I can’t agree with all Dr. Jim Fleming teaches in his lecture on the subject of women in the Bible, but I find what I learned from him quite interesting. There’s so much we don’t get about the common attitudes toward women throughout the middle eastern countries. Especially over the centuries the Bible was written. This does affect recorded attitudes toward women in the Bible. Not that the ideal the Bible sets forth is always adopted in the attitudes displayed. Rather, there’s an attitude God wants for and about women, and then there’s what often happened due to the commonly accepted norms.
Summing up briefly, during the New Testament era women were commonly much more oppressed than earlier in the Old Testament times. This was especially true of the heathen nations at the time, but it infiltrated the Jewish system of beliefs and practices too much, as well. Was God’s ideal for women to function in all the exact same ways as men? That’s where I disagree with Dr. Jim Fleming a lot.
Going back to creation, God created a woman to be a help-meet for a man. Now thankfully the women’s lib movement has removed a great deal of oppression that women used to be under. But does that mean women should be considered for all the same things that men do, even in direct competition? Most definitely not. For instance, women should not be competing with men in sports. Anyone that tries to purport this has an agenda of denial that goes beyond common sense and reason combined.
This is a very complex subject and not one I want to cover much. My website is about envisioning the Bible world. There are too many rabbit trails that could take me way off this beaten path. But I bring this up because of the common misconception the Bible teaches the oppression of women. It’s one thing to be considered as different and yet equal to men. It’s another thing to use the differences to excuse sin. Either men’s sin OR women’s sin.
It boils down to wanting God’s ideal for us or wanting what we want. God created men to lead if he created women to submit and/or be help-meets. And if we think we know better than God, we’re in a sorry state. That doesn’t make men better than women. It makes women with a different pre-ordained ideal to strive for. However that affects singles, divorcees, widows, OR wives is a quest that we all should seek with teachable spirits. Anything less is not God’s best.
I also bring this up because of the expression “daughters of [a place name]” found in the Bible, as mentioned in my documentary segment called the Valley of Armageddon. “Daughters of Zion” weren’t all women, contrary to popular belief. They were the poor of the land, those who couldn’t afford to live inside the walls of the city, i.e. about 90% of the area’s population. This expression undoubtedly grew out of the tendency to oppress women that always existed throughout all ages.
The poor were the vulnerable ones during the siege of warfare. They were, as is so often the case, the ones left to the mercy (or lack thereof) of the wicked kings and the wealthy, ruling class. So when the “Daughters of Zion” were crying after Jesus on his way to the cross, they weren’t a bunch of women. I’ll write more next week on the poor class that Jesus stood for versus the rich.
Meanwhile, can you think of any ways that you’ve settled for less than God’s best regarding attitudes toward (or about) women?
The above picture is from online free stock photos.