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The Triumph of Deborah

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  322 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
The richly imagined tale of Deborah, the courageous Biblical warrior who saved her people from certain destruction

In ancient Israel, war is looming. Deborah, a highly respected leader, has coerced the warrior Barak into launching a strike against the neighboring Canaanites. Against all odds he succeeds, returning triumphantly with Asherah and Nogah, daughters of the Cana
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 26th 2008 by Plume
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Best Biblical Fiction
55th out of 231 books — 335 voters
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Community Reviews

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I belive the title is misleading; it should have been "Barak's Triumphs in Bed", or "Barak and Nogah's Lovelife". The story's only remaining echo for me is that of a poorly disguised bodice ripper. "The Triumph of Deborah". Really? I would have loved to have read something more about her triumphs, and not only in bed. Barak and his sexual partners do overtake Dborah as the book's main focus, however, and this was confusing and aggravating, to say the least.
Jan 15, 2009 Ellie rated it did not like it
Eva Etzioni-Halevy has taken the story of Deborah the prophetess, put flesh on the bones and created a trashy romance novel.
Jul 14, 2014 Ashley rated it did not like it
I was so excited about this book, which I randomly picked up out of a sale bin at Borders. The story of Deborah has always interested me, and I was curious to see it from the perspective of a female Israeli professor. But here the author has basically turned the story of the judge and prophetess Deborah and Barak, a story with so much political and cultural promise, into a bad soap opera. Maybe I found the style of her prose (weirdly impersonal) off-putting, but I didn't enjoy this.

I also was d
Oct 14, 2008 Darlene rated it it was amazing
The Triumph of Deborah is a historical (Biblical) fiction novel and yet so much more. I have always enjoyed Biblical stories and this one did not disappoint me.

Deborah, a Prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She would sit under the palm tree of the hill country of Efraim, and the Israelites came up to her for judgment. -Judges 4:4-5
The story is about Deborah who was a very powerful woman in Israel-people stood in awe of her. As the above quote from the
Jan 08, 2014 Carolyn rated it did not like it
A more accurate title for this book is "The Sexual Triumphs of Deborah and other Ancient Hussies". Unless you're really into ridiculously juvenile sexual euphemisms, and authors taking wild liberties in describing what male-female romantic relationships were like in Israel 2500 years ago based on today's stereotypical female insecurities, don't waste your time on this embarrassing drivel of a book! I started it because I do enjoy well researched and insightful historical fiction, but soon felt I ...more
Nov 06, 2008 Veena rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves Historical Fiction
Recommended to Veena by: I won it in a giveaway at Dar's blog
The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni – Halevy is a riveting tale of a determined, highly respected leader and prophetess Deborah.

This novel is set in ancient Israel in the twelfth to the mid eleventh centuries BCE. In this gripping tale, Deborah is a very powerful woman who judged the people of Israel. People from far and wide would come to Deborah to seek judgment and counsel. Deborah was married to Lapidoth, and could hear God’s voice too. Her prophecies were highly revered and mostly came tr
Sep 05, 2008 Renee rated it liked it
While it was an interesting read because of its basis in the Old Testament, this book often read like a poorly-written, cheesy romance novel.

I bought it because I thought it would be along the lines of The Red Tent (and it was $2), but it paled in comparison.
Mar 12, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
I've never read biblical fiction before reading this book. In fact, I used to find the term a bit confusing and honestly, didn't know how to feel about it. I always felt like 'you don't mess with the Bible', ya know? I never thought this genre was for me because of that reason. But I began this book with an open and curious mind and was happily surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

Here's a bit about the book from Eva Etzioni-Halevy's website:

The richly imagined saga of Deborah, the courageous bibl
Elizabeth  (Thoughts From an Evil Overlord)
Eva Etzioni-Halevy brings the story of the Old Testament's Deborah, renowned judge and prophet of the Israelites alive with her novel The Triumph of Deborah. Deborah is known to many people as the author of the Song of Deborah from the book of Judges. The Triumph of Deborah focuses on this very important time in the history of the Israelites, when their army, led by Deborah and the great warrior Barak defeats the Canaanites and bring about 40 years of peace.Besides giving readers a look into his ...more
Michele Shimp
Feb 22, 2011 Michele Shimp rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008
I was blessed to receive a copy of Eva Etzioni-Halevy's latest book, The Triumph of Deborah, directly from the author. This book is fiction, but it is based on the bible story of Deborah, one of the more prominent Israelite judges in the Old Testament. [return][return]The book doesn't just talk about Deborah, though. Barak, the commander of the Israelite forces, worked with Deborah in battles against the Canaanites. And from one of those battles, two Canaanite princesses - Asherah and Nogah - al ...more
Trupti Dorge
Apr 30, 2009 Trupti Dorge rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
I had a sudden urge to read a historical novel this weekend. Since I own only a couple, the choice was easy. I had read a lot of reviews of ‘Triumph of Deborah’ and knew it was generally liked. So I didn’t hesitate to pick it up.

