Deborah and Barak
This drama skit tells the Biblical narrative of Deborah and Barak. It uses 5-6 people. There are 4 actors with lines (2 men and 2 women), 1 narrator and an optional puppet or actor. If using a puppet, one of the actors can also play that part. The stage should be set with a palm tree and a rug or chair stage right. Stage left should be set as a modest home like would be in a tent. Perhaps some rugs, a few boxes or whatever you want to give the impression of a tent home.
The narrator can have her lines inside of a book or a Bible or even a scroll. She should stand off to one side of the acting area. The four main actors should be in Biblical garb. The two men are soldiers so they may also want to have spears or swords.
NARRATOR: Before the people of Israel demanded a king, God appointed Judges, people who would speak to the people and help the people live for God. God appointed the first Judge, named Othniel in 1391BC and the second Judge was named Ehud. The third Judge was named Deborah, the fourth…
DAISY: (Enters quickly above puppet curtain or have a female actor run out onstage as soon as Deborah’s name is mentioned.) Wait a minute! Miss Narrator! (or use the name of the Narrator)
NARRATOR: Yes, Daisy?
DAISY: I think you made a mistake. You said the next Judge was named Deborah.
NARRATOR: That’s right.
DAISY: But Deborah’s a girl’s name.
NARRATOR: That’s right. The third Judge of Israel was a woman by the name of Deborah. You see, God doesn’t just use men. He uses women and girls too. Wait until I tell Penelope!(She runs out quickly)
NARRATOR: (Opens the book to read)
Once again, the people of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord allowed the Caananites to overthrow the people. They had to obey their laws and pay high taxes. Of course, the people cried out to God and he answered them by sending a woman to be the next Judge. She would sit outside under a tree. (DEBORAH enters and sits on a rug or chair set stage right. If you have a fake – or real – palm tree have that beside the rug or chair.) People would come to see her and bring their problems to her. One day, God had her call a man named Barak, who was a leader of one of Israel’s armies. (BARAK enters from stage left and goes over to DEBORAH)
DEBORAH: God has some orders for you. Take 10,000 men and fight the army of General Sisera. God will give you the victory.
BARAK: All right, I’ll go. But you must go with me.
DEBORAH: I’ll go with you, but because you would not trust God completely to go with you, the honor of defeating Sisera will go to a woman. (DEBORAH and BARAK exit stage right.)
NARRATOR: You see, Barak was afraid to go without Deborah going along with him. So she went along and the army successfully defeated the much larger and better equipped army of the Caananites. And do you remember what Deborah said about who would defeat Sisera? (Get answers if this is presented to children or an informal audience. Otherwise, ask the question and continue with the lines.) Well his army was running away from the Israelites. (SISERA enters from stage left, running and looking behind him. JAEL enters from stage right and crosses to stage left. There should be some items there to suggest a modest home. Remember, this is a tent home.) Sisera got separated from his men and ran to the tent of someone he thought was a friend. His friend wasn’t there, but his wife was and she invited him in.
JAEL: Come into my tent where you will be safe. Don’t be afraid. (SISERA goes to Jael. JAEL gets a blanket and starts to cover him with it.)
SISERA: Please give my some water to drink. I’m very thirsty.
JAEL: (HANDS HIM A CUP) Here is some milk for you to drink. (SISERA lays down and JAEL covers him with the blanket.)
SISERA: Stand in the doorway of the tent. If anyone comes along and asks about me, say that I am not here. (JAEL stands and looks around while SISERA goes to sleep)
NARRATOR: It wasn’t long before Sisera was sound asleep. Then JAEL took a tent peg and a hammer and quietly went over to Sisera. While he slept, she drove the tent peg through his temples and into the ground, killing the general. (JAEL does this during the narration. Of course, Sisera should be laying so that his head is facing away from the audience. Jael can use a real hammer and act like she is holding a tent peg. She should hammer onto the stage near Sisera’s head.)
Later, when Barak came looking for Sisera (BARAK enters stage left and JAEL waves to him.) Jael went out to meet him.
JAEL: Come here! I will show you the man you’re searching for. (BARAK goes over to SISERA)
Narrator: So Barak went into her tent and found Sisera laying there dead. That was the day that the Lord used Israel to defeat their enemies, but the heroes of the story were women. (Blackout so that actors can leave stage. Everyone exits.)
The story of Deborah and Barak is violent, yet it shows that God uses women as well as men. Even though many of the stories in the Old Testament may involve fighting they are in the Bible and can be used to teach many lessons.
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