Study Guide

Book of Judges The Song of Deborah

The Song of Deborah

Lest we think that Judges is nothing but murder, rape, and deception, this chapter gives us 29 verses of sweet, sweet harmony recounting the events of chapter 4 in the form of a hymn. Barak sang bass, Deborah sang tenor (we would imagine). Chapter 5 is often known as the Song of Deborah, and it's significant for more than just its catchy lyrics. This passage is one of the oldest in the entire Bible (source) and the only portion of Judges thought to possibly have been written during the actual time of the judges (source). Maybe even more interestingly, its attention to the thoughts and actions of women open up the possibility that a woman actually wrote it, which would make it one of the only parts of the Bible with a female author (source). Even if a man wrote it, it's notable for including glowing tributes to both Deborah and Jael as model Israelite women—even if they do go sort of mean-girls on Sisera's mom toward the end there (5:28-30).

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