And yes, I liked it. In fact, I loved it. I had absolutely no knowledge about Deborah. So before reading the book I googled a little and found out that she was a highly respected prophet, a judge and a leader of Israel. And the fact that she was a woman and yet respected
Sep 04, 2008 Carey rated it really liked it
The twelve tribes of ancient Israel have been in the promised land for nearly a hundred years, but theirs is not a peaceful existence. The Canaanites have never ceased to harass the tribes, attacking small villages, stealing livestock and killing any Israelite they come across. The only safety is in numbers and the Israelites have retreated behind the walls of their towns.

The prophetess Deborah, a mother in her thirties, has been a powerful voice for the Israelites for years. She is known far a
Sep 08, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
The main plot of this book is the story between two sisters, Asherah and Nogah, from a Canaanite city, and their love triangle with the victorious Israelite army commander, Barak. Asherah is the legitimate daughter of the defeated Canaanite king, and Nogah is the King's illegitimate daughter by a Hebrew slave.

Both women have different views on the outcome of the war. Asherah is obviously devastated, whereas Nogah is filled with both joy and sadness. The fate of each sister after the war is quite
Sep 26, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it
Three women, each from different worlds, have their lives thrown into turmoil by the Israelite warrior Barak.

Deborah, a prophetess and judge of Israel, offers him her body if he will take command of the Israelite warriors and defeat the Canaanites. When he does these things – she gives what she promised and falls for him.

Naava is a Canaanite princess – but not your traditional one. She is the daughter of the king and a woman he kept as a slave. She has worked as a slave her entire life. When B
Oct 21, 2009 Lisa rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 01, 2009 Lauren rated it it was amazing
I have always been a huge fan of Biblical fiction. I think it’s in part due to the fact the Bible is a never ending wellspring of characters, with little information provided about their background. The possibilities for great stories to emerge are never ending. Deborah’s story is certainly one of these. The Triumph of Deborah, By: Eva Etzioni-Halevy is definitely a page turner. I could not put it down. The novel focuses on the great prophetess and judge, Deborah. Deborah is divorced by her husb ...more
Jun 08, 2012 Melissa rated it liked it
I was pretty excited when Ms. Etzioni-Halevy contacted me regarding her book, The Triumph of Deborah. I had read a few positive reviews about it and was interested in trying out Biblical fiction, something I'd never read before. I wasn't too familiar with the story of Deborah, so before reading this book I read the two chapters in which she appears in The Bible, Judges 4 and 5. There wasn't too much there, other than what I consider a summary of the battle that Deborah convinces Barak to lead. S ...more
Aug 16, 2009 Cheryl rated it liked it
The Triumph of Deborah is the story about Deborah. As the story goes, she was both a prophetess and judge of Israel. She was the only woman in those times to ever hold the title of judge. God wanted his people to live in peace, so he sent Deborah a message to help his people live in harmony. Deborah found just the man to lead an army against the Canaanites. His name is Barak. Barak would only go to battle on one condition…Deborah had to accompany him otherwise he would not go. Deborah agreed but ...more
Aug 18, 2010 Marie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
4.5 star read.
This is a story that deftly interweaves itself through faiths and cultures and greed and power which is emphasized by Eva Etzioni-Halevy's fantastic storytelling through endearing characters from both sides of a war in ancient Israel. The novel begins as the women of the opposite sides are awaiting the news of the outcome of the battle, but we are then treated to a series of flashbacks and a buildup to the battle so much so that we are vested in both sides of the battle and wish fo
Aug 04, 2010 Hattie rated it it was amazing

"The Triumph of Deborah" by Eva Etzioni-Halevy is a Biblical novel about Deborah, the Judge and Prophetess of Israel. With great precision and creativity Eva Etizioni-Halevy draws a historical picture of the history of conflict between Israel and Canaan. It is a time of turmoil. Those in power one day are not in control the next day. Those in slavery became free according to who conquered and who became conquerors. It is a time when women had a huge role to play in history. For instance, Deborah
Jul 29, 2013 Alessandra rated it really liked it
Two women were standing on high places, shielding their eyes from the blazing sun with their hands, peering into the distance in search of messengers from the battlefield. Each knew that her life depended on the outcome of the battle; but their lives depended on opposite results.

