Abstract

Intersectional analyses make the fundamental point that we who study and interpret the biblical text have many important facets to our identities that are impacted differently by multiple interacting systems of oppression and privilege. As a method of interpretation, intersectionality presumes that our own unique social locations, our own distinctive fusions of gender, race, class, et cetera, influence our readings of texts and our interpretations of them. It encourages us to think beyond the familiar boundaries of biblical studies to expose the diverse power relations of inequality in the text and uncover subjugated voices that were previously invisible or unheard.

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Footnotes

1 I was recently able to reflect autobiographically on this triad in Gale A. Yee, “Negotiating Shifts in Life’s Paradigms,” in Women and the Society of Biblical Literature, ed. Nicole L. Tilford, BSNA 29 (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2019), 103-14; Yee, “The Process of Becoming for a Woman Warrior from the Slums,” in Asian and Asian American Women in Theology and Religion: Embodying Knowledge, ed. Kwok Pui-lan, Asian Christianity in the Diaspora (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), 15-30.
2 Fernando F. Segovia, “Criticism in Critical Times: Reflections on Vision and Task,” JBL 134 (2015): 6-29, here 9, https://doi.org/10.15699/jbl.1341.2015.0002.
3 I am defining inequality as institutionalized patterns and structures of unequal control over and distribution of a society’s valued goods and resources such as land, property, money, food, employment, education, healthcare, and housing.
4 I made a modest attempt to address this in the Hebrew Bible in Gale A. Yee, “‘He Will Take the Best of Your Fields’: Royal Feasts and Rural Extraction,” JBL 136 (2017): 821-38, https://doi.org/10.15699/jbl.1364.2017.310569.
5 Bonnie Thornton Dill and Ruth Enid Zambrana, “Critical Thinking about Inequality: An Emerging Lens,” in Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives, ed. Carol R. McCann and Seung-Kyung Kim, 4th ed. (New York: Routledge, 2017), 182-93.
6 Especially, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Democratizing Biblical Studies: Toward an Emancipatory Educational Space (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2009), 106-25; Lawrence M. Wills, Not God’s People: Insiders and Outsiders in the Biblical World, Religion in the Modern World (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008). See the essays in L. Juliana M. Claassens and Carolyn J. Sharp, eds., Feminist Frameworks: Celebrating Intersectionality, Interrogating Power, Embracing Ambiguity, LHBOTS 621 (New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017); and, in the special issue BibInt 18.4/5 (2010): Denise Buell, Jennifer Glancy, Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, and Halvor Moxnes, “Introduction: Cultural Complexity and Intersectionality in the Study of the Jesus Movement,” 309-12; Kartzow, “‘Asking the Other Question’: An Intersectional Approach to Galatians 3:28 and the Colossian Household Codes,” 364-89. See also Joseph A. Marchal, “Pinkwashing Paul, Excepting Jesus: The Politics of Intersectionality, Identification, and Respectability,” in The Bible and Feminism: Remapping the Field, ed. Yvonne Sherwood and Anna Fisk (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 433-53.
7 Among US feminist scholars of color, see Delores S. Williams, “Hagar in African American Biblical Appropriation,” in Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Perspectives, ed. Phyllis Trible and Letty M. Russell (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2006), 171-84; Renita J. Weems, “The Hebrew Women Are Not like the Egyptian Women: The Ideology of Race, Gender and Sexual Reproduction in Exodus 1,” Semeia 59 (1992): 25-34; Ahida Calderón Pilarski, “A Latina Biblical Critic and Intellectual: At the Intersection of Ethnicity, Gender, Hermeneutics, and Faith,” in Latino/a Biblical Hermeneutics: Problematics, Objectives, Strategies, ed. Francisco Lozada and Fernando F. Segovia, SemeiaSt 68 (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2014), 231-42; M. I. Rey, “Reexamination of the Foreign Female Captive: Deuteronomy 21:10-14 as a Case of Genocidal Rape,” JFSR 32 (2016): 37-53. See the essays in the following collections: Randall C. Bailey, Tat-siong Benny Liew, and Fernando F. Segovia, eds., They Were All Together in One Place? Toward Minority Biblical Criticism, SemeiaSt 57 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009); Gay L. Byron and Vanessa Lovelace, eds., Womanist Interpretations of the Bible: Expanding the Discourse, SemeiaSt 85 (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2016); Gale A. Yee, ed., The Hebrew Bible: Feminist and Intersectional Perspectives (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2018); Jin Young Choi and Mitzi J. Smith, eds., Minoritized Women Reading Race and Ethnicity: Intersectional Approaches to Constructed Identity and Early Christian Texts, Feminist Studies and Sacred Texts (Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2020). Concepts of intersectionality have been well established in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific even if the terminology is American. Dalit women in India have been researched for many years, bringing caste into the picture. See, e.g., Anne Pattel-Gray, “Not Yet Tiddas: An Aboriginal Womanist Critique of Australian Church Feminism,” in Freedom and Entrapment: Women Thinking Theology, ed. Maryanne Confoy, Dorothy Lee, and Joan Nowotny (Melbourne: Dove, 1995), 165-92; Monica Melanchthon, “Indian Dalit Women and the Bible,” in Gender, Religion and Diversity: Cross-Cultural Perspectives, ed. Ursula King and Tina Beattie (London: Continuum, 2004), 212-24; Monica Jyotsna Melanchthon, “Toward Mapping Feminist Biblical Interpretations in Asia,” in Feminist Biblical Studies in the Twentieth Century: Scholarship and Movement, ed. Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Bible and Woman 9.1 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2014), 205-19; Madipoane Masenya, “The Bible, HIV/AIDS and African/South African Women: A Bosadi Approach,” Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 31 (2005): 187-201,
8 See the bibliographies in Sumi Cho, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, and Leslie McCall, “Toward a Field of Intersectionality Studies: Theory, Applications, and Praxis,” Signs 38 (2013): 785-810; Vivian M. May, Pursuing Intersectionality, Unsettling Dominant Imaginaries, Contemporary Sociological Perspectives (New York: Routledge, 2015); Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge, Intersectionality, Key Concepts (Oxford: Polity, 2016); Ange-Marie Hancock, Intersectionality: An Intellectual History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016); Ashley J. Bohrer, “Intersectionality and Marxism: A Critical Historiography,” Historical Materialism 26 (2018): 46-74; Jennifer C. Nash, Black Feminism Reimagined: After Intersectionality, Next Wave New Directions in Women’s Studies (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019).
9 Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex,” University of Chicago Legal Forum 41 (1989): 139-67.
10 See Angela Y. Davis, Women, Race and Class (New York: Vintage, 1981); Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, Crossing Press Feminist Series (Trumansburg, NY: Crossing Press, 1984); bell hooks, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center (Boston: South End, 1984).
11 Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Postscript,” in Framing Intersectionality: Debates on a Multi-Faceted Concept in Gender Studies, ed. Helma Lutz, Maria Teresa Herrera Vivar, and Linda Supik, Feminist Imagination: Europe and Beyond (London: Routledge, 2016), 221-33, here 225.
12 Andrea Dworkin, Our Blood: Prophecies and Discourses on Sexual Politics (New York: Perigree, 1981), 67-68. Originally published 1976.
13 Elizabeth V. Spelman, Inessential Woman: Problems of Exclusion in Feminist Thought (Boston: Beacon, 1988), 114-32; Deborah King, “Multiple Jeopardy: The Context of a Black Feminist Ideology,” in Feminist Frameworks: Alternative Theoretical Accounts of Relations between Women and Men, ed. Alison M. Jaggar and Paula S. Rothenberg, 3rd ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993), 220-36; Nira Yuval-Davis, “Intersectionality and Feminist Politics,” European Journal of Women’s Studies 13 (2006): 193-209, here 194-96.
14 Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color,” in Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement, ed. Kimberlé Crenshaw et al. (New York: New Press, 1995), 357-83.
15 Ann Garry, “Intersectionality, Metaphors, and the Multiplicity of Gender,” Hypatia 26 (2011): 826-50, here 827.
16 Devon W. Carbado, “Colorblind Intersectionality,” Signs 38 (2013): 811-45, here 814-15.
17 Patricia Hill Collins, “Intersectionality’s Definitional Dilemmas,” Annual Review of Sociology 41 (2015): 1-20, here 14.
18 We can see some of these assumptions at work in the opening statement of the Declaration of the NGO (Nongovernmental Organization) Forum of the UN Conference on Racism in 2001 under the topic of gender:
119. An intersectional approach to discrimination acknowledges that every person be it man or woman exists in a framework of multiple identities, with factors such as race, class, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, citizenship, national identity, geopolitical context, health, including HIV/AIDS status and any other status are all determinants in one’s experiences of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances. An intersectional approach highlights the way in which there is a simultaneous interaction of discrimination as a result of multiple identities. (Quoted in Dill and Zambrana, “Critical Thinking about Inequality,” 191)
19 Hancock, Intersectionality, 37-72.
20 May, Pursuing Intersectionality, 228; also Sirma Bilge, “Intersectionality Undone: Saving Intersectionality from Feminist Intersectionality Studies,” Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race 10 (2013): 405-24, here 407.
