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The Book of Judges II

Ehud was already gone by when Eglon’s assistants reached their king. They were too slow to return and when they found the doors locked, they assumed their king was going to the bathroom. They allowed more time to pass, and when the door was finally unlocked, they found their king was dead. In this article, you will encounter the tale of Judges Deborah and Barak, and what their impact on the people was.

Ehud fled to the town of Seriah in Ephraim, where he sounded the shofar and called the Israelite tribes to gather, where they invaded Moab and killed about 10,000 Moabite soldiers. The death of Eglon brought peace to the land that lasted for 80 years. (3:11-29)

Deborah

Deborah is a prophetess that appears as the fourth Judge of the Book of Judges. She represents the only female judge that emerges in the history of Israel. It was she who led a triumphant counterattack against the forces of Jabin, who was the king of Canaan. Her story unfolds between the pages of the fourth and fifth chapters of the Book. In the Old Testament, Deborah is considered one of the most heroic of women. Not only was she a prophet, but she was also a wife, counselor and warrior.

In chapter five, you will find a passage often referred to as the ‘Song of Deborah.’ The text is believed to date back as early as the 12th century BCE. Some say it is the earliest example of Hebrew poetry. Others become interested in the words because it serves as one of the oldest passages that show women that fight. The wife of a tent maker (Jael) kills Sisera (a military captain) by driving a tent peg through his temple while he lay asleep. Deborah and Jael are depicted as strong, independent females.

Barak plays an important role in chapters four and five because he is the military general that commands the army of Deborah. Together, they are given credit for defeating the Canaanite armies, who had been responsible for oppressing the Israelites for 20 years. Chapter four of their story is written as prose, while chapter five is presented as poetry. After the battle and death of King Jabin, peace in Israel lasts for 40 years.

Gideon

With a name that translates into ‘destroyer,’ ‘mighty warrior,’ and ‘feller of trees,’ Gideon served as a Judge of the Hebrews. In the Book of Judges, his story is told in chapters six to eight in the Hebrew Bible.

In the next installment of The Book of Judges articles, you will learn more about Gideon, as well as Jephthah, who watched over Israel for six years.