they were scarce in Israel,
until you 3 arose, Deborah,
until you arose as a motherly protector 4 in Israel.
there they tell of 7 the Lord’s victorious deeds,
the victorious deeds of his warriors 8 in Israel.
Then the Lord’s people went down to the city gates –
1 tn The meaning of the Hebrew noun פְרָזוֹן (fÿrazon) is uncertain. Some understand the meaning as “leaders” or “those living in rural areas.” The singular noun appears to be collective (note the accompanying plural verb). For various options see B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 237-38.
2 tn Or “ceased.”
3 tn The translation assumes that the verb is an archaic second feminine singular form. Though Deborah is named as one of the composers of the song (v. 1), she is also addressed within it (v. 12). Many take the verb as first person singular, “I arose” (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV).
4 tn Heb “mother.” The translation assumes that the image portrays Deborah as a protector of the people. It is possible that the metaphor points to her prophetic role. Just as a male prophet could be called “father,” so Deborah, a prophetess, is called “mother” (B. Lindars, Judges 1-5, 239).
5 tn The word “Hear” is supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.
7 tn Or perhaps “repeat.”