Biblical Archaeology Review 15:1, January/February 1989

The Song of Deborah—Why Some Tribes Answered the Call and Others Did Not

By Lawrence E. Stager

The Song of Deborah (Judges 5) is one of the most powerful pieces of poetry in the entire Bible. A prose version repeats the same story, with many variations, in Judges 4. The account tells of the deliverer (Judge) Deborah and her reluctant general Barak, who do battle against an alliance of Canaanite kings. The story takes place after the Exodus from Egypt and before the institution of the monarchy, during the time we call the settlement period—in Biblical terms, the period of the Judges.

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