Women in Biblical Tradition
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Kathryn Smith
February 21, 2003
"Women at War"

I.   The Book of Judges
A.   Written as a condemnation of the current leadership structure - they wanted a king
B.   Gideon and Deborah are painted in a positive light, within a negative form of government
C.   There is no criticism of Deborah in the book of Judges
II.   Deborah - a Judge among Judges
A.   Judicating (bringing justice) of the entire political life of the community
B.   Roles Deborah takes on: Judge, prophet, religious leader, military strategist, and poet
C.   High priest is alive, but absent in the story
1.   From the Mosaic tradition looking forward, the High Priest was suppose to take on a good majority of the roles Deborah takes on
2.   The question is why didn't the high priest take on this role
D.   Deborah praises Jael
III.   Pseduo-Philo on Deborah and Jael
A.   Biblical Antiquites, ca. 135-100 BC
B.   Hellenistic book that was added on to the end of Philo but that was not really written by Philo
C.   Sub-Genre: Biblical retelling; Genre: Pseudopigraphal
1.   Popular in the time period of 1-2 BC
2.   Comparing their story to the actual story shows the mindset of the people today; not going to show actually what happened in Deborah's time
3.   The feeling towards gender is all over the map
D.   Makes Deborah a feminine counterpart to Moses
E.   Treats Jael as example of Israel among the nations
1.   She is the hero
2.   But the people experience it as if their own hopes and dreams are made real