Reading the Bible as a Woman: OT Matriarchs and their Daughters
In my studies on the women in the Old Testament, I follow the woman’s seed through the matrilineal blood line of Israel’s Matriarchs, from Eve to Mary the Mother of Jesus.
The first prophecy with promise was for all women as it concerned their seed.. It was given to the first women, Eve. It is recorded in Genesis Chapter 3.
‘And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel’
It concerns the woman’s seed or ovum, of her her female ancestors, bruising the head of the enemy of her and her children’s enemies. This prophecy carries for us all a message of future hope for us and our children.
The woman’s seed began in Eve’s womb. It followed through the blood line of Eve’s seed down the genealogical line to Sarah’s womb and the house she and her sister were building, in Ur of th Chaldees and in Caanan respectively. (Go to Sarah for her history and learning more about her house).
From there the seed and bloodline carried on to the house of the Matriarchs Leah and Rachel. Then on through Dinah Leah’s daughter and Rachels fruitful daughters also. Unlike the precarious male record proving to them their patrimony women needed no written public record. Their building their houses through their daughters on their own land assured them of the outcome of their holy God ordained union with their mothers, their sisters, and their daughters.
The number of each woman’s seed is limited as we know. Each one therefore is precious. They carried their rich inheritance in their wombs and passed it on to their daughters. This limitation of seed does not hinder them as it would the prolific misnomer, the ‘seed’ of the male genealogies of Israel. This is the way of patriarchy.
Each male’s individual sperm is prolific and can be distributed without much planning or thought. The way of matriarchy on the other hand is the way of wise women safeguarding their future and the continuation of themselves and their seed through their daughters.
They have the privilege of knowing theirs and their daughter’s children and their children’s children and to recognise them as their own. For example, the seed of Mary the mother of Jesus was a woman of Leah’s linage. Mary’s seed in the beginning was in Eve’s womb. Its promise and its presence was carried along moving through each succeeding generation of women’s menstrual flow.
In my writings each woman of the OT, the named and the unnamed, the record of so and so’s ‘sons and daughters’ all act in the same way as shining a spotlight into the darkness, bringing to light to each succeeding generation, good news! In my writing I recognise them as the seed- bearers for God and of God, rather than for men’s purposes.
Each one therefore has her own value. Those I have singled out have been handpicked and her account in the nation of Israel’s record is uncovered. these reveal her active faith her trust in the promise made to Eve of the woman’s seed thus carrying it forward to its culmination.
I write for women. I come from a different angle to the patriarchal one. In my work each woman is shown to be building her house through her daughters. Hence the rivalry of some. Emphasis is placed on the womens house’s and their individual matri-linage.
Consider Rahab’s red cord. It could be likened to a red three fold cord, an umbilical cord of sorts, hanging there bloody and gory from the open window of her house. Rahab is ready to cut the ties with the old way of life. She is the head of her family and taking them with her into the new life. The house with the open window acts as her womb of grace, of warmth, protection, and safety for the present time. The pangs of birth are over for her. Forty long years Rahab had waited.
She was already born anew. The flax on the roof is her evidence. Away with the misnomer she was a prostitute. That’s patriarchal interpretation. She was an innkeeper, hard working, industrious and ready to receive her inheritance through her recent connection with Israel. Her evidence of a different kind of birth, a red rope, was hanging there in public for all passers by to view, for all of her day; then that looked closely enough, and from then to now, for all posterity, up to today, for our learning.
The faithful women all played their part in protecting and preserving the appointed ‘Woman’s Seed’ for future generations of daughters. These women upheld and passed on the importance of the prophecy’s preservation until the time came for it to be fulfilled.
The promise and preservation of the Seed of the Woman, once understood, ushers each woman of the OT onto centerstage. Their trust in its coming and their readiness to receive it act as loud-speakers, forth-telling of a promised Messiah for Israel. It’s presence is discernible to us when we take the time to search for it. It aids us to interpret their story with precision. Nothing is random. They are despised and rejected by the Patriarchal interpreters who see them only as props to the male characters.
On the other hand in my writings I aid the reader to see them as the main players. Their actions and God’s interventions in their lives are seen by my as the saviours and rescuers of Israel. Women have always been and still are central to the plan of God being fulfilled.
This is the goal of my writing on the women. It is to inform the astute woman reader to recognise these women of old and the woman reader of her own importance and participation in the future fulfilment of the plan of God. We are as much import as those early women. Their importance was in relation to the first coming, ours to his second coming. Jesus Christ is returning and all the future promises associated with this coming will be fulfilled.
By now you realise my approach is not traditional. It is rather, thought provoking. It is meant to stir the woman reader, to motivate her, and to find a refreshing in understanding and acknowledging theirs and our import. To discover afresh the vision of hope and of its future fulfilment. To be aware of our being re-appointed. Of our being healed from all the disappointments and oppression. My hope is women recognise their part in the realisation of the future vision the understanding the early prophecy of the Seed of the Woman carries to them.
Jesus Chris: the Seed of the Woman, the Husband of the Bride of Christ, the Builder and Maker of the City of God, is our Creator and our Saviour. It is my hope that all women will not continue to go about, as backsliding daughters but to reach out and grasp all that has been provided to us to enable us to reach our final destiny.