Jezebel and Other Fascinating Women in the Bible

Article excerpt

Jezebel

Lesley Hazleton

Random House of Canada

ISBN: 978-0-385-51614-3

$32.00 CDN

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The Friendship of Women

Joan Chittister

Novalis

ISBN: 2-89507-779-7

$16.95 CDN

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STRONG, independent, and courageously grounded women are the focus of Lesley Hazleton's Jezebel: The Untold Story of the Bible's Harlot Queen and Joan Chittister's The Friendship of Women: The Hidden Tradition of the Bible. While both books are written with different purposes, each author re-tells ' and dissects the stories of some of the most well-known and least known women from the Bible.

In Jezebel, Lesley Hazleton strips the foreign-princess-turned-queen of Israel from her image of a harlot, which was given to her in Kings; an image that was amazingly penned three centuries after she became queen and met her most gruesome death. Through facts found in religious texts, Middle Eastern history and archeology, Ms. Hazleton shows Jezebel as a young polytheistic woman who is strong, independent, courageous, grounded in her values and beliefs, and worldly; a woman whose story is made up of politics, religion and tragic death. As Jezebel's untold story is revealed, the reader is also taken on a journey that shows how she went from being known as Itha-Baal, woman of the Lord, to I-zevel, woman of dung.

As someone who is more acquainted with other figures in the Bible and shamefully not that familiar with Jezebel and her story, I found myself drawn to Ms. Hazleton's book. I wanted to know more about this woman who continued to worship more than one god while she ruled Israel with her husband, King Ahab, who worshiped one god.

I wanted to know more about how she courageously stood up to the threats of her nemesis, Elijah, and about how she met her death with such grace and poise. …