Deborah And Jael Analysis

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Two Women, Too Many Different Interpretations The Bible is over 3000 years old, but yet it is still analyzed and used as a resource to justify ones actions or beliefs. The two women, Deborah and Jael from Judges 4-5, are often praised for their bravery or scrutinized for being a temptress. Whatever the truth is, these two women have influenced an abundance of lives during their lives and even after. Looking into what the Bible says about them, a feminist interpretations, several rabbis’ view on the topic, and some artwork that portray Deborah and Jael that will help provide a clearer truth on the matter. Deborah and Jael are two women that have had their roles analyzed and interpreted repeatedly even though they only appear in the Bible …show more content…
Newsom, Sharon H. Ringe, and Jacqueline E. Lapsley provide a whole book with womanist views. The two women earn themselves several pages which are written by Anne W. Stewart, who is highly educated on the topic. Deborah is portrayed as a counterpart to Moses because an angel tells the Israelites that a woman will rule over and enlighten them for 40 years, a theory brought up by a man named Pseudo-Philo. For some, it is hard to accept Deborah as a leader because she is a woman. Deborah as a prophet and judge are expanded because, “she possesses the ability to read the stars and determine when the stars’ alignment would be favorable to Israel in battle…Deborah is the one who directs the forces” (Stewart 128). She is a talented leader to ensure her side whens and bloodshed is too a minimum. Deborah even puts Barak back into his place when he implies that he has authority over her, she proves that she is worthy of her position: “You resign to a woman a rank that God has bestowed on you! But I do not decline it” (Stewart 128). Deborah is a combination of things from a womanist view of her. Deborah’s story is used to encourage future women that they can be leaders like men. Widows don’t need to feel at a disadvantage because of gender, they are strong. “It is not sex, but valour which makes strong” (Bishop Ambrose). She is a mix of masculine authority and feminine charm, the ideal woman and an inspiration. Jael plays a different …show more content…
However, Joy A. Schroeder, in her article “Judging Deborah: The Prophetess and Gender Debates through the Centuries” includes opinions from various men that find flaws in Deborah and Jael. In Rabbinic literature tend to “acknowledge Deborah’s assertive and commanding role, particulary as she summoned Barak, but several of the sages criticized her as unpleasant, haughty, and ‘waspish’” (Schroeder). Men of Jewish and fundamentalist minister backgrounds tend to disregard these two women as heroes and bash their roles in the Bible. They tend to question their roles and degrade women, not just these two influential examples. It is hard for them to accept women having any leadership position or deceiving men for a just cause. There is a deep belief that Deborah and Jael were not “domestic” enough. Clovis G. Chappell, a male Methodist minister, states
I have an idea that [Deborah] was not highly successful as a home-maker. Perhaps in spite of her greatness she was not quite great enough to succeed fully in two careers. Few women are…I have known a few very able women to get so interested in outside duties that their homes all but tumbled into ruins