The stories about women in the bible illustrate the importance of their role and contribution to society. Women were slaves, concubines, and child bearers; they were also wives, matriarchs, and prophets. Although, some women had less important titles than others each served a purpose. Even if the Bible does not explain God’s relationship with women as with Moses and other prophets, it illustrates the love and dedication women had for Him. The scriptures describe brave, nurturing, and God fearing women whose decisions impacted the existence of the Israelites.
Women and men shared similar roles; however, men had more rights while women had limitations. For instance, male slaves were freed after six years of service while female slaves (Ex. 21:7) were freed only if their master failed to provide clothes, food, and marital rights. Furthermore, the book of Judges (19:24) portrays how a concubine and virgin daughter were offered to satisfy a group of men who wanted to sexually assault another man. As a result, the group of men rape and abuse the concubine leading to her subsequent death. This story illustrates how women’s lives were regarded less valuable than men’s.
An interesting characteristic of the bible is that it focuses on the acts of a character without referencing their name. Some scriptures feature the moral of the story rather than the heroism of the character; this allows the reader to appreciate the message. Moreover, the majority of scriptures are male dominated as men are more important in a patriarchal society. It does not mean that women did not contribute a great deal, though; when the scripture recognizes a character by name, it is because their actions were significant to mention. Ackerman (2002) points out “This is significant, for the giving of names in the bible-especially the giving of names to women-is often an important marker of those women’s autonomy and authority” (p. 49). Consequently, the following review emphasizes on the women whose stories contributed to the bible.
Beginning with (Gen. 2:18) the creation of Adam, God decides to create a mate for Adam. He says: “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a fitting helper for him” (p. 5). Using Adam’s rib, God creates the mate. Adam names his mate “woman,” because “from man was she taken” (p. 5). The bible explains that women were created from men, even though women give birth. Later, God discovers that Adam and Eve ate fruit from the forbidden tree (Gen. 3:6) and punishes them. However, because Eve enticed Adam to eat the fruit, her punishment is worse than Adam’s. God tells Eve: “In pain shall you bear children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (p. 7). For Eve’s negligence, women will always endure the consequences. In conclusion, God establishes that men will be head of the household over women.
It is suggested by Ramon (2005) there are four prominent women of the bible that lead a matriarchal society, two in particular will...