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Deborah was a prophetess and also a judge but she was never a priest. For this reason, she does not serve as an example of women spiritual leaders in the church office. The biblical headship principle related to the issue of female ordination is spiritual headship in the church. The fact that in unusual circumstances Deborah exercised civil authority in Israel still does not serve as a reason of female headship in normal church offices, such as priest, elder or bishop. The Bible reveals that it was not God’s ideal or plan for women to be leaders of civil government as seen in the following examples:
• Moses appointed in the wilderness under God’s command—males to rule over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens (Exodus 18:25).
• Moses appointed under God’s direction seventy male elders to give council to the people (Numbers 11:16).
• God appointed only men to serve as kings of Israel and Judah. Queen Athaliah tried to take rule by force by killing all but one of her grandsons; The Lord judged her and caused her to be executed (2 Chronicles 22:10–12; 23:12–21).
• The prophet Isaiah shows God’s will of not ordaining women to rule in the following verse: “As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths” (Isaiah 3:12).
Deborah lived during the period when the theocratic government had not been in practice. So, in the absence of the usual male judges, the Isralites sought her counsel and wisdom. She gave her advice in nature and under a tree not in a court room setting (Judges 4:5), and not at the city gate where the usual male judges held their official duty in giving counsel to the people. Deborah did what a wife would do when her husband is absent or like a vice president would do when the president is absent.
In His service,