In the days of old, women are usually looked down upon by men and are often treated not much better than servants. However this has never been the case in the Jewish family. A Jewish woman is considered the foundation of the home due to the many duties she has in keeping a kosher home and bringing up the children in the Jewish way of life. Jewish people are proud not only of the mothers, but of the fact that there have been seven women prophetesses who played an important part in shaping the history of the Jewish people. One of these seven prophetesses was Deborah.
Deborah lived in the period of the Judges, and she was the only judge in her time. This was during the time when the Jewish people had yet to become united by one king. During this time the twelve tribes of Israel lived more independently in their own part of the country. This caused controversies because the Jewish people began to abandoned the ways of the Torah and started to imitate the ways of their neighbours. G-d sent Deborah to them after they were oppressed by the Canaanite King Jabin who did everything possible to make the lives of the Jewish people unbearable.
There was once a wise and G‑d-fearing woman named Deborah who, in the time of sin and idolatry, still remained loyal to Judaism unlike her neighbours. She and her husband Lapidoth, lived in the mountain of Ephraim. Deborah would sit under a palm tree and speak to the people with wisdom and encouragement. During this difficult time of oppression her words lifted them out of their despair. G‑d told Deborah to free her people from the oppression from the cruel Jabin. So she then called Barak; the son of Abinoam, and asked him lead the Jewish army to victory against the Canaanites. Barak agreed only if Deborah would accompany the Jewish army into battle with the power of G-d.
Meanwhile, Sisera the commander learned of the battle being planned against his Canaanite army. He brought out his iron chariots and soldiers in preparation, confident that he would be able to win against the Jewish army.
At the start of the battle things were leaning towards the mighty Canaanites, but suddenly Sisera’s army fled in terror in all directions. Sisera was unable to regain control of his demoralized army and fled to a the house of Heber the Kenite, who was a descendant of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses where he was to hide until it was to be safe. Heber was friendly with Jabin, king of Hazor, and Sisera felt safe in hiding there. But he did not know Jael, the wife of Heber, who didn’t approve of the way he treated the Jews. She decided to punish him for his sins. She tiptoed into the his room, she approached him and, with all her strength she drove a nail through his temple.
Barak approached as he was looking for Sisera, where he met Jael. She said she will show him the man he is looking for and led him into the house to show him the dead body of the oppressor of the Jews.
After the victory of the Israelites the Jews were able to live peacefully. Deborah composed al poem about the battle that is still sung today and is considered second only to the song of Moses. For twenty years the Jews continued to live in peace under the rule of Deborah and Barak. This shows what a amazing woman Deborah must have been to command so much respect and admiration.
To compare the judge Samson to Deborah is very difficult because they are very different people. Samson is a devoted Nazir and always works alone and doesn’t depend on other people. Deborah on the other hand as a women needed to depend on other men to fight for her like Barak. As well Samson Is described to have amazing strength and Deborah isn’t described as strong, but as very smart and a good leader. Samson fought many battles and he never was fully victorious. The one battle that Deborah was apart of she was victorious and led the Jewish people to victory. Samson has a weakness to women and Deborah never is described to have any weaknesses besides her gender. Samson has been a Nazir since birth and has alway been in contact with G-d. However there is no word about Deborah until later in her life when G-d called upon her to answer the Jews cries.