Much has been written about prominent women of biblical history like Sarah, Ruth, and Esther. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the obscure women of the Old Testament whose words are not recorded in the Bible and some of whom aren’t even named. Yet often these less prominent women played important roles in the unfolding of God’s plan. Indeed, the appearance of such obscure women sometimes signals the emergence of some great event. More than that, these lesser-known women, frequently faced with seemingly impossible circumstances, modeled unflinching integrity and moral courage.
In Jeroboam’s Wife, Robin Gallagher Branch introduces us to seven obscure yet notable biblical women. By examining their historical and cultural settings with scholarly care and penetrating insight, she brings these women out of obscurity and highlights both the unique challenges they face and their indelible contributions. By interacting with contemporary biblical, social, and psychological scholarship, she presents ancient biblical history in fresh and relevant ways.
Thoughtful questions for personal reflection or group discussion guide contemporary readers to ponder the deeper significance of these women’s contributions and to reflect on points of personal application.
The Logos Bible Software edition of this volume is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of Scripture. Biblical passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the Word of God.
Robin Gallaher Branch has taken a series of humble Scripture passages, generally overlooked and passed by, and revealed the wisdom and insight waiting for one who will simply give herself to them. Her careful scholarship, combined with a child-like joy in discovery, makes these women, many of whom Jesus would consider among “the least of these,” come alive.
—Mike Gatliff, pastor, Second Presbyterian Church, Memphis TN
A welcome addition to the growing literature that explores the significance of female biblical characters, major and minor, who are vital participants in biblical salvation history.
—Catholic Biblical Review
Dr. Robin Gallaher Branch joyfully draws forth portraits of women and girls who find the middle road between being timidly inarticulate and stridently verbose. in separate chapters, Dr. Branch reveals the paths the seven least-known women and girls took to meet different life-challenges. She shows how each grew emotionally and spiritually to reach hope and finally to achieve surprising courage.
—Mary V. Battle, associate professor of English, University of Memphis
Robin Gallaher Branch’s penetrating probe into the stories of some of the forgotten—and even silent—women of the Old Testament is a tour de force, combining feminist hermeneutic with careful narrative and character analysis. There is a lot more here than most readers will expect. Branch’s careful and illuminating interpretation of these texts is a necessary resource for all future attempts to understand them.
—Stephen G. Dempster, Stuart E. Murray Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Atlantic Baptist University
Robin Gallaher Branch has been writing extensively on the women of the Bible, especially those mentioned in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. This book is the fruit of many endeavors in this regard. It is well-written and brings some of the most obscure women of the Hebrew Bible to light. This major contribution should be read by everybody interested in the role of women in the Bible and society.
—Herrie van Rooy, professor of Old Testament, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Robin Gallaher Branch deftly walks the reader through a historically-informed, imaginative characterization of these relatively unknown women, thus introducing us to them. The cadre of women are silent no more! Their places within the story of God are overlooked no longer! Branch’s love of stories is readily observable in her sensitivity to detail in the biblical accounts, as well as in her care and creativity as a (re-)teller of these stories.
—Troy A. Miller, associate professor of Bible and theology, Crichton College