Women in the Bible, Qumran and Early Rabbinic Literature
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Women in the Bible, Qumran and Early Rabbinic Literature

By Paul Heger
Free
Book Description

Women in the Bible, Qumran and Early Rabbinic Literature: Their Status and Roles explores the different attitudes toward the woman

Table of Contents
  • Contents
  • Preface and Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
    • Methodology
    • Plan of the Book
    • Sources
  • Part 1
  • 1 The Creation Narrative and the Status of Women
    • 1.1 Introduction
    • 1.2 The Biblical Text: Problems and Interpretations
      • 1.2.1 Key Textual Differences between the Creation Narratives of Gen 1 and 2
      • 1.2.2 Textual Issues in the Creation Narrative of Gen 2
      • 1.2.3 Interpreting the Phrase עזר כנגדו
      • 1.2.4 Implications of Man’s Prior Creation
      • 1.2.5 The Creation of Woman from Man (Gen 2:21–24)
      • 1.2.6 God’s Presentation of Eve to Adam, and His Reaction
      • 1.2.7 Scholarly Opinions and Interpretations
      • 1.2.8 Male-Female Equality or Inequality as a Consequence of the Creation Narrative
    • 1.3 Qumran’s Possible Understanding of the Creation Narrative and Its Legal Ramifications
    • 1.4 Rabbinic Interpretation of the Creation Narrative: Positive and Negative Attitudes towards Women in Midrashim
    • 1.5 Conclusion
  • 2 Interpretations of the Fall Narrative
    • 2.1 Introduction
    • 2.2 The Biblical Text: Problems and Interpretations
      • 2.2.1 Close Textual Analysis of Gen 3:1–14
      • 2.2.2 Gen 3:14–24: Distinct Retributions for Adam and Eve
      • 2.2.3 Jubilees’ Intentional Changes to the Biblical Text
      • 2.2.4 Scriptural Attitudes towards Women
      • 2.2.5 Excursus: Is Jubilees’ Attitude towards Women Negative or Positive?
      • 2.2.6 Intermediate Summary
    • 2.3 Qumran Interpretation of the Woman’s Role in the Fall Narrative
      • 2.3.1 Hypotheses of Woman’s Role in the Fall Event
      • 2.3.2 No Allegation of Sexual Misbehaviour of Women in Qumran Writings
    • 2.4 The Rabbinic Interpretation of the Fall Narrative
      • 2.4.1 Midrashim with Negative Views towards Women
      • 2.4.2 Midrashim Attributing Guilt to Adam, Mitigating Eve’s Guilt
      • 2.4.3 Rabbinic Attitudes towards Women: A Brief Overview
      • 2.4.4 Rabbinic Rules of Behaviour for Contact with Women and Their Interpretation
    • 2.5 Underlying Philosophy and Theology of Rabbinic Midrashim and Quasi-Halakhot
      • 2.5.1 Women’s Character: The Dinah Affair
      • 2.5.2 Frymer-Kensky’s Theory
      • 2.5.3 Rabbinic Conceptions of Men’s Character
    • 2.6 Deducing the Theology and Philosophy Underlying Rabbinic Literature
      • 2.6.1 General Principles, Criteria, and Premises
      • 2.6.2 Assessing Contrasting Midrashim and Pronouncements
      • 2.6.3 Summarizing Rabbinic Opinion
    • 2.7 Conclusion, Part 1: Interpretations of the Creation and Fall Narratives
  • Part 2
  • 3 The Father’s Authority and Responsibility, and Their Limitations: A Debate with Scholarly Theories
    • 3.1 Introduction
    • 3.2 Slavery and Manumission for Israelite Women: Scriptural Rules
    • 3.3 Rabbinic Rules Relating to Male and Female Minors
    • 3.4 Plausible Attitude of Qumran towards the Father’s Authority
    • 3.5 A General Reflection on the Status of Women in Jewish Writings
  • 4 Women’s Obligations to Fulfill Biblical Precepts
    • 4.1 Introduction
    • 4.2 Scriptural Attitudes towards Women’s Obligations
      • 4.2.1 Scriptural Commands That Lack Precision about Gender
      • 4.2.2 Did Women Participate in the Revelation at Sinai? An Analysis of the Scriptural Text
      • 4.2.3 The Range of העם and עדה
      • 4.2.4 Ramifications of Women’s Absence from the Revelation at Sinai
      • 4.2.5 The Husband’s Authority to Decide Which Precepts His Wife Must Fulfill: The Evidence
    • 4.3 Rabbinic Viewpoints on Women’s Obligations to Fulfill Biblical Precepts
      • 4.3.1 Did Women Participate in the Sinai Revelation? Rabbinic Opinions
      • 4.3.2 Rabbinic Attitudes towards Women’s Obligations: Introduction
      • 4.3.3 Rabbinic Theories and Their Textual and Practical Background
      • 4.3.4 How Women’s Obligations Became Institutionalized
    • 4.4 Debating Safrai’s Theory on the Sequence of the Developmental Stages
      • 4.4.1 Consequences from the Rabbinic Midrashim about the Rules for Teaching Women
      • 4.4.2 Additional Evidence against Safrai’s Theory
    • 4.5 Qumranic Attitudes on Woman’s Obligations to Fulfill Biblical Precepts
      • 4.5.1 Introduction
      • 4.5.2 Implicit Deductions from Qumranic Texts
    • 4.6 Conclusion
