User:RobertC/Feminist perspectives

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Judges[edit]

  • Deterioration in the treatment of women. Here is a quote about the role of women in the book of Judges from Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Judges) by J. Clinton McCann, pp. 22-23:
[O]ne study in particular suggests how the portrayal of women in the book of Judges highlights the pattern of progressive deterioration. Adrian Jani Bledstein considers the possibility that the major role of women in the book is to be explained by female authorship. She concludes:
Read as a woman's satirical narrative, the book of Judges is a trenchant criticism of human (most often male) arrogance. We might imagine Huldah [whom Bledstein suggests may have been the Deuteronomist] designing this scroll to admonish the young monarch Josiah "Beware of he-who-would-be-God." (Bledstein, Adrian Janis. "Is Judges a Woman's Satire of Men Who Play God?" In A Feminist companion to Judges, edited by Athalya Brenner, 34-54. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993.)
Even if Bledstein is incorrect about the female authorship of the book of Judges or about Huldah being the Deuteronomist, her analysis is extremely helpful. Undoubtedly, women play supremely positive roles in the book, especially Achsah (1:11-15), Deborah, and Jael (chaps. 4-5); and clearly, the fortunes of women decline as the book of Judges proceeds. Jephthat's daughter is killed (11:34-40); the Levite's concubine is raped, killed, and dismembered (chap. 19); and the book ends with the abduction of the "four hundred young virgins" of Jabesh-gilead (21:12) and "the young women of Shiloh" (21:21). As the book of Judges proceeds, increasing injustice results in moral confusion and social chaos, a primary indication of which is the abuse of women. In the time of Josiah, and in our own time, the book of Judges serves as a call to repentance for injustices and abuses that result from unbridled self-assertion/idolatry—injustice and abuses that, then and now, often most directly affect women.
  • The woman who stopped Abimelech. See Judg 9:53.

(See more discussion at User:RobertC/OT Lesson 19.)


Related links[edit]

  • LDS feminist perspectives