"Smith does an excellent job of bringing her characters to life . . . A memorable and noteworthy rendering of the atmosphere and figures of the scriptures."--Booklist starred review In her eventful lifetime, Miriam was many things to many people: protective older sister, song leader, prophetess, leper. But between the highs and the lows, she was a girl who dreamed of freedom, a woman who longed for love, a leader who made mistakes, and a friend who valued connection. With her impeccable research and keen eye for detail, bestselling author Jill Eileen Smith offers this epic story to fill in the gaps and imagine how Miriam navigated the challenges of holding on to hope, building a family in the midst of incredible hardship, and serving as a leader of a difficult people, all while living in her brother's shadow. Follow Miriam's journey from childhood to motherhood, obscurity to notoriety, and yearning to fulfillment as she learns that what God promises he provides--in his own perfect timing.
Hanna Tervanotko first analyzes the treatment and development of Miriam as a literary character in ancient Jewish texts, taking into account all the references to this figure preserved in ancient Jewish literature from the exilic period to the early second century C.E.: Exodus 15:20-21; Deuteronomy 24:8-9; Numbers 12:1-15; 20:1; 26:59; 1 Chronicles 5:29; Micah 6:4, the Septuagint, the Dead Sea Scrolls (4Q365 6 II, 1-7; 4Q377 2 I, 9; 4Q543 1 I, 6 = 4Q545 1 I, 5; 4Q546 12, 4; 4Q547 4 I, 10; 4Q549 2, 8), Jubilees 47:4; Ezekiel the Tragedian 18; Demetrius Chronographer frag. 3; texts by Philo of Alexandria: De vita contemplativa 87; Legum allegoriae 1.76; 2.66-67; 3.103; De agricultura 80-81; Liber antiquitatum biblicarum 9:10; 20:8, and finally texts by Josephus: Antiquitates judaicae 2.221; 3.54; 3.105; 4.78. These texts demonstrate that the picture of Miriam preserved in the ancient Jewish texts is richer than the Hebrew Bible suggests. The results provide a contradictory image of Miriam. On the one hand she becomes a tool of Levitical politics, whereas on the other she continues to enjoy a freer role. People continued to interpret earlier literary traditions in light of new situations, and interpretations varied in different contexts. Second, in light of poststructuralist literary studies that treat texts as reflections of specific social situations, Tervanotko argues that the treatment of Miriam in ancient Jewish literature reflects mostly a reality in which women had little space as active agents. Despite the general tendency to allow women only little room, the references to Miriam suggest that at least some prominent women may have enjoyed occasional freedom.
Divination, the use of special talents and techniques to gain divine knowledge, was practiced in many different forms in ancient Israel and throughout the ancient world. The Hebrew Bible reveals a variety of traditions of women associated with divination. This sensitive and incisive book by respected scholar Esther J. Hamori examines the wide scope of women’s divinatory activities as portrayed in the Hebrew texts, offering readers a new appreciation of the surprising breadth of women’s “arts of knowledge” in biblical times. Unlike earlier approaches to the subject that have viewed prophecy separately from other forms of divination, Hamori’s study encompasses the full range of divinatory practices and the personages who performed them, from the female prophets and the medium of En-dor to the matriarch who interprets a birth omen and the “wise women” of Tekoa and Abel and more. In doing so, the author brings into clearer focus the complex, rich, and diverse world of ancient Israelite divination.
Arranged according to the order of the seder, this practical guide gathers the voices of more than 100 women in the form of accessible and inspiring introductions to each part of the seder, overviews of how different aspects of the Passover ritual have been reinterpreted in a feminist context, and much more.
This volume is part of a series which provides a fundamental resource for feminist biblical scholarship, containing a comprehensive selection of essays, both reprinted and specially written for the series, by leading feminist scholars. The essays in this volume deal with social status and female sexuality, the textual figure of 'the daughter' and the character of Miriam. 'An enterprising series of collections of important and pioneering studies.... Those teaching feminist courses will find the books invaluable as a resource for students' (C.S. Rodd, Expository Times).
For years, religious leaders and communities around the world have turned to the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER) for feminist liturgies for justice. Now—in celebration of the organization’s thirty-fifth anniversary—Stirring Waters gathers fifty-two of these beautiful liturgies, ready-made to help your community venerate powerful women of faith, develop a richer and deeper spirituality, and take real action for justice. Use the liturgies in this book as a resource to nourish the souls and focus the passions of the people you serve. Help them reflect on great women like the prophetess Miriam and Julian of Norwich; provoke and disturb them on occasions like Earth Day and World Water Day; energize them on International Women’s Day and Black History Month; and rejuvenate drooping spirits with liturgies of healing and gratitude. Never again will you scramble or struggle to provide community prayer that is worthwhile, nourishing, and even electrifying.