Thursday, March 25, 2021

How did Jezebel feel?

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: How Bad Was Jezebel? Read Janet Howe Gaines’s full article about Jezebel in the Bible and later depictions as it appeared in Bible Review. This is the full text of the article published in 2010.
Every Biblical word condemns her: Jezebel is an outspoken woman in a time when females have little status and few rights; a foreigner in a xenophobic land; an idol worshiper in a place with a Yahweh-based, state-sponsored religion; a murderer and meddler in political affairs in a nation of strong patriarchs; a traitor in a country where no ruler is above the law; and a whore in the territory where the Ten Commandments originate.

Yet there is much to admire in this ancient queen. In a kinder analysis, Jezebel emerges as a fiery and determined person, with an intensity matched only by Elijah’s. She is true to her native religion and customs. She is even more loyal to her husband. Throughout her reign, she boldly exercises what power she has. And in the end, having lived her life on her own terms, Jezebel faces certain death with dignity.

The reframing of Jezebel in this article raises many valid points. Elijah and Jehu certainly do not come out looking better than she.

Many of the commenters to the article disagree with me. Cross-file under Cognitive Dissonance. (Mine and theirs.)

Other PaleoJudaica posts on Jezebel are here and links and here.

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