When we're introduced to her, she's already known throughout the region. Barak has only to hear that Deborah has summoned him to drop what he's doing and come.
English translations call her the "wife of Lappidoth," but Lappidoth is not mentioned elsewhere. Careful Hebrew scholars, conservative as Matthew Henry or liberal as Tivka Frymer-Kensky, note that the form of Lappidoth's name is unusual for a man, and suggest that perhaps this is not a husband, but a quality of Deborah's:
Lapidoth signifies lamps. . . . . Or she was a woman of illuminations, or of splendours, one that was extraordinarily knowing and wise, and so came to be very eminent and illustrious.
The tree is known by its fruit.
Deborah's reputation spread. In close communion with God, she gave wise decisions as she judged Israel.
There's no way of knowing, of course, but i wonder if she began as a wise child who calmed her playmates' quarrels. If i were writing fiction, i would then marry her at a young age to a widower with unruly children nearly as old as she. Adults would then hear how well she made peace, and bring their own disputes to her.
We can't know Deborah's full story, but we write our own every day. What kind of fruit arm i known for?
|The people recognized her as a prophet, but she saw herself as a mother first.|
Deborah's story found in Judges 4&5