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Gilder in his book Men and Marriage stated one thesis on the differences
of men and women. He proposes that men are barbarians who desire to hunt, to obtain
power, and to wander. Women, on the other hand, have a maternal instinct and are
sexually superior to men in that they experience sexual love, intercourse, marriage,
child conception, childbearing and breast feeding. Gilder says that men must be
tamed and transformed by the love of a woman. If the woman gives her love away freely
to the barbarian, he will not be tamed.
Men lust, but they know not what for;
they wander, and lose track of the goal; they fight and compete, but they forget
the prize; they spread seed, but spurn the seasons of growth; they chase power and
glory, but miss the meaning of life.
In creating civilization, women transform
male lust into love; channel male wanderlust into jobs, homes, and families; link
men to specific children; rear children into citizens; change hunters into fathers;
divert male will to power into a drive to create. Women conceive the future that
men tend to flee; they feed the children that men ignore.1
view on the differences between men and women is based upon natural sexual differences
and the roles that those differences promote. He believes that the confusion of
sexual roles is causing the disintegration of our society. He continues to make
his case by pointing out the tendency to deny the different roles for the sexes
or to reverse the roles of men and women.
This is precisely what sexual liberals
advocate. They assiduously deny that women have a maternal instinct and assert women's
"right" to adopt male sexual attitudes and ape male sexual drives. At
the very same time they argue that men can find sexual fulfillment in "nurturant"
activities like child-rearing.2
believes that on a sexual level, encouraging the confusion of sexual roles is destroying
both marriage, family life, and our society. Men and women do have different sexual
roles and they also have different roles biblically as men and biblically as women.
This point, however, is being disputed. The same type of encouraged confusion
that Gilder has seen at the sexual level has entered into Biblebelieving Christianity.
The historical standards on the biblical roles of men and women derived from earlier
more accurate (I believe) interpretations of the Bible are under attack. A branch
of feminism, Evangelical feminism, has entered the church calling for "equality"
of the sexes and pushing to assert itself by blurring the distinctions that exist,
even at the basest level (as per Gilder), between the sexes. Biblical truth under
attack is nothing new. Heresies have plagued the Church since the beginning, but
the MEN of those early generations stood to the task of "hammering out"
the faith or defending it. The councils of Jerusalem (Acts 15), Nicea (A.D. 325),
Chalcedon (A.D. 451), and others saw the leadership of MEN, convinced of the faith,
step forward to do exegetical battle for the faith. What is different with this
heresy is that it is the result of men abdicating their spiritual responsibilities
and biblical headship. In the major exegetical book written to respond to Evangelical
Feminism, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, one of the editors,
John Piper, a Senior Pastor, concludes that the real root sin of this heresy is
not the woman's movement in itself, but the abdication of men from leadership.
If I were to put my finger on one devastating
sin today, it would not be the so-called women's movement, but the lack of spiritual
leadership by men at home and in the church. Satan has achieved an amazing tactical
victory by disseminating the notion that the summons for male leadership is born
of pride and fallenness, when in fact pride is precisely what prevents spiritual
leadership. The spiritual aimlessness and weakness and lethargy and loss of nerve
among men is the major issue, not the upsurge of interest in women's ministries.
Pride and self-pity and fear and laziness
and confusion are luring many men into self-protecting, self-exalting cocoons of
silence. And to the degree that this makes room for women to take more leadership
it is sometimes even endorsed as a virtue. But I believe that deep down the men
and the women-know better.3
is the issue of the abdication of men from spiritual leadership that this study
on the judgeship of Deborah addresses. Biblical manhood and womanhood are lost when
men, fail to exercise their headship and lead as well as when women seek to move
into a vacuum of authority to pursue a headship equal with men.
study presupposes the affirmations of the Danvers Statement of Faith on Biblical
Manhood and Womanhood.4
In particular its affirmations on headship are found in points 2, 3, and 5.
2. Distinctions in masculine and feminine
roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo
in every human heart.
3. Adam's headship in marriage was
established by God before the Fall, and was not a result of sin.
5. The Old Testament, as well as the
New Testament, manifests the equally high value and dignity which God attached to
the roles of both men and women. Both Old and New Testaments also affirm the principle
of male headship in the family and in the covenant community.5
the above presupposition in mind, the lives and accomplishments of Deborah, Barak,
Heber, and Jael are taken up as a commentary on the loss, for a time, of Biblical
manhood and womanhood.
takes up the history of Israel after the land was divided among the tribes as a
result of the conquests of Joshua. Each tribe was to subdue its portion of the promised
land before the Lord. The record contained in Judges shows that each tribe and the
nation as a whole would fail miserably again and again to uphold the standards and
the Laws of God that were designed to bring about victory.
the nation would turn from the Lord, His Law and Commands, the Lord would allow
for the prosperity and expansion of power of Israel's enemies that surrounded them.
