Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Reflection - Deborah and Jael - Women of the Bible

Source Website: http://www.wordlibrary.co.uk/article.php?id=157
Posted by Dele Oke on 31 July 2013



Deborah a prophetess, energetic and decisive
PHOTO: Deborah a prophetess, energetic and decisive
Deborah assisted Barak, the military leader of Israel, while she was the spiritual leader.
Picture posted by Natan Lawrence on on 11 February 2015
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7k3b99M3w64/VvpzXudi39I/AAAAAAAAjbE/sQutNr-RJfMVnsEuVS1GAOCmL7D6YjDDw/s1600/Deborah-1.jpg
http://hoshanarabbah.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Deborah.jpg
http://hoshanarabbah.org/blog/2015/11/02/deborah-was-a-fiery-woman/


Introduction
Deborah was a prophet, a leader (otherwise known as a Judge) in Israel as well as the wife of Lappidoth (Judges 4:4).

Deborah means 'bee'. Bees are responsible for pollination of flowering plants. Pollination is what creates seeds that grow into other plants. One third of the human food supply depends on insect pollination of plants and bees play a major role in this. The biblical Deborah, like a bee, fulfilled an active and vital role in bringing life to the community.



Deborah means 'bee'. The biblical Deborah, like a bee, fulfilled an active and vital role in bringing life to the community.
PHOTO: Deborah means 'bee'. The biblical Deborah, like a bee, fulfilled an active and vital role in bringing life to the community.
Picture posted by 123RF Stock Photos
 

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-CgL6A2njPIA/VvpzU4c1IPI/AAAAAAAAjac/AzQjzdQ2_MQmwSrv5-W-3-ULyIiiLjoDQ/s1600/14841120-illustration-of-honey-bee-on-a-white-background-Stock-Vector-cartoon-flowers-flower.jpg
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http://www.123rf.com/photo_14841120_illustration-of-honey-bee-on-a-white-background.html



Background
After the death of Joshua, the man who had led the Israelites into the land of Canaan, God raised up Judges to lead and rule Israel. The first Judges God used were Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar (Judges 3). And then came Deborah.

In Deborah's day Israel had no overall leader. Everyone did whatever they pleased and the nation fell into sin and were oppressed by the Canaanites (Judges 21:25).



Joshua, the man who had led the Israelites into the land of Canaan.
PHOTO: Judges: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah and Gideon
Picture posted by O. Douglas Jennings,  Uploaded on 9 August 2013

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xIk2adYahWc/VvpzWxj5qmI/AAAAAAAAja0/7YgQHt3k2RkAAyYNVpka49j98NPLwKdcQ/s1600/9475582568_e36c19cdbf_b.jpg
https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7390/9475582568_e36c19cdbf_b.jpg
https://www.flickr.com/photos/odouglasj/9475582568



Jabin was the Canaanite king during the era of Deborah. Sisera was the commander of Jabin's army. The Canaanite army was the super-power of the day. It could boast of nine hundred iron chariots. Jabin literally ruled the people of Israel with cruelty and violence for twenty years. This is the situation Deborah found herself.

Deborah
Deborah is introduced first as a prophetess (Judges 4:4). A prophet (or prophetess) in those days was someone who spoke on behalf of God. Deborah was very similar to Moses in many respects. God had previously promised Moses that He would raise up prophets when they got into the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 18:15-22). Deborah was an answer to God's promise.



Deborah is introduced first as a prophetess
PHOTO: Deborah is introduced first as a prophetess (Judges 4:4). A prophet (or prophetess) in those days was someone who spoke on behalf of God. God had previously promised Moses that He would raise up prophets when they got into the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 18:15-22). Deborah was an answer to God's promise.
Painting of Deborah by Charles Landelle - 1901
Picture posted by Bro. Solomon (Anne of Carversville) on 16 January 2012

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-egLTSEuAKQQ/VvpzZ4nXyVI/AAAAAAAAjbY/drqi_N7CGRYWwlC39ZEEWj-7TixBz0uQg/s1600/deborah-prophetess-12-16-12-.jpg
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http://www.anneofcarversville.com/sensuality/2012/1/16/the-person-of-deborah-prophetess-and-judge.html



As a woman Deborah was not the only prophetess in the Old Testament. There were several - Miriam (Exodus 15:20), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), Noadiah (
Nehemiah 6:14;) and Isaiah's unnamed wife (Isaiah 8:3). Despite the male dominated nature of the culture of those days, women still played a major role in the spiritual life of the nation. They still do today.


Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister (Exodus 15:20)
PHOTO: Huldah (2 Kings 22:14)
a) She was the only Prophetess mentioned in the monarchical period, and the wife of Shallum, King Josiah's wardrobe keeper. She held such great esteem, that King Josiah sought her advice when the book of the Law was found in the Temple. She prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem "because they have foresaken Me and have burned incense to other gods" (2 Kings 22:16-17). But she added King Josiah would die peacefully, because Josiah had done what was right in God's sight, and the destruction would not happen before Josiah died.

b) The name Hulda means "weasel."
Printing by Elspeth Young - Huldah - Women in the Bible
Posted by Tanny Keng on Friday, 29 May 2015 at 18:46

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5-Sk86SNN8k/VvpzX8CJijI/AAAAAAAAja8/qVEFhyoGXCAIlTNZL2MC1-XcTj_t4x2FA/s1600/Huldah.jpg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Cd_SfGKkS-c/VWkQBG0GziI/AAAAAAAAiro/CK8oJ-UpA_o/s1600/Huldah.jpg
http://treasureboxmy.blogspot.sg/2015/05/bible-people-huldah.html



Noadiah (Nehemiah 6:14)
PHOTO: Noadiah (Nehemiah 6:14)
Noadiah, the False Prophet?
Nehemiah implied that Noadiah was a false prophet and said that, along with the other prophets, she intimidated him.
Name MeaningOne to whom the Lord revealed Himself
Here we have a female character who contradicted the name she bore. She was a false prophetess, and stands over against Hulda who was a divinely inspired, true prophetess. Noadiah was an exceptional woman but most dangerous in her influence. She substituted the pseudo-ecstasy of her own feelings for the Spirit’s direction through the Word of God. Noadiah is conspicuous as a companion, and possibly inspirer, of Sanballat and Tobiah in their opposition to Nehemiah whom they tried to terrorize. But the reformer never tried to debate and argue with the satanically-inspired woman and her evil-minded friends. He simply prayed, “My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat ... and on the prophetess Noadiah ... who would put me in fear.” Prayer was answered. Noadiah’s wiles were thwarted and Nehemiah finished the work of restoration.
Noadiah is also the name of a Levite in the time of Ezra (Ezra 8:33). [2]
Texts posted by Zondervan, https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/Noadiah
Picture posted by Robin Cohn on 20 September 2010
 

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eH4i49a0Vjg/VvpzY89gRAI/AAAAAAAAjbI/SvnYvNGqcRQ26W990Enn_njAjgcYmccEA/s1600/Noadiah.jpg
http://robincohn.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Noadiah.jpg
http://robincohn.net/noadiah-the-lost-prophetess/



Isaiah's unnamed wife, a prophetess (Isaiah 8:3) and son Maher-shalal-hash-baz
PHOTO: Isaiah's unnamed wife, a prophetess (Isaiah 8:3) and son Maher-shalal-hash-baz
Picture posted by Crazy Cothrans on Tuesday, 6 December 2011
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http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-v9TJUh-0GOE/TtkHDescwBI/AAAAAAAABPw/911kuGjXO5k/s1600/be-it-unto-me-lemon-swindle.jpg
http://crazycothrans.blogspot.sg/2011/12/isaiah-chapter-8-poetic-parallelism.html



Deborah was a Judge (leader) in Israel. The people came to her to have their disputes settled (
Judges 4:4). This again shows the status, wisdom and respect she commanded in the community. Although we know little about her husband, we are told she was married. Marriage was never designed to be a hindrance to woman but rather a blessing.


