1

What can we learn from Barak's stipulation that Deborah accompany him as he mustered the Israelite men for war, & from Deborah's response?

I might just be asking the obvious. Is Barak's stipulation request an example of a person who is fearful(or even apathetic) about taking an initiative regarding a prophecy over them? Is it an example of a person missing a opportunity in life to do something great? If Barak is showing apathy then is Barak's action similar to Joash the king of Israel's response in 2 Kings 13:14-19 where Joash seems to have shot the arrows with his bow in an apathetic manner?

Judges 4:6-10

New American Standard Bible 1995

6 Now she sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali, and said to him, “[a]Behold, the Lord, the God of Israel, has commanded, ‘Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men from the sons of Naphtali and from the sons of Zebulun. 7 I will draw out to you Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his [b]many troops to the river Kishon, and I will give him into your hand.’” 8 Then Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” 9 She said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the honor shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh, and ten thousand men went up [c]with him; Deborah also went up with him.

2 Kings 13:14-19

New American Standard Bible 1995

Death of Elisha

14 When Elisha [a]became sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash the king of Israel came down to him and wept over [b]him and said, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” 15 Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and arrows.” So he [c]took a bow and arrows. 16 Then he said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” And he put his hand on it, then Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands. 17 He said, “Open the window toward the east,” and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot!” And he shot. And he said, “The Lord’s arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Aram; for you will [d]defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you have [e]destroyed them.” 18 Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground,” and he struck it three times and [f]stopped. 19 So the man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have [g]destroyed it. But now you shall strike Aram only three times.”

What can we learn from Barak's stipulation that Deborah accompany him as he mustered the Israelite men for war, & from Deborah's response?

I might just be asking the obvious. Is Barak's stipulation request an example of a person who is fearful(or even apathetic) about taking an initiative regarding a prophecy over them? Is it an example of a person missing a opportunity in life to do something great? If Barak is showing apathy then is Barak's action similar to Joash the king of Israel's response in 2 Kings 13:14-19 where Joash seems to have shot the arrows with his bow in an apathetic manner?

1
  • Deborah's song is, in fact, a duet 'I,I'. Although she judged Israel, as a prophetess, nevertheless she did so in conjunction with Barak. (Much as Priscilla always acted with her husband Aquila.) Barak may have desired Deborah's presence as a Judge, in that he does not wish to take initiative without her presence, but he does not expect her to act alone, either. This is an interpretation (though I believe it is an intelligent one) so this is a comment not an answer. But up-voted +1, nevertheless.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 17, 2022 at 16:06

1 Answer 1

1

What are Barak's Feelings Towards the Prophecy?

We don't know his feelings - we're not told. We are told of his actions - he is prepared to disobey if Deborah does not come with him. He gives an ultimatum. Whatever, his reason for giving such a thing - we can learn that this shouldn't be done. Goes is still patient and merciful and delivers the victory to Barak, but not in the way that it could have been.

Is Barak Missing Out by Asking Deborah to Accompany Him?

Yes. Had Barak had greater faith than Sisera would have been given into his hands (verse seven). Instead, he is given into the hands of a woman (verse 9). Jael's hands (verse 21).

Comparison to Joash

They are both men who receive a prophecy and fail to act properly rightly to that prophecy and thus are not as blessed as they could be. That's the limit of the link I think. There reactions are different - Joash neglects full investment with the sign act while Barak wants the prophet present at the deed - and the failings of the blessing are different; Barak is reduced in glory, while Joash misses out on a full victory.

Certainly, the two texts can be contrasted but I do not think that they reference one another.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.