  • 5 Were Women Members of the Eda–Yahad?
    • 5.1 Scriptural Commands That Lack Precision about Gender
    • 5.2 Qumran’s Principle of Eda, the Yahad Holy Community, and Its Legal Implications
    • 5.3 References to Yahad in Qumran Writings: Differing Scholarly Proposals
    • 5.4 Sharing Wealth of Members in 1QS and in CD: Identical or Different?
      • 5.4.1 1QS Community Rules Texts
      • 5.4.2 Harmonization of Apparent Inconsistencies
    • 5.5 Interim Conclusion
    • 5.6 Debating Schuller’s and Grossman’s Theories
      • 5.6.1 The Status of Women and Children in the Eda
      • 5.6.2 Schuller’s Interpretation
      • 5.6.3 Grossman’s Interpretation
      • 5.6.4 Further Debates on Women’s Status in Qumran
    • 5.7 Debating Wassen’s Theory
  • 6 The Polygamy Rules of CD IV:20–V:2 and 11Q19 LVII:15−19 and Their Sources: Implications for Divorce and Remarriage
    • 6.1 Introduction
    • 6.2 The Interpretation of CD IV:20–V:1: Disputing Schremer’s Theory
    • 6.3 Motivations and Sources of the Prohibition on Polygamy in CD
      • 6.3.1 The Motivation for the Prohibition: Wassen’s Conjecture
      • 6.3.2 The Biblical Source of the Polygamy Prohibition in the CD
        • 6.3.2.1 Lev 18:18 or a Logical Consideration of Gen 1:27 and 7:9?
        • 6.3.2.2 The Meaning of זנות: Debating Gruber’s Narrow Interpretation
        • 6.3.2.3 Further Arguments against Gruber’s Theory
      • 6.3.3 The Source of the Prohibition on Polygamy in 11Q19 LVII:15–19
      • 6.3.4 Further Questions on the Polygamy Prohibition
      • 6.3.5 Thoughts on the Motive behind Qumran’s Prohibition of Polygamy
      • 6.3.6 Interim Conclusion on the Source of the Polygamy Prohibition in the CD
    • 6.4 Does CD Prohibit Divorce?
      • 6.4.1 Shemesh’s Theory: Sexual Intercourse between a Man and an Unmarried Woman Is Equivalent to Marriage
      • 6.4.2 Vered Noam’s Theory That Qumran Followed the Rule of the Ancient Halakah, Prohibiting Divorce Altogether
  • 7 Asceticism in Scripture and in Qumran and Rabbinic Literatures
    • 7.1 Introduction
    • 7.2 What Is Asceticism?
    • 7.3 Fraade on Rabbinic Asceticism
    • 7.4 The Biblical Attitude towards Pleasure: The Antithesis of Asceticism
      • 7.4.1 The Scriptural Concept of Fasting
    • 7.5 Pleasure and Self-Denial in the Rabbinic Literature
      • 7.5.1 Boyarin’s Thesis: The Good and Evil Desires
      • 7.5.2 Rabbinic Attitude towards Pleasure
    • 7.6 Fraade’s Thesis: Obstacles to Spiritual Fulfillment
      • 7.6.1 Fraade’s Definition of Perushim
      • 7.6.2 Self-Denial of Pleasure during Mourning Is Not Asceticism
      • 7.6.3 Nazirite Abstention is not Asceticism
      • 7.6.4 The Rabbinic Concept of Fasting
    • 7.7 Asceticism in the Qumran Texts
      • 7.7.1 Preliminary Considerations
      • 7.7.2 Fraade’s Thesis: An Ascetic Community in Qumran?
    • 7.8 Conclusion
  • 8 Genealogy and Holiness of Seed in Second Temple Judaism: Facts or Creative Supposition?
    • 8.1 Introduction
    • 8.2 Genealogical Purity or Cultural Survival?
      • 8.2.1 The Nature of Restrictions on Marriage in Second Temple Judaism
      • 8.2.2 The Basis of the Qumranic Marriage Rules of 4Q271 and 4Q396
    • 8.3 Interpreting Ezra and Nehemiah on Intermarriage
      • 8.3.1 The Relevant Texts and Their Main Meaning
      • 8.3.2 Ezra and Nehemiah’s Motivation in Extending Prohibition of Intermarriage
      • 8.3.3 Ethnicity and Intermarriage
      • 8.3.4 The Problematic Concept of “Holy Seed”
      • 8.3.5 Interpreting Pollution and Cleansing
    • 8.4 Disputing Hayes’ Theory
      • 8.4.1 The Core of the Theory
      • ‪8.4.2 מעל: Desecration or Transgression?
      • 8.4.3 The Significance of the asham (Guilt) Offering
      • 8.4.4 Intermarriage: Cultural Dilution, Not Profanation
      • 8.4.5 Disputing Hayes’ Support from Tobit
      • 8.4.6 Disputing Hayes’ Support from Jubilees
      • 8.4.7 Concluding Reflections
    • 8.5 Disputing Hayes on Qumran’s Attitude towards Intermarriage
      • 8.5.1 The Meaning of זרע and זנות in Qumran Literature
      • 8.5.2 The Meaning of מעל in Qumran Literature
      • 8.5.3 Disputing Hayes’ Interpretation of the Phinehas Narrative
      • 8.5.4 Hayes’ Interpretation and Ezra’s Intentions
      • 8.5.5 In Conclusion: Ezra’s Prohibition in Relation to Divine Law
    • 8.6 Conversion and the “Holy Seed” Theory
      • 8.6.1 Qumran and Converts
      • 8.6.2 The Meanings of ger and ezrakh
    • 8.7 Conclusion
    • 8.8 Appendix: The Term טמא in Scripture, Qumran and Rabbinic Literature, and Scholarship
  • Epilogue: Some Reflections
  • Bibliography of Works Cited
  • Citations Index
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