Evaluation of characters and their development across the story

Evaluation of characters and their development across the story


  • Deborah is portrayed as a prophetess and judge, indicating her spiritual and legal authority in Israel.
  • She is one of only a few women leaders mentioned in ancient Israel, suggesting her exceptional character.
  • Her prophetic gift is evident when she foresees the outcome of the war against the Canaanites and predicts Sisera’s death at the hands of a woman.
  • Throughout the narrative, Deborah’s wisdom, courage, and leadership skills are highlighted. She advises Barak, delivering God’s command to him, and accompanies him to the battle, providing moral support.
  • Her ability to rally the tribes of Israel and her poetic prowess demonstrated in the Song of Deborah distinguish her as a charismatic leader.


  • Barak is presented as a military leader who shows initial hesitance in executing God’s command.
  • His request for Deborah’s presence in battle could be interpreted as a sign of dependence or an acknowledgment of Deborah’s prophetic authority.
  • After the victory over the Canaanites, Barak exhibits loyalty by chasing down the enemy to complete the victory.
  • His humility and recognition of Deborah’s leadership is seen in the song of Deborah where he’s not portrayed as Israel’s sole saviour.


  • Sisera, the Canaanite general, is illustrated as a formidable opponent with a superior military force.
  • His ultimate defeat is a significant part of the narrative, illustrating the theme of divine intervention in favor of Israel.
  • Sisera’s death at the hands of a woman, Jael, undermines his powerful image and signifies the unexpected ways of divine justice.


  • Jael is a non-Israelite woman who plays a pivotal role in the narrative by killing Sisera.
  • She exhibits courage and decisiveness, demonstrating that significant contributions can come from unlikely sources.
  • Through hospitality then betrayal, Jael embodies a complex character. Her actions can be viewed as both heroic and disturbing.
  • Jael’s unexpected role in Sisera’s death reinforces the theme of divine orchestration in the narrative.