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devfest.whitesmith.co Our church group studied this book in the spring. What an eye-opener! These ladies weren't meek or down-trodden. They were manipulative, strong, and in some cases, very much the head of the household. Fascinating reading for anybody who wants a fresh look at the role of women in the Bible - at least in the Old Testament.
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I loved this book. It's a fresh look at the Bible stories that bring it more believable and meaningful to my life. Easy read. Was anxious to share with my Bible study group of women. Need customer service? Click here. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Back to top.
A public domain image from Wikimedia Commons. It will be Abram and Sarai who eventually go to Canaan, launch a new nation, and get their new names. The big problem, which will occur again and again in this family's history, is that Sarah is barren. She has already taken matters into her own hands by giving her slave girl, Hagar the Egyptian, to her husband to produce children for her. Tensions escalate as soon as Hagar is pregnant.
She tries to flee, but an angel sends her back with the reassurance that she will be the mother of multitudes through her son, who will be called Ishmael.
The Lord comes through on his promise, and Sarah and Abraham have a son, Isaac, in their old age. There is still tension in the household, and after Sarah sees Isaac and Ishmael playing, she makes a startling demand: "Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac. Abraham reluctantly agrees after God urges him to comply with Sarah's demand. One of the few tender mother-child scenes comes as Hagar and Ishmael wander about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.
They run out of water, and she sits down and weeps away from her son because she cannot endure seeing the death of her child. God hears and sends an angel with water and reassurances that Ishmael, too, will become a great nation. So, the mother and son settle into wilderness life, where he becomes an expert with the bow. We hear no more of Sarah until her obituary in Genesis , when she dies in Canaan, and Abraham buys land for her burial from the Hittites, the cave of Machpelah, famous burial site of the ancestors. In Genesis 24, a very old Abraham sends a trusted servant back to his homeland to find a suitable wife for Isaac.
The servant bears extravagant gifts for the bride to be and her family. When he and his camel retinue arrive in the city of Nahor, they come to a well.
The servant prays for success, that God will show hesed , steadfast love, to his master. Before the servant finishes his prayer, Rebecca appears and generously waters the camels. The beautiful young virgin turns out to be Abraham's niece. The servant gives Rebecca gold rings and bracelets and goes to meet the family, including her brother, Laban, who helps unload the camels and becomes the family spokesperson in the marriage negotiations.
He and his father, Bethuel, agree to the proposal. The servant wants to leave the next day, but Rebecca's mother pleads to let her stay 10 more days. Rebecca says she is ready to go and departs the next day with her maids.
Rebecca also has trouble conceiving. Isaac prays for his wife, and their wishes are granted.
The pregnancy turns out to be difficult as her twins struggle within her. The Lord tells her that she is carrying two nations in her womb, two peoples destined to be divided, and that the younger would serve the elder. The first son is named Esau, because he was red and hairy. The second is named Jacob he who supplants because he is born holding on to his brother's heel. As the story unfolds, Jacob is quite a schemer. First, he dupes his brother into selling his birthright for a bowl of stew.
Then, when Isaac is old and blind, Rebecca and Jacob create a plot to trick Isaac into thinking Jacob is Esau in order to steal the father's blessing. Esau makes plans to kill Jacob as soon as their father is dead, but Rebecca finds out and sends Jacob back home to live with Uncle Laban, who is his equal as a schemer and conniver, and the family saga goes on to the next generation. We learn that Rebecca and Jacob are buried in the cave of Machpelah in Genesis The name Mary is derived from Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, who is called a prophet in Exodus and plays a significant role during Israel's wilderness wanderings.
She is one of six New Testament women who share a popular name in first century Judaism. The likely oldest reference to Mary comes in Mark , with a parallel in Matthew , when hometown folk in Nazareth take issue with Jesus' teaching: "Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us? Matthew names Mary four more times, once in Jesus' genealogy and three times in the birth accounts.
Here, she is a passive character, important because of her place in God's plan. To make his point, Matthew cites Isaiah "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means God is with us.
Mary is the central character in Luke's birth account. She is the primary one through whom God works, and the Divine plan to establish God's Kingdom on earth is risk-filled. The angel Gabriel explains it all. Mary may be young and innocent, but she knows where babies come from. He points to her cousin, Elizabeth, once thought barren and now six months pregnant,and gives his reassuring promise, "For nothing will be impossible with God. Mary will continue to be part of the story, which will have increasingly painful moments.
At 12 Jesus will challenge her as she scolds him for staying behind in the temple while the family searched for three days. Luke does not specifically place Mary at the crucifixion, but he notes that Jesus' acquaintances, including the women who had followed him, stood at a distance and watched. In Luke's second volume, The Acts of the Apostles, Mary and Jesus' brothers are among the disciples devoting themselves to prayer between Jesus' ascension and the Pentecost event.
The Gospel of John does not have a birth story, but though unnamed, the mother of Jesus is a commanding presence. She first appears near the start of Jesus' ministry at the Wedding at Cana of Galilee. Jesus addresses his mother as "Woman," as she presents the plight of the wedding hosts who have run out of wine. This becomes the occasion for Jesus' first sign, or miraculous act, in the Gospel. He tells her puzzlingly that his time has not yet come.
When Jesus' time does come, he will use the same title when he gives his mother over to the care of the Beloved Disciple at the foot of the cross. Though tradition has linked Mary with the mysterious woman of Revelation 12, the connection is unlikely. The image of the woman, clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet, wearing a crown of twelve stars, in birth pangs, as the great red dragon threatens to devour the child as it is born appears to be a symbol, first for Israel, then for the church.
The child is snatched away by God and the woman flees to the wilderness, a place of refuge, where she will be protected. The church under persecution is reassured of God's protection, and in the final message of Revelation, of final victory.