Wisdom from Women in the Bible

Wisdom from Women in the Bible

by Edith Deen
     
 

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From the author of All of the Women of the Bible comes a gift edition of her topical book relating the lives of biblical women to the lives of women today.

This fabulous book tells the story of more than 50 women who reflect our own weaknesses and potential for greatness, our petty jealousies and hopeful prayers. Deen's topical approach makes

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Overview

From the author of All of the Women of the Bible comes a gift edition of her topical book relating the lives of biblical women to the lives of women today.

This fabulous book tells the story of more than 50 women who reflect our own weaknesses and potential for greatness, our petty jealousies and hopeful prayers. Deen's topical approach makes the book work both as an encyclopedic look at feminine virtues to be read in bits and pieces and as a chronological journey through the lessons of Biblical women.

In short chapters focusing on selected biblical characters, Wisdom From Women in the Bible addresses topics like marriage, home, possessions, children, and widowhood, proclaiming the sameness of women's problems in biblical times and now. Miriam is categorised as a 'liberated woman' for her role in leading Israel out of bondage, but Delilah represents 'deception'. Deen discusses each woman's life as illuminated by both modern scholarship and the biblical passages that mention her. Their lives have much of value to impart in today's world, even those of the biblical women who made mistakes, or who acted foolishly or with malice.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Originally published in 1978, this classic Bible study companion presents the stories of more than 50 biblical figures. Deen (1905-1994) published six Bible study books in her lifetime, including All of the Women in the Bible and The Bible's Legacy for Womanhood. In this volume, she sought to emphasize the Bible's function as a "pragmatic" guide to contemporary behavior. Reading the Bible, she suggests, reveals "the sameness of all women's problems, both in primitive days and now," and the "advice, first given long ago, can be passed on from one generation to another." Though less traditional readers may be put off by parts of Deen's exegesis (one chapter compares Delilah to modern "prostitute-spies trying to trap influential men"), many are likely to find inspiration in her succinct retellings of Deborah's heroism, Esther's self-denial and Pricilla's faith. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060618513
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/01/1978
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
148

Read an Excerpt

Wisdom from Women in the Bible


By Edith Deen

Harper Collins Publishers

Copyright © 2003 Edith Deen All right reserved. ISBN: 0060540257

Chapter One

From Tribulation to Joy:

Eve

(Gen. 4:1–26)

"God has given me another child instead of Abel, whom Cain killed," said Eve, the wife of Adam, when their last named son Seth was born. Eve's tribulation, the narrative implies, was her testing time. Amid her grief over the loss of her most promising son, Abel, and the blighted hope in her wayward son, Cain, she must have suffered poignant heartaches.

It is easy to believe that Eve, like all mothers during periods of family tragedy, learned to turn to God for comfort. He was her fortress and strength, or she could not have spoken so joyfully when Seth was born. Her buoyant reaction suggests that after Seth's birth she gained a new perspective and that she was to know, as Job later learned, that God is just and that he does not fail those who serve and patiently wait on him.

A sorrowing mother like Eve was sure to learn also that God never lets us grieve for long. He teaches us to walk upon the high places, where we come to a better understanding of the psalmist's words:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the seas; though its waters roarand foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. (Ps. 46:1–3)

Eve's family is typical of the human family at its worst and at its best. All of us, like Eve, dwell in and out of the Lord's presence. Eve first left God's presence when the serpent (evil) tempted her to eat of the forbidden fruit and when she influenced Adam to do the same.

The life pattern of Eve and her family, though briefly described in the Bible, follows the cycle of family living. Eve is first depicted as young and beautiful, dwelling in a lush garden where she had begun her life. Then after yielding to temptation, she is seen amid the tragedies of motherhood. She no doubt sought God in order to surmount her sorrow after her farewell to Cain, a murderer who went out from the presence of the Lord.

The latter part of Eve's story, call it a legend if you will, reminds us of Jesus' farewell address to his disciples: "So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you" ( John 16:22).

What a blessed promise this is for all of us. It can be especially comforting to a mother, who, like Eve, mourns both the evils and the sorrows of her family.

In her affliction Eve was typical of mothers as a whole. Although sorely grieved over the evil in Cain, she learned, just as we must learn, to draw nearer to God, who loves us and who opens new doors when others close.

Eve's new door opened upon Seth, who was followed by a godly generation. That we know, for "at that time men began to call upon the name of the Lord" (Gen. 4:26), and Eve was filled with joy once again. Her tragedies and subsequent spiritual renewal assure us that the Lord will deliver us from the heartaches of tragedy and sorrow if we diligently seek him and then strive to do his will. All the wise Eves of today will find inspiration in these words from a 19th-century hymn set to the music of a Brahms Chorale:

Let nothing ever grieve thee, distress thee, nor fret thee; Heed God's good will, my soul, be still, compose thee. Why brood all day in sorrow? Tomorrow will bring thee God's help benign, And grace sublime in mercy. Be true in all endeavors and ever ply bravely, what God decrees brings joy and peace, He'll stay thee.

We can infer that Eve, a woman brought forth in God's image, had the wisdom to know that God created her womanly being, that through him she learned the wonder of parenthood, and that God ordained for her life an unending pattern of spiritual truths. She was farsighted enough to draw nearer to God in all of his wonder. Toward the end of her life, as she gained in strength and understanding, she also grew in wisdom and love for God her creator.

Wisdom was first of all created things; intelligent purpose has been there from the beginning. (Ecclus. 1:4–5, NEB)

(Continues...)


Excerpted from Wisdom from Women in the Bible by Edith Deen
Copyright © 2003 by Edith Deen
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Meet the Author

Edith Deen (1905–1994) was the bestselling author of All of the Women of the Bible, Great Women of the Christian Faith, Family Living in the Bible, The Bible's Legacy for Womanhood, and All the Bible's Men of Hope. Five of her books were Christian Herald Family Bookshelf selections, and her six books, published in several editions and many languages, have sold over two million copies.

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