smiddy3, I was explaining from the WTS viewpoint, not my personal view which matches yours, whereas the WTS says Deborah did not have the same authority as male judges and wasn't a real judge. It was just that no men qualified evidently. Perhaps, Deborah wore a head covering, (smile). There was an prophetess, Huldah, that King Josiah specifically sent his officials to consult with. The WTS dances around that too.
WTS Deborah comments (1980) a dance around (and adding to the bible)
Thus, while Deborah can properly be described as a prophetess, it is only in a general sense that she was doing a measure of judging in Israel; she was not taking the full place of a male judge in Israel. Judges 4:5 says: “She was dwelling under Deborah’s palm tree between Ramah and Bethel in the mountainous region of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel would go up to her for judgment.” As for the matter of giving the Israelites Jehovah’s answer to difficult problems that would come up, this she could do because of Jehovah’s spirit being upon her.
In contrast, Barak certainly was one who effected deliverance for the Israelites. The reasonable conclusion to draw is that Barak was a judge in the full sense of the word, and this is in accord with Hebrews 11:32, where he ranks among the judges of ancient Israel. Thus the book Aid to Bible Understanding, on page 980, in listing the judges of Israel, does not include Deborah.
WTS Huldah comments (2002)
Huldah—An Influential Prophetess
Upon hearing the reading of “the very book of the law” found in the temple, King Josiah ordered Shaphan and four other high-ranking officials to “inquire of Jehovah” about the book. (2 Kings 22:8-20) Where could the delegation find the answer? Jeremiah and possibly Nahum and Zephaniah, all prophets and Bible writers, lived in Judah at the time. The delegation, however, approached Huldah the prophetess.
The book Jerusalem—An Archaeological Biography comments: “The remarkable thing about this episode is that the male-female aspect of the story was completely unremarked. No one considered it the least bit inappropriate that an all-male committee took the Scroll of the Law to a woman to determine its status. When she declared it the word of the Lord, no one questioned her authority to determine the issue. This episode is often overlooked by scholars assessing the role of women in ancient Israel.” Of course, the message received was from Jehovah.