Sekundärliteratur:1 Chronik 7

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Abstract: This study is based primarily on the presupposition that the conventional definition or description of a biblical heroine does not take into account certain ‘hidden’ women in the Old Testament who could be distinguished due to their wisdom. By using the Yoruba woman as a contextual interpretive lens, the study investigates two female characters in the Old Testament each of whom is named in only one verse of Scriptures – “the First Deborah” in Genesis 35:8 and Sheerah in 1 Chronicles 7:24. The investigation takes its point of departure from the figure of Woman Wisdom of the book of Proverbs, which commentators have characterized as a metaphor for the Israelite heroine – a consummate image of the true Israelite female icon. It is indeed remarkable that Woman Wisdom has been associated with various female figures in the Old Testament such as Ruth, Abigail, the Wise Woman of Tekoa and the Wise Woman of Abel, etc. However, this study calls for a broader definition of wisdom based on the investigation of certain women in Old Testament narratives (e.g. Deborah and Sheerah) who have received only fleeting mention and recognition but whose lives reflect a possible connection to wisdom on a deeper level. It is shown that classical (arguably masculine) ways of reading the text tend to sideline or altogether overlook certain female characters, which are regarded as marginal such as Deborah and Sheerah. However, there are narrative gaps in the units where such women are found that could be filled by a reading of the text that is sensitive to details. It is urgued that a more careful examination of the minute details in the texts could break down the metanarratives in a way that shows that they have hermeneutical significance. Therefore, attention to the narrative details unveils new dimensions of meaning and implications between the two texts (women) under investigation that have not been related in previous studies. Of significance is the fact that classical readings of the two verses that mention “the First Deborah” and Sheerah (Gen 35:8 and 1 Chron 7:24) regard them as intrusive in their respective contexts. However, a multiplex reading of each of the two verses in this study has shown that, rather than being intrusive, both have been strategically constructed to underscore the importance of the two women, and that the verses actually fit into their present pericope. The references to both Deborah and Sheerah are rooted in strong Old Testament traditions namely Bethel and Ephraimite, respectively, both of which play visible roles within the pericopes. What’s more, both verses are found within significant contexts – one in the middle of a section that closes the Jacob Cycle and introduces the Joseph Cycle, the other in the midst of a theologically driven genealogy that begins with Adam. Again, based on the multifaceted character of Woman Wisdom, in particular, as a teacher, a nourisher and a builder, it is argued that this metaphor of an Israelite heroine is embodied in both “the First Deborah” and Sheerah. Whereas Deborah was a wet nurse who must have nourished and nurtured the offspring of Rebekah, her mistress, Sheerah has been identified as the only female builder throughout Scriptures. The identification of the role of a wet nurse as a nurturer and nourisher as well as the role of a daughter as a builder with Woman Wisdom points to two silent heroines, one in the private domain and the other in the public sphere, who have remained unrecognized and uncelebrated in Old Testament scholarship. Furthermore, the roles of Deborah and Sheerah, respectively as wet nurse and builder, indicate that women participated in various spectrums of societal life especially in the Second Temple period when it is assumed that the texts reached their final forms. Not only did they perform roles that were associated with women, they equally participated in roles that were regarded as traditionally masculine. In this regard, a study of the women in the book of Chronicles offers a fresh glimpse into the roles and positions of women in the Second Temple period as well as into the Chronicler’s purpose and emphasis, in particular, regarding his concept of laer"f.yI-lk'. On a theological level, the achievements of the two women demonstrate God’s penchant for supporting the weak and the marginalized and for affirming those who are regarded as less likely to succeed. The mention of the First Deborah in the Old Testament proves that in God’s script, there are no little people. In the case of Sheerah, the point that there is a lare f" y. -I lk ' that includes outstanding female achievers indicates that, theologically speaking, there is no barrier against what women can do.