Deborah


Deborah
/deb"euhr euh, deb"reuh/, n.
1. a prophetess and judge of Israel. Judges 4, 5.
2. Also, Debora. a female given name: from a Hebrew word meaning "bee."

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flourished 12th century BC

Prophet and heroine of the Hebrew scriptures.

Her story is told in the book of Judges. With her general, Barak, she is credited with defeating the Canaanite armies led by Sisera. The Israelite victory over the Canaanites, which was aided by a thunderstorm that Israel saw as the coming of God from Mount Sinai, was celebrated in the "Song of Deborah" (Judges 5), possibly the earliest portion of the Bible.

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▪ biblical figure
also spelled  Debbora,  

      prophet and heroine in the Old Testament (Judg. 4 and 5), who inspired the Israelites to a mighty victory over their Canaanite oppressors (the people who lived in the Promised Land, later Palestine, that Moses spoke of before its conquest by the Israelites); the “Song of Deborah” (Judg. 5), putatively composed by her, is perhaps the oldest section of the Bible and is of great importance for providing a contemporary glimpse of Israelite civilization in the 12th century BC. According to rabbinic tradition, she was a keeper of tabernacle lamps.

      The two narratives of her exploit, the prose account in Judg. 4 (evidently written after Judg. 5) and the martial poem comprising Judg. 5 (a lyric outburst showing a high standard of poetic skill in ancient Israel), differ in some important details. The most obvious discrepancy is in the identity of the chief foe of the Israelites. Judg. 4 makes the chief enemy Jabin, king of Hazor (present Tell el-Qedah, about three miles southwest of ula Basin), though a prominent part is played by his commander in chief, Sisera of Harosheth-ha-goiim (possibly Tell el-ʿAmr, approximately 12 miles [19 kilometres] northwest of Megiddo). In the poem Jabin does not appear, and Sisera is an independent king of Canaan. Other important contradictions include the action sites (Mount Tabor in Judg. 4 is not found in Judg. 5, for example); which Israelite tribes joined Deborah and her chief commander, the Naphtalite Barak (only Zebulun and Naphtali in Judg. 4, additional tribes in Judg. 5); and the manner of Sisera's death (in Judg. 4 he is murdered in his sleep, in Judg. 5 he is struck down from behind while drinking a bowl of milk).

      Assuming that the account preserved in Judg. 5 is the older (probably written in 1125 BC), the reader can reconstruct the actual history of the events. Israel holds the wilder parts of the country, the hills and the forests, but the Israelite settlements in the central range are cut off from those in the northern hills by a chain of Canaanite (or possibly Egyptian) fortresses down the Plain of Esdraelon (between Galilee and Samaria). At the instigation of Deborah, a charismatic counselor (or judge) and prophet (she predicts that the glory of war will fall to a woman, which it does—to Jael), Barak gathers the tribes of Ephraim, Benjamin, Machir (Manasseh), Zebulun, Issachar, and his own tribe of Naphtali. Asher, Dan, Gilead (Gad), and Reuben remain aloof. Judah and Simeon are not mentioned (attesting to the antiquity of the poem). The Israelite clans fall on the enemy at Taanach; a thunderstorm, in which Israel sees the coming of God from Mount Sinai, strikes terror into the Canaanites; their fabled 900 chariots of iron are useless on the sodden ground; and the Kishon River, swollen by torrential rains, sweeps away the fugitives. Sisera escapes on foot, pursued by Barak, taking refuge in the tent of Heber the Kenite (the Kenites, a nomadic tribe, were supposedly at peace with Canaan); he is offered protection by Heber's wife, Jael; as he drinks a bowl of milk, she pierces his head with a tent peg and kills him (thus fulfilling Deborah's prophecy).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • DEBORAH — (Heb. דְבוֹרָה; bee ), wife of Lappidoth; judge and prophet during the period of the judges . Deborah promoted the war of liberation from the oppression of jabin king of Canaan (Judg. ch. 4). She is cited as the primary author of the Song of… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Deborah — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Deborah puede hacer referencia a: Deborah Harry, Debbie Harry, cantante y actriz estadounidense. Grupo Blondie; Deborah Kerr, actriz británica; nombre hebreo que significa: laboriosa como una abeja Obtenido de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Deborah — Deborah. Ost, in den Zeiten des tiefsten Verfalls der Völker, wo selbst der Muth des Helden verzweifelnd gebeugt ist unter das Joch des Unglücks und der Drangsale, oft dann waren es Frauen, die den Völkern Leben und Thatkraft einhauchten, und wie …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Deborah — [deb′ə rə, deb′rə] n. [Heb debōrāh, lit., a bee] 1. a feminine name: dim. Debbie, Debby; var. Debra 2. Bible a prophetess and one of the judges of Israel: Judg. 4 & 5 …   English World dictionary

  • Debōrah — Debōrah, Frau des Lapidoth, Prophetin u. um 1250 v. Chr. angesehene Richterin auf dem Gebirge Ephraim in Israel. Mit ihr griff Barak den Sissera, Feldherrn des Jabin, an u. schlug denselben am Thabor (s. Hebräer). Sie sang mit Barak nach dem Sieg …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Debōrah — (hebr., »Biene«), israelit. Prophetin auf dem Gebirge Ephraim, Richterin und Heldin, Frau des Lappidoth, warf im Verein mit Barak, dem Sohn Abinoams, das bereits 20 Jahre schwer auf Israel lastende Joch des kanaanitischen Königs Jabin von Hazor… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Deborah — f Jewish and English: biblical name (meaning ‘bee’ in Hebrew) borne by the nurse of Rebecca (Genesis 35: 8) and by a woman judge and prophet (Judges 4–5), who led the Israelites to victory over the Canaanites. The name has always been popular… …   First names dictionary

  • Déborah — (XIIe s. av. J. C.), prophétesse et juge d Israël; auteur d un cantique qui célèbre la victoire des Israélites sur les Cananéens (V. Bible, Juges) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Deborah — prophetess and judge in the O.T., in Heb., lit. bee (thus the name is the same as MELISSA (Cf. Melissa)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Deborah — For other uses, see Deborah (disambiguation). Deborah Deborah in Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum Born c. 1200 BCE Died c. 1124 (aged 75) or 1067 BCE …   Wikipedia

  • Deborah — Dieser Artikel befasst sich mit dem weiblichen Vornamen Debora/Deborah. Für weitere Bedeutungen siehe Deborah (Begriffsklärung). Debora/Deborah ist ein weiblicher Vorname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung des Namens 2 Namenstag 3… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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