Angela - posted on 06/22/2012 ( 20 moms have responded )
Do you feel that the Bible (or rather the characters whose lives are described therein) give women a raw deal? Can we draw lessons from this?
Take for example the Patriarchs – Abraham, regarded as the Father of Faith by Christians and Jews alike was happy to seduce his young house maid in order to have the son he was promised by God a little sooner than God had planned! Sarah, unfortunately was happy to encourage this as she felt she was too old to get pregnant! Sarah though, like Hagar, was probably a victim of the culture of those times – women were very much second-class citizens.
Then there was Isaac who decided to let people believe Rebekah was his sister rather than his wife. Because she was beautiful, he was scared he might be killed for her sake, so he preferred to endanger her – she may have been violated at any time but for Abimelech, a pagan king who learned the truth and rightly rebuked Isaac for his falsehoods and selfishness.
And Jacob – who married TWO wives (sisters no less – a brave man indeed!) as well as having two concubines! Result – thirteen* children from four different mothers!
* Much is said about the twelve sons of Jacob – but he was also father to a daughter, Dinah – who only merits a mention in one, single verse amongst the initial account of Jacob’s offspring, but then, later in the Bible, Genesis 34 describes how she is raped by Shechem, son of Hamor and then Hamor asks Jacob if his son may have Dinah as his wife (after he’s already violated her!). Her brothers “make a deal” with the men of that tribe, saying they should be circumcised first. They agree to circumcision and then, 3 days later Simeon and Levi make their way to that village and slay all the males, taking their sister back home – plus the wives, children and material possessions of that tribe! Jacob later rebukes his sons for making things difficult but they say 'Should he treat our sister as a harlot?' Interestingly, Dinah doesn’t have any choice in what happens, poor Dinah - nor is she asked.
What can we learn from these examples? Jesus in the Gospels NEVER mistreats women or ever implies they are second class citizens. Indeed, there are many accounts (especially in Luke's Gospel) of how women play a significant role during Christ's ministry.
Please add your comments as I would like to know the opinions and insights from other Christian women on here.