Ancient Israel the Connection Between Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Oddly enough, modern Judeo-Christian teachings overlook the important role that women played in the economic security of their households in the ancient Israel period. In ancient-Israel, households were largely self-sufficient. People did not specialize and trade was not a substantial part of the society. (Meyers, p.143). It seems likely that animals were stabled inside with people, on the first floor of the home, which also had space for other agricultural concerns, and crafts. Excavations have revealed the presence of animal bones almost everywhere; demonstrating the importance of animals to the economy. They have also revealed a lack of imported goods, helping reaffirm the self-sufficient nature of households. (Meyers, p.143). The result is that an ancient-Israeli housewife was, in all senses of the word, a "working mother." She was actively involved in subsistence and contributions to the family's economy. However, much of Christian tradition has been concerned with relegating women to the domestic sphere, and basing that separation on Biblical tradition. However, outside of a pioneer agrarian context, that relegation makes no sense. Even the daily work involved in food production in an agrarian society is incomprehensible to most modern people. When economic freedom permits a housewife to purpose craft items and the raising of animals and crops, a substantial portion of her economic duties in the home have been removed. If one
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chooses to base modern economic roles on an ancient Israeli tradition, then the notion of a woman working outside of the home would actually be more consistent with that tradition than the notion of a stay-at-home mother.

Though archeological studies and Biblical interpretation can shed light on many aspects of ancient Israeli life, they can only help one speculate about the private relationships between men and women. However, it is fair to assume that much of these relationships focused on the reproductive capacity of women, so that they may have contributed less in other areas. However, in societies where all capable family members were expected to contribute, the long periods of childhood and extensive mothering did not exist, so that men and women could still participate fully in the household, contributing roughly equal amounts of labor, though probably in different gender-divided areas. When the household was the most important social unit, women probably had tremendous power.

Once the household became secondary to other social divisions, male power and authority did begin to develop in ancient Israel. It was probably rooted in the Canaanite origins of the Israelis and proved functionally beneficial in the early days of the society. However, this functionality is an important aspect that is ignored in many modern discussions. Just as it was more adaptive for households to be equal in the early days of Israeli agrarian society, it is more adaptive for households to be equal in today's society.

Works Cited

Meyers, Carole. Discovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context. New York: Oxford


Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Meyers, Carole. Discovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context. New York: Oxford

University Press, 1988.

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