Women in the Bible: Deborah

Women in the Bible: Deborah

Deborah’s story is in the book of Judges. Though they call her a judge, she is primarily a prophetess, a person who hears from God. Judge Deborah is notable as the only female judge listed in the book of Judges.

Judge Deborah receives a message from God for Barak. Through her, God commands Barak to raise an army and attack their enemy. God even promises Barak he will prevail, but Barak balks, saying he will do it only if Deborah goes with him.

She consents, although confirming that because of his reluctance, the honor of killing the enemy’s leader, Sisera, will go to a woman.

While we may infer this woman is Deborah, it is actually another woman, Jael. Even so, Deborah receives more credit than Barak for the overall victory.

Although Deborah lives in a male-dominated society, when a man doesn’t do what he is supposed to, she steps in to ensure action is taken. We commend her for her faith and her bravery. She is a strong example to all, both men and women.

[The story of Judge Deborah is in Judges 4 and 5.]

[Discover more about the Bible at A Bible A Day.com: Bible FAQs, Bible Dictionary, Books of the Bible Overview, and Bible Reading Plans.]

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Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.


  • oakcoveresort Posted June 19, 2014 6:11 am

    The name of Barak is not wasted. I see the similarity today. As Solomon said, “there’s nothing new under the sun”.

  • Sally Stap Posted June 22, 2014 4:35 pm

    The Bible sure has some “Strong Female Characters”, doesn’t it. I’ve enjoyed your posts about them.

    • Peter DeHaan Posted June 22, 2014 7:22 pm

      …and there are more to come!

  • Deborah Nayrocker Posted July 16, 2018 7:54 am

    My father’s name is Samuel and he and my mother gave me the name of Deborah. To this day I do not regret it. In the Bible Deborah was a woman who was faithful to God, even when others were not.

    • Peter DeHaan Posted July 16, 2018 8:41 am

      I’m glad you’re proud of your name. Deborah is one of my Old Testament heroes. I’ve always loved her story and have been inspired by it.

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