They would rise up as oppressors to the Israelites. Israel would then call out to
the Lord for deliverance. The Lord would raise up a deliverer, a judge, who would
lead the nation back to their place of prominence over the enemy nations.
record given to us in Judges is an accurate account of God using persons and personages
who were available and usable at different points when most of the nation was suffering
from the effects of rebellion towards God and disobedience to His Laws and standards.
Deborah arises in the midst of such a situation. The conditions of Israel are noted
in her song as terrible. The highways are unoccupied, travelers took back ways,
and outlying villages ceased to exist because of the oppression of enemies (Judges
5:6-7). She did not live during ordinary times nor under ordinary circumstances,
yet God would use her as a women because the men had abdicated their spiritual and
The Four "Hats" of Deborah
has four specific titles and functions as wife, mother, prophetess, and judge.
Judges 4:4 Deborah, a
prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was
leading (judging) Israel at that time. (NIV)
Judges 5:7 Village life in Israel
ceased, ceased until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel.
Deborah as Wife and Mother
fulfillment of her callings as wife and mother are perfectly in keeping with some
of the highest and most blessed affirmations of womanhood.
was married and normal married life would have brought forth children. No mention
is made of any children nor of her family beyond her husband, Lappidoth. This does
not mean that children did not exist, but they are unimportant to God's purposes
in this account. Deborah does picture herself as "a mother in Israel"
to which the commentators Keil and Delitzsch say was "on account of her having
watched over her people with maternal care, just as Job calls himself a father to
the poor who had been supported by him (Job 29:16)..."6
AS Deborah would rise to the Judgeship of Israel she would rule as a mother - a proper and
wonderful fulfillment of her womanhood. The problem she would have was not her own,
but she would have "to mother" men in Israel who should have been leaders
and who would have to be encouraged and led back to their positions of leadership.
Deborah as a Prophetess
being a wife and mother, Deborah had the ministry of prophetess. The gift and ministry
of prophetess is a well documented gift and office that was given to women in both
the Old as well as the New Testament. The Scripture calls attention to both Godly
prophetesses who proclaimed according to the Word of God as well as prophetesses
who did not prophesy according to the Word of God. The prophetesses mentioned in
the Scriptures include:
sister to Moses, who is called a prophetess in Exodus 15:20 and exercised a specifically
mentioned ministry of leading the women in singing. (Exodus 15:21).
consulted during the days of Josiah, in 2 Kings 22:14-20, had a specific ministry
of individual consultation for both men and women.
was a prophetess during the period of the Judges (Judges 4-5). Information about
the exercise of her gift is mixed in with her being a judge, which shall be taken
up later. However from the information given, her gift of prophetess also involved
private consultation with the children of Israel (Judges 4:5-6).
the prophetess appears in the New Testament and also has a specific ministry attached
to her gift of "serving God with fasting and prayers" (Luke 2:36-38).
four daughters all prophesied as stated in Acts 21:9. The exercise of their
gift, in context was before Paul, and was probably under the directives given in
1 Corinthians 11:15.
Lord's directives on women prophesying as found in 1 Corinthians 11:15 allowed
for many more women to exercise this ministry, but always under the biblical restrictions
of being under the God ordained headship of the man as found in the context of 1
was a prophetess during the days of Nehemiah who was not prophesying according to
the Word of God (Nehemiah 6:14).
during the days of Ezekiel were admonished by Ezekiel for prophesying according
to their own heart and not prophesying according to the Word of God. (Ezekiel 13:17-24).
gift of prophetess is clearly taught and upheld in the Scriptures. The question
on how the gift was used is not fully understood. The conflict arises when Evangelical
feminism imposes a supposed function of the gift of prophetess over an above the
clear restrictions placed upon women to be under the Godly headship of men.7
The function of the prophetess is not necessarily the same as that of the prophet.
