According to narrations from the book of judges, chapters 4 and 5; Deborah was an Israelite prophet, Judge, military leader and songwriter.
According to judge 4:5 Deborah “used to sit under the palm tree…and the sons of Israel came up to her for judgment”
She was married to Lappidoth and they both lived in Ephraim.
Deborah lived at the time when Israel suffered from economic hardship owing to oppression from the Canaanite ruler called of Jabin.
Jabin resided in Hazor and had a brutal army general called Sisera.
Sisera was known to exhibit great military prowess with some 900 iron chariots under his command (a weapon of mass destruction at the time)
After about 20 years of suffering, Deborah was asked by the Lord to summon Barak from Kadesh in Naphtali; she tells him the Lord commands him to position himself at Mount Tabor and bring in 10,000 from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulon.
Barak who developed cold feet on the news of him having to face the most brutal army of their time asked Deborah to join them at the battle ground. Deborah agreed but prophesied that the glory of the battle would go to a woman if she does.
Barak and his men stationed at Mount Tabor as directed, a move that got Sisera and his men ready for battle. Sisera rode his 900 iron chariots to the battle ground but as the Lord would have it, there was a heavy downpour which rendered the chariots useless.
On learning how defeated the battle was for him and his men, Sisera fleed pursued by Barak, he ran into Jael’s Hut exhausted.
Jael was the wife of Heber of Kenan. The kenanites were at peace with Canaan.
Jael served Sisera with food and milked which she drugged. He fell asleep and she hammered a peg into his head.
Barak who was in pursuit of Sisera came in to meet the dead Sisters, the glory of the war had gone to a woman.
The battle was over, the next 40 years of Deborah’s rule was peaceful and she wrote songs depicting the war and the aftermath of the war.
In her songs, she imagined Sisera’s mother waiting anxiously at a latticed window for her son’s return and nearby ladies-in-waiting who speculate that the victorious Canaanites are delayed because they’re busy dividing the spoils of war and enjoying the women they’ve conquered.
Deborah was a woman prophet, judge, warrior and songwriter who was loved and respected by the people of Israel.