Deborah and Barak
PHOTO: Deborah and Barak
Deborah was a prophet, a leader (otherwise known as a Judge) in Israel as well as the wife of Lappidoth. Barak was a commander of the army.
Printing by Anne Yvonne Gilbert
Picture posted by nevsepic.com.ua on 30 June 2015

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http://cp15.nevsepic.com.ua/248cp15/24776/1430519739-065.jpg
http://nevsepic.com.ua/art-i-risovanaya-grafika/page,3,24776-illyustrator-anne-yvonne-gilbert-92-foto.html



Israel's deliverance from the oppression of the Canaanites began when Deborah summoned Barak. Speaking as a prophet, she told him to assemble 10,000 troops from some of the tribes of Israel. She prophesied that Sisera would come and attack barak and his army and that Sisera would be defeated.



Deborah encouraged Barak to stand up as a deliverer of God’s people
PHOTO: Deborah encouraged Barak to stand up as a deliverer of God’s people
Picture posted by Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania on August 2015
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https://assetsnffrgf-a.akamaihd.net/assets/m/w15/20150801/w15_20150801.art/2015566_univ_cnt_2_xl.jpg
https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/wp20150801/deborah-mother-in-israel/



In the natural it would have been a stupid thing for Barak to do. Firstly, Barak's fighters were not professional soldiers. They were simple tribesmen. Secondly, Sisera, as we have already mentioned, had a well equipped army with iron chariots. It all sounded like a suicide mission for Barak.

It is not surprising then that Barak insisted that Deborah come along with him (Judges 4:8-10). Her presence would encourage the hastily picked troops he was to assemble. Even he knew that confidence and faith in God's promise is vital for victory.



Barak's fighters were not professional soldiers.
PHOTO: Barak's fighters were not professional soldiers. They were simple tribesmen. Secondly, Sisera had a well equipped army with iron chariots. It all sounded like a suicide mission for Barak.
It is not surprising then that Barak insisted that Deborah come along with him (Judges 4:8-10).
Picture post by Admin on Apr 7, 2013 at 3:15am
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http://i.cubeupload.com/zirhFJ.jpg
http://jwitness-forum.proboards.com/thread/608/barak



Deborah did not allow the fact that she was a woman living in a patriarchy hinder her ministry. She was the first (and only) woman Judge of Israel. Despite the fact that she lived in a time when men seemed to dominate everything she did not allow this to hinder her.

Although Deborah did not lack confidence nor did she allow pride to taint her. In the heat of the battle she clearly identified that 'Does not the Lord go out before you?” (Judges 4:14)' She never got carried away with her own significance. It is a godly attitude that promotes a person. People will respect and heed to your ministry once they see the love and character of God flowing out from you. Women of God please take note.



Deborah did not lack confidence but she did not allow pride to taint her
PHOTO: Deborah did not lack confidence but she did not allow pride to taint her
In the heat of the battle she clearly identified that 'Does not the Lord go out before you?” (
Judges 4:14)'. She never got carried away with her own significance. It is a godly attitude that promotes a person. People will respect and heed to your ministry once they see the love and character of God flowing out from you.
Picture posted by Ardis E. Parshall on 1 April 2010 at 06:30 am
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4ITsvw1wRMY/VvpzX8OiEHI/AAAAAAAAjbA/mpUkS3BaU6MOSl3rYPZOoEdKUdp0_Lguw/s1600/DeborahandBarak.jpg
http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q258/ParshallAE/DeborahandBarak.jpg
http://www.nothingwavering.org/2010/01/04/17454-before-the-gospel-art-kit-ii-old-testament-story-challenge.html



Once the fighting starts Deborah is no longer in the picture. Rather another woman called Jael comes on the scene.



As Deborah foretold, God fought for his people, defeating Sisera’s forces
PHOTO: As Deborah foretold, God fought for his people, defeating Sisera’s forces
Sisera fled on foot to find protection in Jael's tent.

Picture posted by Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania on August 2015
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https://assetsnffrgf-a.akamaihd.net/assets/m/w15/20150801/w15_20150801.art/2015566_univ_cnt_3_xl.jpg
https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/wp20150801/deborah-mother-in-israel/



Jael
Although Barak won the battle with Sisera, as Deborah had prophesised, he did not kill Sisera (Judges 4:9-10).

That task was handed over to another woman called Jael (Judges 4:17-24).



