The Tri­umph of Deborah

Eva Etzioni-Halevy
  • Review
By – January 30, 2012

In this imag­i­na­tive re-telling of the bib­li­cal sto­ry of Deb­o­rah, Etzioni-Halevy makes the prophet­ess’ strug­gles between fem­i­nin­i­ty and trib­al lead­er­ship come alive, from the dis­con­tent in Deborah’s mar­riage to her expe­ri­ences with Barak, the hand­some Israelite mil­i­tary leader who waged war against the Canaan­ites. But, writ­ing in sharp con­trast to Deborah’s expe­ri­ences, Etzioni-Halevy weaves in the sto­ry of anoth­er woman, an Israelite slave who is also the daugh­ter of the Canaan­ite king. The two tales inter­min­gle to cre­ate an inspired nar­ra­tive that brings the bib­li­cal sto­ry to its full color. 

The author’s third book on bib­li­cal women, this engag­ing nov­el is appro­pri­ate for read­ers of many inter­ests. Cer­tain­ly those inter­est­ed in the bib­li­cal peri­od will enjoy the descrip­tions of Deborah’s judg­ing, while those more inter­est­ed in gen­der stud­ies will find the tales of her lead­er­ship intrigu­ing and insight­ful. His­tor­i­cal note.

Rachel Sara Rosen­thal is an envi­ron­men­tal attor­ney in Wash­ing­ton, DC. Orig­i­nal­ly from Greens­boro, North Car­oli­na, she grad­u­at­ed from Duke Uni­ver­si­ty in 2003 and Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty School of Law in 2006.

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