Deborah, the Warrior Princess
Judges 4 and 5
In a time in which it was improper for a woman to be alone in a house with a man, Deborah sat outside beneath a palm tree and judged Israel. After 20 years of oppression, it was she who summoned the military general Barak to take ten thousand soldiers and storm Mt. Tabor against their enemy Sisera. Barak answered, “If you go with me.” Deborah agreed, but told Barak he’d receive no glory. “The Lord will have Sisera fall into the power of a woman.” This prophecy would have dual meaning, for not only would Deborah be remembered as the real leader of this victory, Sisera would literally fall because of a woman. (See Jael.)
Deborah inspires us to trust our wisdom and instincts and to humbly accept the credit due us. A canticle (Judges 5) is dedicated to her bravery. Her example admonishes us to always remember and respect the power of a woman.