Deborah: The Bible’s Only Female Judge

Even in ancient times, we all know that women played a vital role even in the affairs of men. In Israel, back during Biblical times, there was this figure known as Deborah.

Outside the Bible, little is known about Deborah. Even so, below are some facts about Israel’s only female judge.


1.       She lived circa 1150 BC

She succeeded the line of “judges” which started when Moses appointed certain people to preside over disputes. She was born sometime after the Hebrews entered Canaan during the period of monarchy established by King Saul.


2.       She gave judgments under a palm tree

Judges 4:4-5 tell us that she gave judgment under a palm tree located between Ramah and Bethel. There isn’t enough information on why Deborah gave her judgment beneath such tree, yet It’s known that palm trees were held with importance in Judaism.


3.       She had a strong sense of discernment

She never tried to excuse or rationalize errors as she was more concerned in correcting them. She saw that ethics and morals in Israel had been decaying and then felt the call to bring the nation to righteousness.


4.       She possessed sound wisdom

Due to her wisdom, people came to her for counsel. Many saw her for her proficient judgment and excellent sense of wit. Many adored her regardless of heritage!


5.       She was also a warrior

Through a warrior named Barak, she commissioned 10,000 troops to head to Mount Tabor to confront the general Sisera. Barak obeyed, seeing that Deborah had been a model of excellence and valor.

Even now, Deborah would have to serve as an example to many judges—especially female ones! Her wisdom and judgment should resonate in the judiciary every step of the way. Because as far as female heroines in the Old Testament go, Deborah stands out among the rest.