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The Untold Story of the Kingdom of Judah

(D2) The Untold Story about Deborah, Barak, and Jael’s Victory

Prof. Oded Lipschits

chapter 4 in the Book of Judges describes the miraculous victory of Deborah, Barak and Yael over Jabin, the king of Canaan, and Sisera, the commander of his army at Harosheth Haggoyim (חֲרֹ֥שֶׁת־הַגּוֹיִֽם; Harosheth of the Nations). This story is special not only in its content and because of the female characters who play a lead role in it, but also because it is followed, in Chapter 5, by the Song of Deborah, which is based on the events of that battle itself. Here, I argue that the story in Chapter 4 was written based on an interpretation of the poetry in Chapter 5. If this is indeed true regarding the story of the war near the Kishon Stream, it reveals how the original story was formed; and that is of particular importance because this story was later incorporated into the Book of the Saviors and thereby reached the Deuteronomistic editors, who “Judahized” it and integrated it into the broader framework of the Book of Judges.

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