Friday, 23 November 2007

Deborah among the Judges

In the narrative of Judges, a pattern emerges. It has come to my attention that some in recent years are convinced that Deborah was not a judge. This claim is supposed to be based on a comparison of the narrative pattern. I list here, from a quick perusal, the pattern as it seems to have been based on Othniel as the paradigm and invite the reader to see whether or not Deborah fits the pattern. The pattern is listed under each judge, but coloured gray if the element is not explicit in the narrative.



Othniel
Israelites did evil
God gave them over to oppression from enemy
Israelites cried out for deliverance
He raised up a deliverer
Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel and he became a judge
Victory came
Israel had peace

Ehud
Israelites did evil
God gave them over to oppression from enemy
Israelites cried out for deliverance
He raised up a deliverer
Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel and he became a judge
Victory came
Israel had peace

Shamgar
Israelites did evil
God gave them over to oppression from enemy
Israelites cried out for deliverance
He raised up a deliverer “He too saved Israel”
Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel and he became a judge
Victory came
Israel had peace

Deborah
Israelites did evil
God gave them over to oppression from enemy
Israelites cried out for deliverance
He raised up a deliverer Deborah was judging Israel, Israel came to her for judgment
Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel and he became a judge (Deborah is already depicted as a prophet, so as to make an explicit comment redundant

Victory came
Israel had peace ; Israel grows stronger and defeats Jabin; song of celebration

Gideon: he has the fullest array of elements of any of the judges
Israelites did evil
God gave them over to oppression from enemy
Israelites cried out for deliverance
God sent a prophet; also, an angel to Gideon
He raised up a deliverer
Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel and he became a judge
Victory came
Israel had peace
Gideon gets a huge payment, etc…

Abimelech (the anti-Judge)

Tola
Israelites did evil
God gave them over to oppression from enemy
Israelites cried out for deliverance
He raised up a deliverer Tola rose to save Israel
Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel and he became a judge
Victory came
Israel had peace

Jephthah
Israelites did evil
God gave them over to oppression from enemy
Israelites cried out for deliverance
He raised up a deliverer
Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah and he became a judge
Victory came
Israel had peace

Ibzan
Israelites did evil
God gave them over to oppression from enemy
Israelites cried out for deliverance
He raised up a deliverer
Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel and he judged Israel
Victory came
Israel had peace

Elon
Israelites did evil
God gave them over to oppression from enemy
Israelites cried out for deliverance
He raised up a deliverer
Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel and he judge Israel
Victory came
Israel had peace

Abdon
Israelites did evil
God gave them over to oppression from enemy
Israelites cried out for deliverance
He raised up a deliverer
Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel and he judge Israel
Victory came
Israel had peace

Samson
Israelites did evil
God gave them over to oppression from enemy
Israelites cried out for deliverance
He raised up a deliverer
Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson (13:25); (he judged Israel 15:20)
Victory came
Israel had peace

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