In this book I investigate the problem of the symbolization of woman as the incarnation of moral evil, sin, devastation, and death in the Hebrew Bible, and how this symbolization of a particular gender interconnects with the issues of race/ethnicity, class, and colonialism during the times of its production. Holding man in thrall by her irresistible attractions, woman embodies all that is destructive in man's experience, seducing him away from God and a life of good down paths of moral perversity and entrapment. As a foundational text in Western civilization, the Bible has been and continues to be a significant fans et origo of religious and social attitudes about gender, race/ethnicity, class, and colonialism. Its portrayal of woman as the embodiment of sin and corruption takes a number of forms, beginning with the one who ostensibly started it all—Eve, the very first woman, the wife of Adam, the mother of all living:
From a woman sin had its beginning,
and because of her we all die. (Sir 25:24)
Besides the story of Eve in Genesis 1–3, intertestamental speculation on the origin of evil also looks to Gen 6:1–8.1 Here, the illicit sexual union between the sons of God and the daughters of men and their perverse spawn, the Nephilim, provokes God into sending the flood to destroy all of sinful humanity—all except for Noah and company.