When author Eva Etsioni-Halevy emailed me offering to send me a copy of her book The Triumph of Deborah, I was intrigued. I had never read any book in the category of "biblical fiction", but I'm always keen on reading hi
The Triumph of Deborah is a book about ancient Israel. The Canaanite army has been threatening to invade Israel and Deborah, a renown prophet and judge, recruits Barak, a young warrior, to lead an army to strike first. The battle is successful and Barak returns to his home with a bunch of liberated Israelite slaves and the Canaanite princess to take as his wife. Barak is a renown womanizer who has many conquests. He has intrigued Deborah with a condition that she sleep with him in return for him ...more
Ana T.
Jul 20, 2009 Ana T. rated it really liked it
First of all I have to thank author Eva Etzioni-Halevy for sending me her book. When she first contacted me I hesitated at first because I'm always a bit wary of reading books set in the Biblical period, in fact, till now I had only read one - The Red Tent - which I absolutely loved, and so I decided to give it a go. I'm very happy that I did. This book was an absolute page turner and I just couldn't put it down.

Although it is called The Triumph of Deborah the action revolves also around Barak,
3.5 stars

Asherah and Nogah are half-sisters. Deborah is an esteemed judge in her community. Asherah and Nogah are Canaanite, while Deborah is Israelite. They are at war. Barak is a warrior for the Israelites and brings Asherah and Nogah home with him, as well as other women and children, when Israel wins the war. Barak wants the beautiful Asherah as his wife, but Nogah falls in love with him. Deborah has also fallen in love with Barak.

I liked it. Not quite as much as The Song of Hannah, but it w
Since I really enjoy historical fiction, I thought this would be a good read - I was wrong. The story is more about the soldier/warrior that Deborah becomes infatuated with, and the women in HIS life. Deborah is the respected leader and judge of the 12 tribes of Israel. Her husband divorces her just as she is about to have an affair with the said soldier, Barak - but that's really the end of Deborah for this book. Instead of focusing on her life and the relationship she has with her family or ev ...more
Apr 22, 2016 Eileen rated it really liked it
Awesome book about a strong, powerful woman in ancient Israel. Deborah will not be limited by constraints that restrict women. She defies convention and changes her world. Love it!
Jul 15, 2010 julia rated it it was ok
This book was not quite what I'd hoped for, but it was ok. I was hoping for more detailed information on the war between Isreal and Canaan and how Barak and Deborah faced the danger and triumphed. Even if it would have been fiction. However, that was only the first section of the book, and the author didn't spend a lot of time on it. In fact, most of the time was spent on three women and their relationship to a very proud, spoiled man-child. Again with the preoccupation with having sex (see my r ...more
Feb 02, 2016 Dcnewman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book

This is perhaps the best of the three Biblical novels by Eva Etziono-Halevy! Good character development and enough suspense to keep the pace moving forward.
Jan 26, 2010 Linda rated it liked it
Shelves: fill-in-the-gaps
I mostly choose to read this book in the hopes that it would be as good as The Red Tent. Sadly it was not but it as still very enjoyable.
I knew nothing about Deborah before reading this book. But after reading the book and this short article on Wikipedia. I feel know a little more about her story. But the book does not focus only on Deborah. We also learn about Barak and the women in his life. It kind of felt like a biblical Harlequin romance novel. He loves her, she loves someone else, someone
Jan 26, 2010 Svea rated it liked it
This book was a good and interesting read. It was great to see that all of characters were in depth, not just the main ones. I was surprised how intense the love triangle was, it just kept building. My main issue with the novel is how often the narration switched between characters and from past to present; it caused a lot of confusion (especially the beginning). Any confusion was forgotten at the end when everyone's story came together for a climactic and complete ending.

Read my full synopsis &
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Eva Etzioni-Halevy is professor emeritus of political sociology at Bar-Ilan
Univeristy, Israel, now turned into a biblical novelist. A child Holocaust
survivor, she was born in Vienna, Austria. She managed to escape as a small
child with her parents in 1939 and spent World War II in Italy, partly in an
Italian concentration camp and partly in hiding. She moved to what was then
Palestine in 1945. S
More about Eva Etzioni-Halevy...

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