Weinrich, in his contribution to Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
quotes Origen from the third century to show that this was understood early in Church
Commenting on 1 Corinthians 14:34-35,
Origen (third century) criticizes the Montanist prophetesses. Apparently the Montanists
justified their prophetesses by an appeal to the four prophet daughters of Philip
and to Old Testament prophetesses. To this Origen replies: "If the daughters
of Philip prophesied, at least they did not speak in the assemblies; for we do not
find this fact in the Acts of the Apostles." Deborah, Miriam, and Huldah were
prophetesses. Yet, "there is no evidence that Deborah delivered speeches to
the people, as did Jeremias and Isaias." Miriam and Huldah also did not speak
to the people. Similarly, in the Gospel the prophetess Anna "did not speak
publicly." The apostolic statements in 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:22
correspond to the Biblical history.8
properly understood, Deborah's gift of prophetess was a woman's ministry that functioned
in harmony with God's design of male headship. The gift of prophetess was a normal
and proper biblical gift for women of the Old Testament and pre-Canon New Testament
periods to exercise. As such it would not have been exercised contrary to clear
New Testament teachings. The very fact that the Apostle Paul encourages women to
prophesy in 1 Corinthians 11:5 places women prophesying into the very context of
recognizing the headship of the man. Thomas Schreiner rightly observes this when
That women prophesied to men is clear
in the case of Deborah, other women cited above, and 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. The
last passage cited, however, is absolutely crucial for rightly understanding a woman's
relationship to man as she prophecies. What is Paul's concern in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16?
It is that women who prophesy do so with proper adornment. Why is Paul concerned
about how they are adorned? Because a woman's adornment says something about her
relationship with men (11:3-20). Indeed, .... 11:3 is the key to the passage: "Now
I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the
woman is man, and the head of Christ is God" (NIV). Thus, the reason Paul wants
women to be adorned properly is that this adornment shows that a woman is submissive
to male headship, even while prophesying. The way she is adorned indicates whether
the man is the head, i.e., the authority.
The implications for our study are
clear. Paul affirms that women can prophesy, but even in the process of prophesying
they are to do so in a manner and with a demeanor that will not violate male headship.
Paul does not place the same limits on men, and thus upholds and preserves the notion
that male leadership is God's ordained pattern in the church. Note carefully that
this does not mean that women will not prophesy in church. Paul affirms that women
have prophetic gifts, and he wants them to exercise those gifts in church, but he
does not want them to overturn male leadership.9
Deborah's gift of prophetess, when properly understood, poses no problem to biblical
womanhood nor biblical manhood. She would have functioned as a biblical prophetess
and be completely in keeping with God's standards and guidelines of biblical womanhood.
Deborah as Judge
fourth "hat" worn by Deborah is that of being "judge" in Israel.
Evangelical feminists consider Deborah particularly significant to their case because
she functioned as a judge over Israel, which included the judging of men, and she
exercised authority over the man Barak, the commander over Israelite troops.10
This fact is only part of the story. It is extremely important that the larger context and
immediate context of Deborah's judgeship be understood.
Overview of Deborah's Judgeship
believe that the context of Deborah's judgeship shows that she "arose"
as a Godly wife and prophetess to fill a vacuum of male leadership which had abdicated
its spiritual and leadership responsibilities. The men of Deborah's generation had
lost the essence of biblical manhood and would be dishonored for abdicating their
leadership positions. At the same time, Deborah and Jael would minister to a nation
to relieve its oppression and to the men who needed to be "mothered" back
to the forefront into their leadership positions.
judgeship was not normal but abnormal, yet by her attitudes and actions, Deborah
would function properly in a woman's ministry that was not in competition with,
but seeking to fill the vacuum of male leadership by helping reestablish that male
Judges, the Large Context
basic structure of Judges upholds the principle of blessing and judgment that was
summarized for Israel in Deuteronomy 28. God promised blessing for obedience and
judgment for disobedience. As Joshua would divide the land of Canaan among the twelve
tribes, each tribe was to act in obedience to the Lord and gradually subdue their
territory by obedience to the Laws of the Lord that included either evangelizing
or driving out the Canaanites.
Judges reports that the Israelites were faithful in their obedience to the Lord
(Judges 1:1-7). However, their faithfulness did not continue. One by one the tribes
of Israel progressively did not fully obey the Lord and conquer their portions of
the Land (1:18-36). The Lord's evaluation is found in Judges 2:1-5.
Judges 2:1-5 1 The angel of the
LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, "I brought you up out of Egypt
and led you into the land that I swore to give to your forefathers. I said, `I will
never break my covenant with you, 2 and you shall not make a covenant with the people
of this land, but you shall break down their altars.' Yet you have disobeyed me.
