Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Digging Up Women

Stories of men abound in the Bible, laying bare for us what men did and calling for our applause at their heroism. Archaeology at Bethsaida too tells us that they built walls and roads, fought wars against the Assyrians and maybe even the Romans, went fishing, congregated at the city gates to conduct business and religious rites, and drank beer and wine. But the Bible tells us little about the contribution of women. It touches lightly on the patriarch’s wives and a few others of exceptional strength and ingenuity: Hanna, Deborah, Miriam, Esther, Abigail, Hulda, Judith. We are conscious when we read of these women; they were operating outside their usual domain, albeit they were using the skills learned at the hearth.

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