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“Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment.”

–      Judges 4:4

 

This is the extent of what we know about Deborah before the battle with Sisera. Judges 5 is a poetic rewrite of Judges 4 with the added story of Sisera’s mother who waits in the window of her palace for her son to come home. The woman waiting in the window is a motif used in many writings to indicate a woman of great power. Here are two powerful women whose stories are so brief as written, but beg for a larger look at their lives. Biblical fiction is a wonderful way to flesh out their stories leading up to Judges 4 and 5. How did Deborah grow up? How did Barak grow up? Deborah was in Ephraim and Barak in Kadesh-Napthali, some sixty miles apart. How did they know each other? How did Deborah learn of scriptures and battle plans in a society where neither of these areas were open to women?