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Verse

Judges 4:5

ESV She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment.
NIV She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.
NASB She used to sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel went up to her for judgment.
CSB She would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to settle disputes.
NLT She would sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgment.
KJV 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.

What does Judges 4:5 mean?

In the book of Judges, the title "judge" comes from a Hebrew word which can include many other ideas. God-empowered judges were civil and military leaders who rescued Israel from oppressors (Judges 2:16). In the case of Deborah, her initial role was much more like the literal meaning of the English term "judge." The site where she ministered was so well known in Israel that it was called the "palm of Deborah." She would sit at this spot (Exodus 18:13; John 19:13) between Ramah and Bethel in the territory of Ephraim. There, she would receive the people who came to her to solve their disputes and legal matters.

As a prophetess of the God of Israel, her word would have stood as final. As this passage indicates, she was also powerfully used by God to free Israel from slavery to Canaan. The Lord will summon Israel's next deliverer through her, and the two will work closely together.
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