Deborah is another familiar judge, with two chapters in the book of Judges devoted to her. There are some noteworthy facts about her:
1) She is the only female judge in the entire book. This was very counter-cultural for the day—and very cool!
2) She was the only judge who actually “held court”—which would be consistent with our modern understanding of what a judge does.
3) She was also a prophetess. Although there are many prophets listed in the Bible, there are only seven prophetesses (a female prophet). They are:
- Miriam (Moses and Aaron’s sister), Exodus 15:20
- Deborah, Judges 4:4
- Huldah, 2 Kings 22:14 and 2 Chronicles 34:22
- Noadiah (a bad prophetess), Nehemiah 6:14
- Isaiah’s wife, whose name is not given, Isaiah 8:3
- Anna, the prophetess in the temple who was waiting for Jesus, Luke 2:36
- Jezebel, the evil prophetess mentioned in the Revelation 2:20.
Deborah was also a reluctant hero. She didn’t want notoriety, but that is exactly what she received.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God 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.