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Women and the Old Testament Part 2

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by David Penchansky on 11 April 2013

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Transcript of Women and the Old Testament Part 2

Three Cycles of Stories Abraham Jacob Joseph Family Tree Abraham Sarah Hagar Ishmael Isaac Rebekah Jacob Esau Leah, Rachel Bilhah Zilpah The twelve sons of Jacob (including Judah and Joseph) The Matriarchs of Ancient Israel Genesis 12-24 Genesis 25-36 Genesis 37-50 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 10Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to reside there as an alien, for the famine was severe in the land. 11When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know well that you are a woman beautiful in appearance; 12and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13Say you are my sister, so that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared on your account.” And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children. She had an Egyptian slave-girl whose name was Hagar, 2and Sarai said to Abram, “You see that the Lord has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my slave-girl; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” 4He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. “Return to your mistress, and submit to her.” “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, so that we may know them.” Abraham pimps his wife 26But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the world. 32Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, so that we may preserve offspring through our father.” 33So they made their father drink wine that night; and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; he did not know when she lay down or when she rose. When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister; and she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the region. 2When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the region, saw her, he seized her and lay with her by force. 3And his soul was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob; he loved the girl, and spoke tenderly to her. 15Only on this condition will we consent to you: that you will become as we are and every male among you be circumcised. 25On the third day, when they were still in pain, two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and came against the city unawares, and killed all the males. 31But they said, “Should our sister be treated like a whore?” Lot, His Wife and Daughters 6Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, 7and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” Sarah and Hagar, Abraham's Wives Rachel and Leah Lot, Abraham's Nephew, His Wife and Two Daughters Potiphar's wife Now Joseph was handsome and good-looking.

7And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” 11One day, however, when he went into the house to do his work, and while no one else was in the house, 12she caught hold of his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to insult me; 18but as soon as I raised my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside.” Judah and Tamar
Genesis 38 2There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; he married her and went in to her. 3She conceived and bore a son; and he named him Er. 4Again she conceived and bore a son whom she named Onan. 5Yet again she bore a son, and she named him Shelah. She was in Chezib when she bore him. 6Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar. 7But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord put him to death. 8Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her; raise up offspring for your brother.” 9But since Onan knew that the offspring would not be his, he spilled his semen on the ground whenever he went in to his brother’s wife, so that he would not give offspring to his brother. 10What he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also. 11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Remain a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up” —for he feared that he too would die, like his brothers. So Tamar went to live in her father’s house. 14she put off her widow’s garments, put on a veil, wrapped herself up, and sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. She saw that Shelah was grown up, yet she had not been given to him in marriage. 15When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a prostitute, for she had covered her face. “Your signet and your cord, and the staff that is in your hand. 24About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the whore; moreover she is pregnant as a result of whoredom.” And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.” And she said, “Take note, please, whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.” “She is more in the right than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” Lot's Wife
Anna Akhmatova And the just man trailed God's shining agent,
over a black mountain, in his giant track,
while a restless voice kept harrying his woman:
"It's not too late, you can still look back at the red towers of your native Sodom,
the square where once you sang, the spinning-shed,
at the empty windows set in the tall house
where sons and daughters blessed your marriage-bed."
A single glance: a sudden dart of pain
stitching her eyes before she made a sound . . .
Her body flaked into transparent salt,
and her swift legs rooted to the ground. Who will grieve for this woman? Does she not seem
too insignificant for our concern?
Yet in my heart I never will deny her,
who suffered death because she chose to turn. What do we learn? The men treat even the most important women in the tradition like objects to be traded. What do we learn? Women are attacked for loving the only realm men allow them. Projection: Men project upon women the violence they inflict. What did we learn? The system pits women against each other. Importance of pregnancy and childbirth Women maintain the unjust structures that oppress other women. Where would the woman be better off, with her brothers or with her rapist? Did her brothers do her any favors? In the struggle between beauty and fertility, beauty wins. The Rape of Dinah Victim Trickster Warrior/Leader 3 Types of Women Ezekiel 16:49 This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.
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