The Fruit of Her Hands: A Psychology of Biblical Woman

The Fruit of Her Hands: A Psychology of Biblical Woman

The Fruit of Her Hands: A Psychology of Biblical Woman

The Fruit of Her Hands: A Psychology of Biblical Woman

Synopsis

In much of Western literature and Greek mythology, women have an evident lack of purpose; a woman needs to either enter or leave a relationship in order to find herself and her own identity. Matthew Schwartz and Kalman Kaplan set out to prove that the converse is true in the text of the Hebrew Bible. Examining the stories of women in Scripture -- Rebecca, Miriam, Gomer, Ruth and Naomi, Lot's wife, Zipporah, and dozens more -- Schwartz and Kaplan illustrate the biblical woman's strong feminine sense of being crucial to God's plan for the world and for history, courageously seeking the greatest good for herself and others whatever the circumstances. Empowering, illuminating, and fascinating, The Fruit of Her Hands makes a singular contribution to the fields of biblical and women's studies.

Excerpt

The Western literary tradition offers a large number of very unhappy heroines. They seem to measure themselves in terms of their success with men — be it fathers, husbands, lovers, or sons — but they rarely have healthy or satisfying relations with those men. Their native gifts and talents do not develop, nor do their characters, and their ends are predictably tragic. They are angry with others and unhappy that they are women. Consider a few examples.

(1) Emma Bovary, the central figure of Gustave Flaubert’s great novel Madame Bovary, interests herself in a series of men, especially Rodolphe, with whom she carries on a lengthy affair. the wife of a small-town doctor, Emma has no interest in either her husband, Charles, or her young daughter, both of whom dote on her. She dreams about the exciting narratives she reads in her novels, and she expects her affairs to add a sentimental and passionate color to what she regards as her drab life. Emma spends irresponsibly and lies to her husband about it. She confuses sensual luxury with true joy, elegance and manners with true feeling. All this ends in a way that the reader can almost predict — though Emma, apparently, cannot. Her life unravels, leading to her suicide; her husband’s death comes not long afterward. Emma is, at her core, a confused woman who does not know right from wrong and who lacks the strength or sense of purpose to give any value to her life.

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