Monday, 17 September 2007

Of Genealogies, Women and Men

I'm reading the genealogies (all nine chapters of them) in 1 Chronicles in my St James Daily Devotional Guide lectionary. I am fascinated by the little tid-bits of information that are included. There are lists of names, sons of, sons of, fathered and then these little promontories in the genealogical landscape:
  • Nimrod who "was the first on earth to be a mighty man"

  • Casluhim "from whom the Philistines came"

  • Peleg "for in his days the earth was divided"...the footnote tells us the name "Peleg" means division
There are also the women. One pops up every now and then.
  • in verse 32, the first woman mentioned: Keturah, Abraham's concubine. I wonder why not Sarah or Hagar?

  • in verse 39, we are told “and Lotan's sister is Timna.” She is also mentioned in Genesis in a list of Esau's descendants. Why are no other sisters mentioned? What was special about her? Who needed to know that?

  • in verse 50, the writer makes a point of naming Mehetabel, who was the wife of one of the kings of Edom, Hadad, and who was also “the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.” I wonder whether Matred and Mezahab are male or female? Why is Mehetabel listed when none of the other kings' wives are?
Fascinating, I thought, maybe I'll start making a list of all the women who are mentioned in the Bible. But wait! Somebody has probably already done it and posted it on the web. And so they have. There I found that there are 188 women mentioned in the Bible. I guess God thinks that is enough. If what women say is true about any woman being able to do the work of ten men, then that would be enough, wouldn't it. See the list of women here.

As I have to remind myself in this church business, it's not quantity that counts, it's quality. Thank God for you women.