One of the judges in the Bible, and one of the few women of authority, was Deborah. She settled disputes for Israel beneath a palm in the hills of Ephraim. She is to be called “mother in Israel (Judges 5: 7).”
It is she who instructs Barak to raise a large army to defeat the Canaanite army of Sisera. He is reluctant to go, unless she goes with him, which she agrees to do. She also tells Barak the glory of defeating Sisera will not belong to him. This is borne out when Jael, who is not an Israelite, but the wife of a Smithy, who worked for the Canaanites, takes him into her tent where he imagines she will hide him from the Israelites. She allows him to feel secure and waits for him to go to sleep, and then she drives a tent peg through his mouth, effectively severing his spine. He probably convulsed and suffered before dying. Jael hurries out and leads the Israelites to show them their dead enemy, and is hailed as a heroine for Israel.
Danna Nolan Fewell. “Judges,” in Women’s Bible Commentary. 73-83. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. 1998.
These images of powerful Biblical women might be likened to Kali,
divine mother of Hindu tradition who wears an imposing necklace of skulls, and is fierce. Deborah is not a wimp either, and nor is Bael, who kills the Canaanite, Sisera, apparently in order to ensure her family isn’t slaughtered by the new conquerors, the Israelites. Both these Biblical women, like the goddess Kali, are wise and strong; all three are icons of women who are powerful.
Help my publishers by buying my books!
Unexpected Journey (www.roguephoenixpress.com): historical coming of age novel about a shaman, a rich girl and a street girl who end up in colonial Philadelphia.
Available in HTML, PDF, and Mobipocket directly from the publisher:
Emily’s Shadow (www.bloodmoonpublishing.com): supernatural fantasy set in Cornwall, where Merlin made magic.
Champion, the Dream Horse, about Mara Sue, who lives in Kentucky, is poor, but determined to own the horse of her dreams.