21 Dill and Zambrana, “Critical Thinking about Inequality,” 183-84.
22 Bilge, “Intersectionality Undone,” 405-6; Gail Lewis, “Unsafe Travel: Experiencing Intersectionality and Feminist Displacements,” Signs 38 (2013): 869-92. However, see Jennifer Nash’s critique of the “intersectionality wars,” in which black feminists develop a defensive proprietary attachment to intersectionality, because of its origins in African American feminism (Black Feminism Reimagined, 33-58).
23 Gale A. Yee, “Yin/Yang Is Not Me: An Exploration into an Asian American Biblical Hermeneutics,” in Ways of Being, Ways of Reading: Asian-American Biblical Interpretation, ed. Mary F. Foskett and Jeffrey K. Kuan (St. Louis: Chalice, 2006), 152-63, here 161-62.
24 Carbado, “Colorblind Intersectionality,” 823-24.
25 Patricia Hill Collins and Valerie Chepp, “Intersectionality,” in The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Politics, ed. Georgina Waylen et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 57-87, here 65, https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199751457.013.0002; Hae Yeon Choo and Myra Marx Ferree, “Practicing Intersectionality in Sociological Research: A Critical Analysis of Inclusions, Interactions, and Institutions in the Study of Inequalities,” Sociological Theory 28 (2010): 129-49, here 139-42.
26 Angelina E. Castagno coined the term powerblindness to refer to the reluctance and avoidance of race, social class, language, gender, sexuality, and other politicized aspects of identity that are linked to power and the distribution of resources in the United States. “The notion of power and the distribution of resources are crucial in that some aspects of identity are minimally (if at all) linked to one’s access to public goods and power structures. By using the term ‘powerblindness,‘ I mean to reference those identity categories that are intimately linked to access and the distribution of power” (“Multicultural Education and the Protection of Whiteness,” American Journal of Education 120 [2013]: 101-28, here 108).
27 Garry, “Intersectionality, Metaphors,” 829; Sylvia Walby, Jo Armstrong, and Sofia Strid, “Intersectionality: Multiple Inequalities in Social Theory,” Sociology 46 (2012): 224-40, here 230.
28 May, Pursuing Intersectionality, 23; See also Mary E. Hobgood, Dismantling Privilege: An Ethics of Accountability (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim, 2000).
29 Collins and Chepp, “Intersectionality,” 8.
30 Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, 2nd ed. (New York: Routledge, 2009), 21.
31 See Roland Boer, The Sacred Economy of Ancient Israel, LAI (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2015).
32 Collins, Black Feminist Thought, 299-302.
33 Carolyn Pressler, The View of Women Found in the Deuteronomic Family Laws, BZAW 216 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1993); Cynthia Edenburg, “Ideology and Social Context of the Deuteronomic Women’s Sex Laws (Deuteronomy 22:13-29),” JBL 128 (2009): 43-60, https://doi.org/10.2307/25610164.
34 Gale A. Yee, Poor Banished Children of Eve: Woman as Evil in the Hebrew Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2003), 36-56.
35 These mindsets have been described as the public transcript. See esp. James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990), 45-69; See also Gale A. Yee, “Recovering Marginalized Groups in Ancient Israel: Methodological Considerations,” in To Break Every Yoke: Essays in Honor of Marvin L. Chaney, ed. Robert B. Coote and Norman K. Gottwald, SWBA 2/3 (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2007), 15-18.
36 Collins, Black Feminist Thought, 302.
37 Yee, Poor Banished Children of Eve.
38 Collins, Black Feminist Thought, 306-7.
39 Ibid., 294.
40 June Jordan, “Report from the Bahamas,” in McCann and Kim, Feminist Theory Reader, 304-12.
41 Patricia Hill Collins, “Toward a New Vision: Race, Class, and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection,” in Social Class and Stratification: Classic Statements and Theoretical Debates, ed. Rhonda F. Levine, 2nd ed. (Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield, 2006), 232.
42 Collins, Black Feminist Thought, 308-9.
43 Marten Stol, Women in the Ancient Near East, trans. Helen Richardson and Mervyn Richardson (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2016), 277; Martha T. Roth, “The Neo-Babylonian Widow,” JCS 43-45 (1991-1993): 1-26, here 4-5.
44 Wilda Gafney speculates that the wife of the dead man herself may have been a prophetic member of the sons/disciples of the prophet (Daughters of Miriam: Women Prophets in Ancient Israel [Minneapolis: Fortress, 2008], 39-40).
