One wonders if society went backwards to go forward. Already in approximately 1107 B.C Israelite women were emancipated, ask Judge and prophetess Dvora.
So why did we need to have the women Feminism Revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries to define, establish, and defend equal political, economic, and social rights – including equal opportunities in education and employment – for women?
After all, women rights already existed, so naturally, in Biblical times with no need for a revolution.
The question is why these rights vanished over the millennium and thus people had to fight to achieve them so many years later?
Dvora, the wife of Lapidot, a member of the tribe of Ephraim, was the only woman judge mentioned in the Bible. According to the Book of Judges, chapters 4 and 5, she was a prophetess of the God of the Israelites, the fourth judge of pre-monarchic Israel, a counselor and a warrior. As portrayed in the Book of Judges, Dvora set under the palm tree, between Ha’ramah and Beit-El, and the Israelites came to her to be judged.
The Book of Judges, Chapter 4:4: And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. 4:5 And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
At that time Yavin the king of Hatzor ruled Israel with his military commander Sisera. In the absence of Israeli leader the Israelite nation was exposed to attacks from its enemies. As a result, Dvora decided to initiate a war against Yavin the king of Hazor. She commanded the military man Barak Ben Avino’am to fight Sisera, a battle the Israelites won.
And then there was Yael, the wife of Hever the Kenite who was a fighting woman. Yael is the heroine who killed Sisera.
As the story goes, the Kenite Tribe – the descendants of Jethro who were close to the people of Israel from the days of Moses – resided in the northern part of the country, in Eilon, close to the battlefield between the Israelites and Yavin the king of Hazor. The Kenite Tribe lived in peace with Yavin the king of Hazor. When the Israelites defeated the army of Sisera, Sisera ran away to Yael who invited him to her tent. Yael showed Sisera much hospitality, offering him milk, though he only asked for water and also covered him with a blanket. When Sisera fell asleep she drove a tent peg through his temple and killed him.
Both Deborah and Yael are portrayed in the Bible as strong independent women.
There is so much wisdom and “enlightenment” hidden in the Bible, all we need to do is read to discover it and be proud how advanced is Judaism, way before the world began its own enlightenment.