Wise Women of the Bible

Wise Women of the Bible

Study by Susan Pigott
Commentary by Judson Edwards

Wise Women of the Bible $5.99

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Brief Description

If you were asked what sorts of roles women played in the Old Testament, how would you respond? Most of us would probably say that they were mothers and wives. We would imagine them being limited to the household, excluded from public office, banned from military and religious leadership, and certainly not in positions of authority over men. When we hear about women in the Bible, usually their stories are deeply intertwined with those of their famous husbands or sons. We see women primarily playing minor roles, and so we assume this was the lot of all women.

Women in Israel’s male-dominated society often did find themselves in subservient positions. Some were treated as property. Others were abused and maligned. But that is not the whole story. Women in an agricultural society such as Israel’s were integral members of their communities since they were the ones with the most diverse skills. Women assisted in planting and harvesting but, more importantly, they were the ones who turned raw materials such as grain and wool into bread and cloth. Without them, an agricultural community could not have survived.

Even though it might surprise many readers, women in Israel were not limited to roles inside the home. In this unit of study, we will meet a woman who was a general (Deborah); two female obstetricians (Shiphrah and Puah); an actress, of sorts (the wise woman of Tekoa); a female city official (the wise woman of Abel); and a woman who advised a king (Lemuel’s mother). None of these women fit the stereotypical roles most people think of when they think “women of the Old Testament.” On the contrary, these women are anything but stereotypical! Deborah defeated the Canaanites in battle; Shiphrah and Puah thwarted the pharaoh; the wise woman of Tekoa convinced David to bring his estranged son home; the wise woman of Abel negotiated peace between two warring armies; and Lemuel’s mother advised her son on how to be a proper king. Each woman is praised for her extraordinary wisdom and leadership in difficult times.

Materials Included
• 5 Sessions of Learner’s Materials
• 5 Sessions of Teaching Materials
• 5 Handouts

Sessions Included
1. Deborah: A Mother in Israel
2. Siphrah and Puah: Registers of Tyranny
3. The Wise Woman of Tekeo: A Mediator
4. The Wise Woman of Abel: An Intercessor
5. King Lemuel’s Mother: A Teacher of Wisdom

Age Group

1. Judges 4:4-16; 5:4-9
2. Exodus 1:8-10, 15-21
3. 2 Samuel 14:1-20
4. 2 Samuel 20:14-22
5. Proverbs 31:1-9

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