Item description for Jeroboam's Wife: The Enduring Contributions of the Old Testament's Least-known Women by Robin Gallagher Branch...
Overview In Jeroboam's Wife, Robin Gallaher Branch presents women who share combinations of obscure characteristics. Rizpah is named but does not speak; the wise woman of Abel Beth Macaah speaks but is named only in terms of her function; the wife of Jeroboam is both unnamed and does not speak; the widow of Zarepath speaks but is named in terms of her function; and Athaliah is both named and speaks, but her genocide against her family is unique in scripture for a woman. Other obscure women who are considered in Jeroboam's Wife are the unnamed daughters of Lot, the daughters of Zelophehad, Ephrathath (the second wife of Caleb but evidently so important that she gave her name to an entire district), the Levite's concubine, Acsah, the widow of the prophet, the great woman of Shunem, and the unnamed wives of Isaiah and Ezekiel. Much has been written about such prominent figures as Sarah, Eve, Ruth, Esther, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Moses, Paul, and Mary--but much less on those who play supporting roles in Scripture. Yet the plots of the stories and the character development of these major figures advance because of the input of supporting characters. People often feel less significant in God's eyes than "the biggies" in history or contemporary life, whether that be a TV evangelist or a local pastor. The people considered in Jeroboam's Wife are obscure for various reasons, and yet God uses them to play key roles in the text and the themes of the Old Testament.
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Robin Gallaher Branch (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) is professor of Bible and theology at Victory University in Memphis, Tennessee. She was a Fulbright scholar and previously served as an associate professor at the University in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
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Jeroboam's Wife: The Enduring Contributions of the Old Testament's Least Known Women Jan 5, 2010
The Bible is so rich in small details and yet, for the most part they are largely ignored. Often sermons come forth from the same few verses and themes, and often they are based on truisms and cliches and not the author's or the preacher's careful and incisive exploration of the text.
Dr. Robin's Gallaher Branch's book, "Jeroboam's Wife: The Enduring Contribution of the Old Testament's Least Known Women" looks at material rarely examined and looks at it in a fresh and insightful way.
She examines women in the Old Testament that are only briefly mentioned, but ones that have much to offer us. Who would have seen that the wise women of Abel Beth Maacah (2 Samuel 20) would have so much to say to contemporary women (and men!)as they seek to bring godly council into difficult circumstances?
Who would have seen signs of an abusive marital relationship in the story of Jeroboam's wife (I Kings 14)? This chapter is particularly insightful in dealing with the passivity and despair that abuse brings while offering hope that God both sees and acts in the life of the abused and downtrodden . She brings to light that God often begins His work of reconciliation and salvation in the broken places!
This book is well researched, accessible, and lets the biblical text bring forth what it has to say without added political agenda. Women have a place in God's saving history and, while their place is often ignored or forgotten, it is there in startling and inspiring ways, if we but take a closer look.
The book also has questions for personal discussion or group study and is a substantial contribution in the conservative tradition to women's biblical studies.
--Rose-Marie Slosek, Board of Directors, Women of the Word Ministries.
Excellent book on interesting women ! Nov 19, 2009
The is a fascinating study of Eight Old Testament women you've never heard of!
These women came from various backgrounds --a king's wife, sister of Moses, a slave girl, a concubine. They each faced a crisis. Some responded to the crisis with faith, some with wisdom, some with treachery.
I recommend this book for a women's Bible study. Dr. Branch includes thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter. She uses many sources, Jewish tradition, Jewish sources, scholars, and common sense.
One woman, known only as "the wise woman of Abel Beth Maacah," bargains with the Israeli army general who is planning to attack her city. Since the general really wanted only one man, she agrees to throw the man's head over the wall, and thus save her city.
One unnamed woman is known only by her actions (the wife of Jeroboam).
Dr. Branch is a creative writer, who uses the cultural and historical background to show how God used these women to accomplish important things.
Jeroboam's Wife by Robin G. Branch Oct 1, 2009
One who simply reads through the Hebrew Bible will probably recall little, if anything, about the seven females Dr. Branch features in her book. The book's subtitle, "The Enduring Contributions of the Old Testament's Least-Known Women," summarizes the very significant contribution made by the author. No longer are these individuals to be passed over as being insignificant in the stories of the Old Testament.
The five women and two girls are l)Miriam, sister of Moses; 2) Rizpah, daughter of Aiah; 3) Athaliah, queen of Judah; 4)the wise woman of Abel Beth Maacah; 5) the wife of Jeroboam; 6) a Gentile widow in Zarephath; and 7) an Israelite slave girl.
Dr Branch's analysis of the stories not only shows them to be more significant than a simple reading of them would indicate but also very much more interesting and intriguing. She is very perceptive and imaginative and reveals herself to be thoroughly versed in the Old Testament and the Hebrew language. She is also well acquainted with the literature dealing with her subject and plows new ground in the area, making a very significant contribution to the literature.
She also makes use of literature not dealing directly with the Old Testament scripture. For example, in her analysis of whether Jeroboam's wife was abused by her husband she cites a number of sources dealing with abusive relationships -- for example, a source citing the traits of an abuser.
For her notes to be more convenient to the reader I personally would prefer footnotes rather than endnotes.
A valuable plus are the excellent and thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter.
Charles E. Ratliff, Jr.
AP English teacher Sep 19, 2009
This book, like some of the lectures this author gives, brings characters and narratives to life in what I'd describe as an enlivened and scholarly discussion.
What is interesting is how she takes seemingly non-descript women in the Bible and shows that without their deliberate participation in various plots, there would be no plot. E.g., Moses would never have become the leader of the Exodus had he not been saved by a slave girl -- a quick thinker and a "mover and shaker" in her own unique way.