Why have you done this? 3 Now therefore I tell you that I will not drive them out
before you; they will be in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you."
4 When the angel of the LORD had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the
people wept aloud, 5 and they called that place Bokim. There they offered sacrifices
to the LORD. (NIV)
would be from this point on that the cyclical ups and downs, deliverances and oppressions
of Israel are presented. When Israel began to immerse themselves into the culture
and faiths of the Canaanites, honor other gods, and disobey God's Word, God would
send oppression and judgment. When the people cried out to the Lord in their oppression,
God would send a deliverer, a judge to lead Israel out from under the oppressors.
As God was honored and His Word obeyed, the tribes prospered, were at peace, and
were blessed by the Lord.
The Immediate Context
is the fourth judge in the presentation of the up and down cycles of Israel. Immediate
to the context of her judgeship is the failure of Israel to follow the Lord and
His Word. Sometimes the failures took the form of making covenants with the Canaanites
(which were forbidden), worshiping their gods, or intermarriage. This particular
cycle of disobedience, included the fact that the men had abdicated their spiritual
and leadership responsibilities. No mention is made of any other voices for
the Lord who are men. When it comes to military leadership, the other possible leader
mentioned, Barak, will refuse to take the leadership. Piper and Grudem agree that
Deborah's position of leadership over the men in spiritual and authoritative areas
is not normal but abnormal.
The differentiation of roles for men
and women in ministry is rooted not in women's incompetence to receive or transmit
truth, but in the primary responsibility of men in God's order to lead and teach.
The instances of women who prophesied and led do not call this order into question.
Rather, there are pointers in each case that the women followed their unusual paths
in a way that endorsed and honored the usual leadership of men, or indicted their
failures to lead.
For example, Miriam, the prophetess,
focused her ministry, as far as we can tell, on the women of Israel (Exodus 15:20).
Deborah, a prophetess, judge, and mother in Israel (Judges 4:4; 5:7), along with
Jael (Judges 5:24-27), was a living indictment of the weakness of Barak and other
men in Israel who should have been more courageous leaders (Judges 4:9). (The period
of the judges is an especially
precarious foundation for building
a vision of God's ideal for leadership. In those days God was not averse to bringing
about states of affairs that did not conform to His revealed will in order to achieve
some wise purpose [cf. Judges 14:4].)11
the context of Deborah's judgeship is a picture of biblical manhood being absent
or lost and the position that Deborah found herself filling, was not a true picture
of the sum of biblical womanhood, but rather of a faithful biblical woman who took
on the additional responsibilities of biblical manhood in the absence and abdication
of the men.12
This is not the ideal model nor example as Piper and Grudem agree.
We must also keep in mind that God's
granting power or revelation to a person is no sure sign that this person is an
ideal model for us to follow in every respect. This is evident, for example, from
the fact that some of those God blessed in the Old Testament were polygamists (e.g.
Abraham and David). Not even the gift of prophecy is proof of a person's obedience
and endorsement by God. As strange as this sounds, Matthew 7:22, 1 Corinthians 13:2,
and 1 Samuel 19:23-24 show that this is so. Moreover, in the case of each woman
referred to above we have an instance of a charismatic emergence on the scene, not
an installation to the ordinary Old Testament office of priest, which was the responsibility
Details on the Loss of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
At the point that Deborah rises to assume leadership, the men, exemplified by Barak,
who refused to accept his biblical headship, and Heber,14
a covenant maker with Jabin and husband of Jael, failed to assume their positions of biblical
manhood. The result was disobedience to the Lord and the bringing on of the oppression
of the Canaanites under Jabin.
the prophecies of Isaiah, God pronounces that one of the signs of a people under
judgment will be a reversal of roles to find women ruling over men. In Isaiah 3:1-5
the context is judgment upon God's people. In Isaiah 3:12 part of the judgment is
women ruling over the men in a reversal of roles.
Isaiah 3:11-13 Woe to the wicked!
Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. 12
Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you
astray; they turn you from the path. 13 The LORD takes his place in court; he rises
to judge the people. (NIV)
role of Deborah was not as a tool of God's judgment, but as an indictment against
the men who had lost sight of the position and responsibilities of biblical manhood.
Deborah is not pictured as having been "installed" by the Lord to her
position as a judge, but as one rising to the position. Although this is a weak
argument from silence, it is also stated by Schreiner.
