The Battle Against Hazor and Jaelâ€™s Deadly Hospitality (Judges 4â€“5)
The story of the fourth judge (Judges 4â€“5) is full of surprises, just like the previous stories (Judges 1â€“3). In the dominant body ideology related to good order, an Israelite man without any blemish was the epitome of a pure, ideal, or whole body. Contrary to the â€œexpected literary depictionâ€, it is again the â€œunwhole, different-functioning bodiesâ€ which are depicted as â€œproducing survival for the corporate bodyâ€ (Van der Merwe and Coetzee 2009). Deborah, an Israelite lawgiver and prophetess, and Jael, a Kenite woman, are used in an unexpected way. The juxtaposition of different-functioning bodies serves as a counterculture rhetoric in the form of a hidden polemic. Much attention has been paid to the roles of Deborah and Barak in the battle against Hazor, but Jaelâ€™s role has elicited limited reflection by scholars and has been overshadowed by her â€œquestionableâ€ hospitality. A socio-rhetorical approach will make it possible to identify rhetorical techniques that the writer uses to highlight social relations, regulations and ideologies in the text (Van der Merwe and Coetzee 2009, 678). Archaeological excavations at Hazor from the last 25 years provide valuable background information to this battle.