Showing posts with label bible women. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bible women. Show all posts

02 December 2018

Women of the Bible : Rahab by Eikonik | Found on DeviantArt

Several years ago I wrote a blog post about the harlot/heroine Rahab.  Her story is told in the Bible book of Joshua.  When I published the post I searched diligently for an image depicting her encounter with the Jewish spies sent to spy out the land of Canaan.  (Josh 2: 1-7)  Found an image in the Wikimedia database.  A few years later, after publishing the post, I found an image on DeviantArt by an artist who shares wonderful depictions of events which occurred in ancient Israel - of people and of places.  


The artwork below (following the link and related image to my 2014 blog post) depicts the part of the biblical account where she hid the Jewish spies on her rooftop.  This is a perfect complement to my post previously published here at My Blog Stop! about the woman in the Bible known as Rahab the harlot. 

Women of the Bible: Rahab - The Noble Harlot


Image credit: See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Image credit:

Rahabby eikonik


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21 November 2017

The Genealogy of Jesus: Women Named in the Gospel of Matthew

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke Supply Information About the Ancestors of Jesus of Nazareth. One striking dissimilarity between the genealogies of Jesus, recorded in the Gospel accounts of Luke and Matthew, is the mention of five women in the Gospel according to Matthew.

The alleged differences in the genealogy of Jesus in the gospels of Matthew versus Luke are often disputed. But no one denies that Matthew mentions the names of five women.




The accounts of Matthew and Luke are the only two of the four Gospels that include a genealogy of Jesus. The majority of Bible scholars agree that Matthew was a Jew who wrote primarily for a Jewish audience; and that Luke was a Gentile who wrote for a Gentile (i.e. non-Jewish) readership. The New Testament scriptures do not reveal much biographical data about Luke, and it is not clearly stated whether he was a Gentile or Jew. The genealogy recorded in Luke traces the lineage of Jesus through Joseph, his earthly father, backtracking from Joseph to Adam, the first man. Whereas Matthew traces the lineage of Jesus, beginning with Abraham, the patriarch or father of the Jewish nation, moving forward in history to Joseph.


Over the years, there has been much dispute about the alleged differences between the genealogies and over how to reconcile or rather, harmonize these two Gospels. This article does not address these disagreements because it was written with another purpose in mind. That purpose being: to call attention to the fact that there is one striking dissimilarity that no scholar tries to reconcile or explain away. The Gospel according to Matthew includes the mention of five women.
  1. Tamar, a dutiful widow who played the harlot
  2. Rahab, a woman who was a harlot
  3. Ruth, a dutiful widow who was destitute
  4. Bathsheba, the wife of a murdered husband
  5. Mary, a young girl who married a man named Joseph
(Note: Bathsheba is not mentioned by name. She is referred to indirectly as, her that had been the wife of Uriah. The other four women are named. )


Tamar disguised herself as a prostitute, at peril to her life, in an effort to shame her father-in-law into admitting publicly that he had wronged her and that he would honor his word and obey the law.

Rahab was a prostitute. It was not uncommon for men to frequent her residence. Yet, when certain men were seen entering her place of business, she risked her life to save theirs, not really knowing if they would, in turn, spare her life. 

Bathsheba, the wife of a valiant warrior, at home alone, summoned to a king's bedchamber to satisfy his unlawful lusts and desires. Wasn't it enough that she had been violated and that she was with child because of it? Did her husband have to be murdered to cover up the act? But it was likely reported to her that her husband, Uriah, had been killed in battle. After all, he was a soldier. Nathan, the prophet, later compared Bathsheba to a little ewe lamb, the only precious possession of a poor man and that poor man had been robbed of everything he had! But who would commit such an act of cruelty? 

Ruth was a destitute widow with an uncertain future. Yet she chose to make a dangerous journey with her mother-in-law and travel to a land away from the home she had known all her life, with nothing. Would the remaining days of her life be bitter? Or would the people she had chosen to accept be willing to accept her and show her mercy and kindness? 

Mary, an innocent young girl, greeted by an angel with these words: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. What must she have thought? But my cousin Elisabeth is the wife of a priest and prophet. She and her husband have always been righteous before God, walking in all of His commandments and ordinances. (Luke 1:6) Who am I? What great thing have I done? Why is the Lord with me? Me?
 

These brief summaries provide a glimpse into the lives of these five women. Using the various scriptural references below, one can piece together their real-life stories.
  • TAMAR - GEN 38: 6, 24; RUTH 4: 12; 1 CHRON 2: 4; MATT 1: 3
  • RAHAB - JOSH 2: 1; 6:17, 25; MATT 1: 5; HEB 11: 31; JMS 2: 25
  • RUTH - RUTH 1: 1 4: 22; MATT 1: 5
  • BATHSHEBA - 2 SAM 11: 3; 12: 24; 1 KINGS 1:15, 28, 31; 2:13
  • MARY - MATT 1: 16, 18, 20; 2: 11; 13: 55; MK 6: 3; LK 1: 27, 30, 41, 56; 2: 5, 16, 19
While it is true that some parts of the biblical accounts are quite scandalous, the biographies of these women can also serve as inspiring accounts of hope, courage, faith, loyalty, love, obedience and a woman's internal beauty and quiet inner strength.