It is perhaps also significant that
most of the other prominent judges in the book of Judges are explicitly said to
have been raised up by the Lord: Othniel (3:9), Ehud (3:l5), Gideon (6:l4), Jephthah
(11:29), and Samson (33:25; 14:6). But in the case of Deborah, there is no explicit
statement that the Lord raised her up: we simply read, "Now Deborah, a prophetess,
the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time" (Judges 4:4).15
herself proclaims in her song that she "arose as a mother in Israel" (Judges
5:7). In the beginning context of her song, Deborah proclaims the conditions in
Israel of abandoned roads, travel by hidden paths, and the cessation outlying villages.
Clearly, nothing was being done about it through responsible male leadership. As
a result, she would arise as a woman to fill the male position as judge in the midst
of the vacuum of power.
calling herself a "mother in Israel," it seems that she pictured her role
as a temporary leader over men - as a natural mother - to encourage them back into
their headship and leadership roles. Deborah sought to give Barak the leadership,
but he refused to take it. For his refusal to assume the responsibility and leadership
of biblical manhood, Barak was told that he would be dishonored in that Sisera would
be delivered into the hand of a woman - Jael. Schreiner calls attention to this
in his essay on women's ministries.
Deborah is a special case because she
seems to be the only judge in Judges who has no military function. The other judges
also lead Israel into victory in battle, but Deborah receives a word from the Lord
that Barak is to do this (Judges 4:6-7). Deborah is not asserting leadership for
herself; she gives priority to a man. (2) There is an implied rebuke of Barak because
he is not willing to go to battle without Deborah (Judges 4:18). Because of his
reluctance, the glory that day will go to a woman (Judges 4:9), but note that the
woman is not Deborah but Jael (Judges 4:l7ff.). In other words, Deborah did speak
the word of God, but her attitude and demeanor were such that she was not asserting
her leadership. Instead, she handed over the leadership, contrary to the pattern
of all the other judges, to a man.16
Barak abdicated his headship as a man and would not go to battle without Deborah
(Judges 4:8). As Deborah accompanied Barak to Mount Tabor, she was not competing
with him to take authority as a biblical woman over the armies of Israel, but she
encouraged him as a mother and gave him a second chance to take back his biblical
manhood and lead. Barak took this second challenge and led ten thousand Israelites
against Sisera (Judges 4:14). Having taken a first step of faith back into his biblical
manhood, God honored it by giving him victory over the king of Canaan, Jabin's armies
now functioning under his role of biblical manhood, continued in pursuit of the
scattering armies and of Sisera on foot. However, as Deborah had said, Barak would
not be honored with the victory because of his earlier refusal to assume male headship.
Sisera would be delivered into the hand of the woman Jael (Judges 4;18-22).
the battle was completed and the victory was won, both Deborah and Barak joined
in the praise Song of Judges 5. The oppressors had been defeated, the men in the
armies of Israel had participated in a military victory, and Deborah had successfully
functioned as a mother to thrust Barak back into a position where he again functioned
as head and leader in Israel.
the concluding verse on this chapter of Israel's history, Judges 5:31, it is simply
stated that the land would have rest for forty years. What is absent is whether
or not Deborah continued to exercise a role of judge for the rest of those forty
years? Based upon Judges 5:12, I choose to believe that she returned to her main
ministry as prophetess and the men, restored to their positions of biblical manhood,
returned to positions of spiritual leadership, headship, and responsibility. The
song of Deborah alludes to the difference in roles as God states (Judges 5:12)...
Judges 5:12 Awake, awake, Deborah:
awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son
took the role of leading "captivity captive," while Deborah returned to
her complimentary ministry of "doctrinal" songs as a prophetess.
Summary and Conclusion
Biblical manhood was lost because of a failure of the men to take spiritual responsibility
(Heber) and leadership responsibility (Barak). The men were in conflict with the
Lord in obedience (Barak), in serving the Lord (Heber), in conflict with themselves
(both), and in the case of Heber, in conflict with his wife Jael over serving the
Deborah did not pursue a feminist/equality expansion of her biblical womanhood,
but arose as a judge by default being found in this position and used of the Lord
due to the vacuum caused by a lack of leadership on the part of the men. In this
position Deborah took upon herself to serve not as a feminist in competition,
but as "a mother" seeking to lead immature sons (the men of Israel)
to the maturity of their headships and proper roles under biblical manhood.
Under the headship mandates of a biblical manhood, Barak would begin as a failure.
However, as he was "mothered" into decision and action by Deborah through
the proper understanding of his role and her role, Barak saw his headship, leadership,
and role in biblical manhood restored.
