Tag Archives: hospitality

In the Name of Abraham, Rebecca and Isaac, pt. 1



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Her Birth Announcement

Just after Sarah dies, Rebecca’s birth is recorded, the only woman given this distinction in the Bible. It seems that the narrator wants to reassure the reader that the saga will continue. “Before the first matriarch died, the second is already born” (Teugel, p.92). But it is not just that she is mentioned, it is the way that her birth is recorded. The genealogical record lists Rebecca as the only progeny of Bethuel (22:23) even though very clearly she has a brother, Laban. Through the notice of her birth, Rebecca is being emphasized so that we understand that she will carry on Sarah’s role. Continue reading

Yael (Jael): Most Blessed Assassin


Artist: Felice Ficherelli

“Most blessed of women be Yael, wife of Heber the Kenite, most blessed of women in tents. He asked for water, she offered milk; in a princely bowl she brought him curds. Her left hand reached for the tent pin, her right for the workmen’s hammer. She struck Sisera, crushed his head, smashed and pierced his temple.” Judges 5:24-26.

Judges 4 and 5 comprise both a prose and poetic account of the Battle of Kishon wherein the judge Deborah led the Israelites to victory against their Canaanite oppressors. When the Canaanite general Sisera fled on foot he found himself at the tent of a lone woman, Yael (Jael) who then killed him a hammer and a tent peg. Continue reading