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Women in bible. Eve: Forbidden Knowledge. Social Sciences Essay (Essay Sample)


At the end of the course, a final exam, students will be required to write a five page paper in which they construct a coherent argument concerning one of the female personalities or biblical narratives we have explored, providing “proof-texts” where necessary.
Proof texts below:
Class 1 - Eve: Forbidden Knowledge
Genesis 1:1-31, 2:4-25, 3:1-24
Back to the Sources, Introduction.

Class 2 - Sarah and Rebecca: Womanhood and Motherhood
Genesis 11:27-32, 12:1-20, 17:(1)15-22, 18:1-15, 20:1-18, 21:1-8, 23:1-20.
Genesis 16:1-16, 21:9-21
Genesis: 22:20-24, 24:1-67, 25:19-34, 26:1-11, 26:34-35, 27:1-46, 28:1-5.
Back to the Sources, Biblical Narrative, part 1 pp. 31-51.

Class 3 – Rachel, Leah, and Hannah: Barren, Fertile and Prayer
Rachel & Leah. Genesis 29:1-35, 30:1-24, 31:1-35, 35:16-20
I Samuel 1:1-28, 2:1-10 (21)
Back to the Sources, Biblical Poetry.
Class 4 - Incest and Adultery: Wanting What You Can’t Have
Daughter’s of Lot. Genesis 19.
Potiphar’s Wife. Genesis 39-1-23.
Tamar & Amnon. Samuel II, chapters 13 and 14
Back to the Sources, Biblical Narrative, part 2 pp. 52-71.

Class 5 – Leadership: To Lead and to Challenge
Yocheved & Miriam. Exodus: 1:8-22. (Numbers 26:58-60)[1] Exodus 2:1-10,[2] 15:20-21. Numbers: 12:1-16, 20:1-2.
Devorah & Yael. Judges: 4:1-24, 5:1-31.[3]
Back to the Sources, Midrash part 1 pp. 177-189.

Class 6 - Renegades: Crossing Enemy Lines
Princess of Egypt. Exodus 2:1-10.
Joshua 2:1-24.
Judges 13:1-25, 16:(1)4-31.
I Samuel 24:1-22; 25:1-42; 26:1-25.
Back to the Sources, Midrash part 2 pp. 189-204.

Class 7 - Esther: A Name to Remember
The book of Esther.
Back to the Sources, Medieval Bible Commentaries part 1 pp. 213-231
Recommended: Back to the Sources, Medieval Bible Commentaries part 1 pp. 231-242
Class 8 - Ruth: The Road Less Traveled
The book of Ruth.
Back to the Sources, Medieval Bible Commentaries part 2 pp. 242-257

Class 9 - Behind the Veil: Mystical Interpretations
Tamar & Judah. Genesis 38.
Rachel and Leah revisited, a mystical reading
Back to the Sources, Kabbalistic Texts pp. 305-340[4]


Rachel, Leah, and Hannah: Barren, Fertile and Prayer
In the Old Testament, barrenness was more like a disgrace as God had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob he would give them descendants who would receive blessings. Rachel’s and Hannah’s situations placed the women in difficult positions as they were ridiculed for their bareness at some point in time, but bore children after divine intervention (Oren-Magidor 90). Jacob sought a wife and visited Laban who was deceptive and presented Leah his older daughter yet Jacob wanted Rachel and he had to wait for seven more years working for Laban to marry Rachel. Despite bareness and fertility issues, prayer and trust in God offers hope that the future will be better for Leah who was fertile, but unloved, while Rachel and Hannah were barren.

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