Although Barak won the battle with Sisera, as Deborah had prophesised, he did not kill Sisera
PHOTO: Although Barak won the battle with Sisera, as Deborah had prophesised, he did not kill Sisera (Judges 4:9-10). That task was handed over to another woman called Jael (Judges 4:17-24). Jael means mountain goat.
Indeed Jael was a free ranger.
Printing by Salomon de Bray - Jael, Deborah and Barak (1635)
Picture posted by Joe Heschmeyer on  4 April 2012

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http://shamelesspopery.com/media/2012/04/Salomon_de_Bray_-_Jael-_Deborah_and_Barak_-_WGA03141.jpg
http://shamelesspopery.com/women-of-the-bible-and-holy-week/



Jael means mountain goat. Indeed Jael was a free ranger.

Jael is an intriguing character. She was the wife of Heber the Kenite. The Kenites were the descendants of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses. They had made peace with Jabin, the King of the Canaanites (Judges 4:17-18). Sisera in fleeing Barak rightly thought he could find protection in Jael's tent. She ended up killing him (
Judges 4:17-24).


Sisera killed by Jael in her tent
PHOTO: Sisera killed by Jael in her tent, in the plain of Zaanaim near Kedesh. Jael spouse's was Heber the Kenite.
Printing by Jacopo Amigoni - Jael and Sisera, 1739
Picture from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-H14tGTpeE8M/VvpzY35Hz0I/AAAAAAAAjbM/MDfHV80lSYsU-TgWucnoEBJ7cpgMZwUeA/s1600/Jacopo_Amigoni_002.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/38/Jacopo_Amigoni_002.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jael



Deborah's reign brought forty years of peace to Israel (Judges 5:31). Forty years is a long time. A whole generation had peace because of the godly behaviour of one woman.

Posted by Dele Oke on 31 July 2013

 
Deborah in the Bible, God is our Might and Strength
PHOTO: Deborah in the Bible, God is our Might and Strength [1]
What a Mighty God we have. This God of Israel is the same God yesterday, today and forever. Pray to God that you would have the complete faith and trust in God as evidenced by Deborah in the Bible.

Sometimes we seem to distance ourselves from the Old Testament Bible and Deborah in thinking that somehow God works differently in our modern culture. What a tool of Satan, to try to discredit and destroy our faith! God is God; He never changes. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Paul tells us that God said to him, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Paul then, concludes with these words, For when I am weak, then I am strong.

That is God’s message to us. We do not have to first become strong to work for God. Just as God gave a great victory for the Israelites through the hands of Deborah in the Bible and Jael, the Kenite. He will give that same victory to us in the battles we face each day. It is never by our strength that we overcome the hurdles of life, but only God’s strength as He works through us. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

As you go about your duties today, think of Deborah. Go out today and be strong for God!
God bless you, LC [1]
Picture posted by Amazon.com, Inc - Women of the Bible: Deborah's Story: A Novel Kindle Edition by Ann Burton
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http://www.amazon.com/Women-Bible-Deborahs-Story-Novel-ebook/dp/B000OCXG1O




Reference
[1] Deborah in the Bible, Linda, devotional-reflections-from-the-bible.com, Member of 5 Pillar Club, Croft nterprises, http://www.devotional-reflections-from-the-bible.com/DeborahintheBible.html

[2] Noadiah, Posted by Zondervan, Scripture Reference - Nehemiah 6:14, https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/Noadiah

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2 Corinthians 12:9-10 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+12%3A9-10&version=NIV

2 Kings 22:14 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Kings+22%3A14&version=NIV

2 Kings 22:16-17 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Kings+22%3A16-17&version=NIV

Deuteronomy 18:15-22 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+18%3A15-22&version=NIV

Ezra 8:33 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezra+8%3A33&version=NIV

Exodus 15:20 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+15%3A20&version=NIV

Isaiah 8:3 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+8%3A3&version=NIV

Judges 3 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+3&version=NIV

Judges 4:4 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+4%3A4&version=NIV

Judges 4:8-10 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+4%3A8-10&version=NIV

Judges 4:9-10 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+4%3A9-10&version=NIV

Judges 4:14 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+4%3A14&version=NIV

Judges 4:17-18 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+4%3A17-18&version=NIV

Judges 4:17-24 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+4%3A17-24&version=NIV

Judges 5:31 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+5%3A31&version=NIV
Judges 21:25 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+21%3A25&version=NIV

Nehemiah 6:14 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nehemiah+6%3A14&version=NIV