that the Lord Himself was advancing the battle ahead of the ten thousand men. Barak led his troops down the slope of Tabor and across the valley floor to meet the chariots and infantry by the river.
verse 15...And the LORD discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet.
The Enemy's Defeat.
verse 17a...Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite.
Heber is the Kenite, he belonged to the tribe of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses (Judges 4:11). The Kenites had become affiliated with the tribe of Judah to the south (Judges 1:16) but Heber and his wife had chosen a solitary life in the north for they were nomadic shepherds.
Jael's heart was with Israel. She welcomed him into the tent and agreed to hide him there.
Sisera was a powerful General whose troops outnumbered the army of Israelites and whose weapons was superior to theirs. His first mistake was to place his trust in his military might.
Kenite --------- Kenya -------- Africa
Crusade @ Bible Publishers, Inc. 1970, Mt. Juliet, Tn, USA, 37122
The Precious Promise Bible KJV, "International", Copyright 1915/1908 By The J C Winston Co., Entered 1915/1908 At Stationer's Hall, ALL Rights Reserved, Printed in USA
New Devotional "KJV" & Explanatory Bible, Old & New Testaments, Apocrypha, Concordance, & Psalms in Metre; Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879, by J R Jones, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington
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