In this interpretation, Deborah shines as a magnificent example of how to be used
as a tool of God's judgment. Under this judgment (Isaiah 3:12), a women rose to
rule in Israel. She did not seek to pervert nor confuse the roles of biblical manhood
or womanhood as Evangelical feminism has sought to do. She simply filled the vacuum
understanding her proper role under biblical womanhood as well as the role of Godly
men. Deborah then used her position to encourage and cause a return of the men (exemplified
by Barak) to biblical manhood. In the end she was successful and God's blessing
conclusion, remember that God's order of masculine spiritual headship, leadership,
and responsibility and feminine order as "helpmeet" honoring and
affirming that leadership is God's own chosen order. Biblical manhood and
biblical womanhood can be lost when one or both sexes fail to understand, believe,
and uphold His order. The quickest way to lose it is for the men to abdicate their
responsibilities or to translate spiritual headship into some master-slave mentality.
The way to further ruination is for the women, in the midst of men's failures, to
assume and promote some form of non-biblical equality and move themselves permanently
into God ordained masculine positions.
women ruling over men is part of God's judgment (Isaiah 3:12), then the quickest
way out of that judgment is to proclaim true biblical manhood and womanhood to both
sexes and become obedient to His standards. If leadership has been placed with the
men (and it has) then it begins with the men to assume biblical leadership now!
The rest should fall into place.
George. Notes on Judges. Originally published by Newman and Ivison. New York,
1852. Minneapolis: James & Klock, 1976.
James. Judges: God's War Against Humanism. Tyler: Geneva Ministries, 1985.
C.F. and Delitzsch, F. Commentary on the Old Testament in Ten Volumes. Grand
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1968.
Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. Wheaton:
Crossway Books, 1991.
Copyright notice: The information in this paper is made available to be used and
can be used freely as long as proper credit is given as to its source.
1George Gilder, Men and Marriage, (Gretna, 1986), p. 5.
2Ibid., p. 7.
3John Piper, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, ed. John Piper and Wayne Grudem (Wheaton, 1991), p. 53.
4Danvers Statement of Faith - The Danvers Statement of Faith was composed by concerned evangelical pastors, professors, and lay people who formed the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in 1987. The statement was finalized in Danvers, Massachusetts, in December 1987. It was made public in November 1988 in Wheaton, Illinois, and published in an advertisement in Christianity Today, January 13, 1989.
5Danvers Statement, Published in Piper and Grudem, op. cit., pp. 469-472.
6C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament in Ten Volumes, (Grand Rapids, 1968), II, p.312.
7The conflict involves the Feminist idea that the female gift of "prophetess" must be in total equality with the male gift of "prophet." The issue of equality is raised above the specific biblical evidences. Any supposed equality in the prophetess having a gift to be exercised just like the gift of prophet is an arguement from silence. The Scriptures do not portray prophetesses functioning contrary to the teachings of the New Testament to pursue leadership in competition and equality with the leadership of men. In fact, the women named in the Bible as propheteses all seem to have ministries complimentary to male leadership when it existed.
8William Weinrich, Recovering op. cit., p. 275.
9Thomas Schreiner, Recovering op. cit., p. 215.
10Ibid., p. 211.
11Piper and Grudem, Recovering op. cit., p. 72.
12The fact that Deborah could and did take on the added responsibilities of male leadership, as well as the act of the woman Jael in slaying Sisera, the military leader, shows that the issue is not incompetence, inability, nor strength. Women are well able to adapt themselves to carry out male roles. The issue is one of the God ordained order of male headship. In light of the God-ordained order, God has suited each sex to their positions, but to argue on the basis of superiority or inferiority is to miss an important point and lower the level of arguement to "my sex is better than yours."
13Piper and Grudem, Recovering op. cit., p. 72.
14Heber, the husband of Jael the slayer of enemy general Sisera and victor in the battle, is an example of the failure of biblical manhood. He was a Kenite. Moses father-in-law was a Kenite and Heber's family had undoubted converted from Baal worship to the worship of the Lord God. Heber had apostasized from the Godly Kenites, including his wife, to establish a covenant with Jabin (Judges 4:17). He and his wife were in conflict over the worship of the Lord. Moreover, Heber would give "classified" information on the troop movements of Barak and the armies of Israel. His wife, Jael, who took the Lord's side in this conflict would be vindicated as she was given the ultimate victory in the conflict and called "most blessed of women" (Judges 5:24).
15Schreiner, Recovering op. cit., p. 216.
16Ibid., p. 216.