Deborah – Only Female Judge of Israel


Deborah is one of the most influential women of the Bible.  She is known for her wisdom and courage and is the only woman of the Old Testament who is known for her own faith and action, not because of her relationship to her husband or another man.

Wise leaders are rare. They accomplish great amounts of work without direct involvement because they know how to work through other people. They are able to see the big picture that often escapes those directly involved, so they make good mediators, advisors, and planners. Deborah fits this description perfectly. She had all these leadership skills, and she had a remarkable relationship with God. The insight and confidence God gave this woman placed her in a unique position in the Old Testament. Deborah is among the outstanding women of history.

Her story shows that she was not power-hungry. She wanted to serve God. Whenever praise came her way, she gave God the credit. She didn’t deny or resist her position in the culture as a woman and wife, but she never allowed herself to be hindered by it either. Her story shows that God can accomplish great things through people who are willing to be led by him.

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Deborah’s life challenges us in several ways. She reminds us of the need to be available both to God and to others. She encourages us to spend our efforts on what we can do rather than worrying about what we can’t do. Deborah challenges us to be wise leaders. She demonstrates what a person can accomplish when God is in control.

Strengths and Accomplishments

  • Fourth and only female judge of Israel
  • Special abilities as a mediator, advisor, and counselor
  • When called on to lead, was able to plan, direct, and delegate
  • Known for her prophetic power
  • A writer of songs

Lessons From Her Life

  • God chooses leaders by his standards, not ours
  • Wise leaders choose good helpers

Vital Statistics for Deborah

  • Where: Canaan
  • Occupations: Prophetess and judge
  • Relative: Husband: Lappidoth
  • Contemporaries: Barak, Jael, Jabin of Hazor, Sisera

Key Verse for Deborah

“Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time” (Judges 4:4)

Deborah’s story is told in Judges 4, 5.

Click here to print or download the Bible character study “Deborah – Only Female Judge of Israel


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