by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide
The third and fourth themes in this chapter are pretty straightforward. The problem is that the Botkin Sisters decided to try and support their themes from the Bible – and the results are pretty funny. The post got longer than I expected and I don’t want to short the fourth theme, so this will be divided into three parts.
Women in the Bible supported the men around them; women were never leaders.
“In the Bible, we see men leading the charge (for good or for evil), and women following, responding, supporting, and enabling (for good or for evil). Even the women who weren’t wives stepped into generally supportive roles towards the men around them, as we can see if we take a quick look at some of the heroines in Scripture.” (pg 21.)
- As I’ve read more CP books, I find word choices when the author is lying fascinating. Notice that whichever sister wrote this section couldn’t say that women were “into supportive roles” but were “into generally supportive roles”. After all, when you read the Bible, women behaved as independent agents with their own goals and objectives.
“Rebekah had no particular obligation to the strange man who showed up at the well, but she jumped to offer him more than the sip of water he asked for (Gen. 24:15-20). Watering several camels was no light task, but she was looking for ways to serve and assist.” (pg. 21)
- That’s a plausible explanation as long as you ignore Genesis 24:12-14 where the servant Abraham sent out prays that a girl who would be suitable for his master’s son responds by giving him a drink of water and watering his camels.
- You could also look into the cultural history and emphasis on treating strangers respectfully since a) they may be relatives, b) they may respond to disrespect by slaughtering your family and/or c) they may be unrelated, but good marriage prospects. Turns out in Rebekah’s case that A and C are true.
- More importantly, remind me how Rebekah is serving or assisting her husband in Genesis 27 when she orchestrates Isaac giving his blessing to Jacob instead of Esau by having Jacob dress in Esau’s clothing, place a furry pelt on his skin to mimic Esau’s body hair and hands Jacob a bowl of stew that Isaac had asked Esau to prepare for him. Oh, wait. She wasn’t. She was undermining her husband for the benefit of her preferred son. After all, Esau was her son as well.
“We don’t know whether Miriam ever married, but we do know that she was an aide to her brothers Moses and Aaron until her death. And as Moses led God’s people out of Egypt, she rallied the women in following him (Ex. 15:20-21).” (pg. 21)
- She also joined Aaron in a rebellion against Moses since Miriam and Aaron were annoyed that Moses was more facetime from God (Numbers 12).
“When spies from a rival nation descended on Rahab’s house, she chose to support God’s forces and not her home city’s (Josh. 2:1-21). She didn’t insist on going with the spy team, but she did risk her life to defend them and ensure that their mission would be successful.” (pg. 21)
- The Botkin Sisters couldn’t resist that jab at women who “act like men” – but they should have read the passage more carefully. The spy team had been discovered and was hiding out at Rahab’s house. Rahab protected the spy team initially, worked out a deal to save her family and helped the spy team escape from Jericho. She even told the spy team where and how long to hide to escape the people chasing them! “Going with the spy team” would have meant that her parents, siblings and nieces and nephews would have been killed during the invasion. Rahab’s deception wasn’t an act of a submissive woman; she was protecting her family against a conquering force.
“Though she was away from the action, Jael knew of the battle raging between Sisera’s army and the Israelites. When God brought Sisera to her doorstep, she fearlessly jumped in to assist the Israelite army and cause, from the home front, using household items (Jdg. 4:17-23). (pg. 21)”
- That paragraph made me laugh so hard I cried. Jael? Good ol’ “Tent Stake” Jael? The woman who drove a tent stake through the entirety of Sisera’s head by hammering it through his skull is described as “helping on the homefront using household items!” The Botkin sisters ignore the fact that Jael – like Rahab – was acting against an ally, but I can forgive them that one because the description of Jael as a demure 1940’s homemaker is causing me to crack up.
- Alas, their Bible doesn’t include the Book of Judith or we could have had something like “Judith, a lonely widow, used her picnic supplies to help the fighting boys win!” *giggles* I think that’s an adequate Botkin-esque paraphrase of Judith calling the Israelites out as faithless wimps, getting gussied up, seducing the enemy’s general Holofernes, chopping his head off with a knife when he comes to her bed then taking his head back to the Israelite encampment in a basket to place the head on a pike.
“Deborah was a strong woman, during a time when the land was filled with men who weren’t doing their jobs. Even when pushed towards positions of leadership, Deborah never actually took the reins of authority, but rather extended them to Barak, and stood supportively behind him (Judges 4:6, 14). She had to rally him, urge him and even accompany him as he led troops into battle; but in the end she succeeded in helping a man into leadership, rather than taking leadership herself.” (pg. 21)
And now they are outright lying….
- Deborah is described as the judge of Israel in Judges 4:4; the term judge is never applied to Barak.
- Remember how married women are supposed to be a help meet to their husband?Deborah’s husband is alive, but except for that notation in Judges 4:4, he’s not involved in the story. So….Deborah – prophetess of Israel – is going against God’s divinely ordained plan for her when she saves Israel if the Botkins are right.
- The comma in the Judges citation from the book is there for a reason. In Jdg. 4:6-7, Deborah tells Barak that God wants him to march against Sisera and if he does so, he will be a hero. Barak waffles and says that he will only go if Deborah goes with him in verse 8. Deborah agrees in verse 9, but tells him that because of that, a woman will kill Sisera (e.g., Jael). That’s hardly a ringing endorsement of Barak as a leader.
- So, this continues on for another page or so, but after this, it feels like they are laboring the point. In the next post, we get to hear the Botkins take on Abigail’s and Bathsheba’s interactions with David.
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