Glitter rose found at 
 glitter-graphics.com

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Christmas Nativity Star of Bethlehem
© Photographer: Christos Georghiou | Agency: Dreamstime.com

26 June 2017

Character Study: Bible Women | Mary: Full of Grace

MARY
The mother of Jesus. No one disputes this.

Almost everyone in a predominantly Christian society knows the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus. When Mary is introduced in the Christian scriptures, she is living in Nazareth in Galilee and she is betrothed to be married to a man named Joseph, who discovers that she is pregnant. Knowing that child could not possibly be his child, Joseph agonizes over what to do about Mary. Under Jewish law, he has two options. Option 1: Shame Mary publicly and have her stoned for infidelity. Option 2: Put Mary away quietly. The scriptures state that an angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him not to fear taking Mary as his wife. She had committed no sin and the child that she was carrying was the result of a miracle and the fulfillment of a prophecy that “a virgin would conceive and bring forth a son who would be named Emmanuel, meaning ‘God with us’.”


Mary and Jesus
Mary and Jesus - Pop Ink – CSA Images - Allposters.com

Some non-Christian sources say that Jesus was a bastard, an illegitimate child, the result of an unlawful union between Mary and someone other than her lawful husband. There is an ongoing debate as to whether the Qu’ran (Koran) states that Mary was a virgin who conceived and gave birth to Jesus, having never had sexual contact in any way with any man OR whether she was a virgin at the time the angel visited her and told her she would have a child.

Whether or not Christian and non-Christian sources agree, Mary is the 5th woman mentioned by Matthew in the lineage of Jesus Christ.
  • Bible References: MARY – MATT 1: 16, 18, 20; 2: 11; 13: 55; MK 6: 3; LK 1: 27, 30, 41, 56; 2: 5, 16, 19


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Character Study: Bathsheba: The Innocent Victim

BATHSHEBA

  • Was it her fault that the king lusted in his heart for her?
  • Was she responsible for her husband’s death?

The Hebrew meaning of Bath Shebha is “seventh daughter” or “daughter of the oath”. Bathsheba was the mother of King Solomon. She was the wife of Uriah the Hittite who David had murdered to cover up his act of adultery with her. Bathsheba became pregnant by King David while her husband was away at war. The child that was conceived through that adulterous union died. David later made Bathsheba his lawful wife and she gave birth to Solomon, the last king to rule over a united Israel. After Solomon’s death, 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel revolted against the rule of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, and the kingdom was divided.

Throughout the years, many have debated whether Bathsheba was as guilty of adultery as King David. Was she deliberately bathing outdoors knowing that the king could see her from his balcony? When he summoned her, even though he was king, could she not have refused him? Could she not have pleaded with him not to defile her? Why didn’t she prick the king’s conscience and remind him that her husband was an honorable man and loyal to the king and not deserving of such treachery? Instead of sending word to the king that she was pregnant by him, why not send word to her husband that while he was away and she was all alone, the king violated her and now she was with child? Had she done any of those things the biblical account would clearly show who the guilty party was and Bathsheba’s biography would read differently. Some conclude Bathsheba is just as guilty as King David of committing adultery.

It should be noted that the scriptural account does not indicate that Bathsheba objected to being taken by King David. The scriptures also do not indicate that she DID indeed object but was taken against her will. What the bible story does reveal is that Nathan the prophet went directly to King David and accused him of the sin!!! Evidently, the God of King David had no problem figuring out who the guilty party was. And the prophet serving that God had no problem telling the king that his God was not pleased with his behavior. And the scriptures are clear to show David was the one punished, not Bathsheba.

Nathan compared Bathsheba to “a little ewe lamb”. She was taken and violated. Her husband was murdered. She bore an innocent child and lost the child. Defilement and grief on top of grief: she was an innocent who was wronged and hurt. How do we know this? Because the scripture says after all of this happened, David made her his legitimate wife and “comforted her”. I suppose it was the least he could do. Read all of her story and tread carefully before maligning the character of a decent and honorable woman. David paid the price for his sin.

  • Bible References: BATHSHEBA – 2 SAM 11: 3; 12: 24; 1 KINGS 1:15, 28, 31; 2:13




David and the Prophet Nathan
David and the Prophet Nathan - Allposters.com

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Character Study: Ruth: The Beautiful Gleaner

RUTH

How many stories have you heard of a woman begging to live the rest of her life with her mother-in-law?

Image credit: Debby McCann on Flickr.com

   the  



Ruth is a shortened version of ‘retut’, which means “lovely friend”. Ruth was a Moabitess, who married into a family of Israelites. She was subsequently widowed. The Book of Ruth is a short book in the Old Testament that tells the story of this “beautiful gleaner”. She is remembered for her loyalty to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and her conversion to Judaism. The earnestness of her plea and her sincerity was expressed almost in the form of a prayer.


Ruth in Boaz's Field
Ruth in Boaz's Field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
They were both destitute and Naomi tried to convince Ruth that she could offer her nothing but bitterness. Yet to Naomi she pleaded: “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God, my God.” (Ruth 1: 16) Ruth’s steadfastness ultimately resulted in her marriage to her deceased husband’s wealthy kinsman Boaz, who was the father of Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of King David, the shepherd boy who became an anointed king of Israel.


Bible References:  RUTH – RUTH 1: 1 – 4: 22; MATT 1: 5








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Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter



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