Let Her Speak for Herself: Nineteenth-Century Women Writing on the Women of Genesis

By Marion Ann Taylor; Heather E. Weir | Go to book overview

§72 Elizabeth Baxter
(1837–1926)

Elizabeth Baxter was an Anglican author who wrote a number of books on scripture.30 Her book, The Woman in the Word (1897), discussed the women of scripture with lessons for her readers. Baxter had high expectations of women. She considered them a powerful influence on others and expected them to use this influence for good.

In this selection on Leah and Rachel, Baxter, unlike Hale, argued that only Leah's marriage to Jacob was legal. Baxter emphasized the problems of polygamy and the trouble this brought on Jacob's family; she used Galatians 6:7 as a text to show that Jacob reaped what he had sown. She also used the idea of marriage as a type of Christ and the church to argue for monogamy.

From Elizabeth Baxter, The Woman in the Word, 2nd ed. (London,
1897), 42–47.

Jacob left home, and on his journey he had the wondrous vision of Christ as God's ladder, connecting heaven and earth, and so became REALLY AQUAINTED WITH HIS GOD.

Proceeding to Haran, he made the acquaintance of some Syrian shepherds who were watering their flocks, and inquired about the family of Laban. He learnt from them that he was living and well, and that Rachel, his daughter was at hand with the sheep.

The first sight of Rachel, recalling to mind Jacob's home-loving mind the family of his mother, touched a tender chord in his heart. He immediately became her servant, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock; and he "kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept," telling her his near relationship, that he was Rebekah's son. A real affection sprang up between the two, and when Laban, who was a sharp-eyed man of business, suggested to Jacob some reward for his work,—for Jacob could not be an idle man,—Jacob suggested that he should serve him seven years for Rachel, his younger daughter.

30 For more information on Baxter, see part 1, "Eve—The Mother of Us All."

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