45 Roy L. Heller, The Characters of Elijah and Elisha and the Deuteronomic Evaluation of Prophecy: Miracles and Manipulation, LHBOTS 671 [London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2018), 115; Wesley J. Bergen, Elisha and the End of Prophetism, JSOTSup 286 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1999), 57-62; Norman K. Gottwald, “The Plot Structure of Marvel or Problem Resolution Stories in the Elijah-Elisha Narratives and Some Musings on Sitz Im Leben,” in The Hebrew Bible in Its Social World and in Ours, SemeiaSt (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993), 119-30; Tamis Hoover Rentería, “The Elijah/Elisha Stories: A Socio-Cultural Analysis of Prophets and People in Ninth-Century B.C.E. Israel,” in Elijah and Elisha in Socioliterary Perspective, ed. Robert B. Coote, SemeiaSt (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992), 75-126, here 114-16.
46 Thus Carol L. Meyers, “Guilds and Gatherings: Women’s Groups in Ancient Israel,” in Realia Dei: Essays in Archaeology and Biblical Interpretation in Honor of Edward F. Campbell, Jr. at His Retirement, ed. Prescott H. Williams Jr. and Theodore Hiebert, Scholars Press Homage Series 23 (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1999), 154-84, here 175.
47 Roger S. Nam, Portrayals of Economic Exchange in the Book of Kings, BibInt 112 (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 16.
48 Gale A. Yee, “The Elijah and Elisha Narratives: An Economic Investigation,” in Honouring the Past, Looking to the Future: Essays from the 2014 International Congress of Ethnic Chinese Biblical Scholars, ed. Gale A. Yee and John Y. H. Yieh, Chuen King Lectures Series 12 (Shatin N. T., Hong Kong: Divinity School of Chung Chi College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2016), 21-50, here 40.
49 Ronald A. Simkins, “Patronage and the Political Economy of Monarchic Israel,” Semeia 87 (1999): 123-44; Boer, Sacred Economy of Ancient Israel, 105-8; James Scott, “Patronage or Exploitation?,” in Patrons and Clients in Mediterranean Societies, ed. Ernest Gellner and John Waterbury (London: Duckworth, 1977), 21-39.
50 Steven L. McKenzie, 1 Kings 16-2 Kings 16, IECOT (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2019), 281-83; Walter Brueggemann, 1 and 2 Kings, SHBC (Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys, 2000), 319.
51 Regarding the disciplinary domain, see the laws about the widow in Ronald A. Simkins, “The Widow and Orphan in the Political Economy of Ancient Israel,” Journal of Religion and Society 10 (2014): 20-33; Roy L. Heller, “‘The Widow’ in Deuteronomy: Beneficiary of Compassion and Co-Option,” in The Impartial God: Essays in Biblical Studies in Honor of Jouette M. Bassler, ed. Calvin J. Roetzel and Robert L. Foster, New Testament Monographs (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2007), 1-11; Harold V. Bennett, Injustice Made Legal: Deuteronomic Law and the Plight of Widows, Strangers, and Orphans in Ancient Israel, Bible in Its World (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002); Mark Sneed, “Israelite Concern for the Alien, Orphan, and Widow: Altruism or Ideology?,” ZAW 111 (1999): 498-507.
52 Regarding the ideologies about widows in the hegemonic domain, see Marjo Buitelaar, “Widows’ Worlds: Representations and Realities,” in Between Poverty and the Pyre: Moments in the History of Widowhood, ed. Jan Bremmer and Lourens van den Bosch (London: Routledge, 1995), 1-18; and, in the same volume, Karel van der Toorn, “The Public Image of the Widow in Ancient Israel,” 19-30. See also Karel van der Toorn, “Torn between Vice and Virtue: Stereotypes of the Widow in Israel and Mesopotamia,” in Female Stereotypes in Religious Traditions, ed. Ria Kloppenborg and Wouter J. Hanegraaff, SHR 66 (Leiden: Brill, 1995), 1-13.
53 Pnina Galpaz-Feller, “The Widow in the Bible and in Ancient Egypt,” ZAW 120 (2008): 232–40; Naomi Steinberg, “Romancing the Widow: The Economic Distinctions between the ’Almānâ, the ’Iššâ-’almānâ and the ’Ēšet-Hammēt,” in God’s Word for Our World, ed. J. Harold Ellens et al., 2 vols., JSOTSup 388, 389 (London: T & T Clark, 2004), 327–46; Carolyn S. Leeb, “The Widow: Homeless and Post-Menopausal,” BTB 32 (2002): 160–62; John Rook, “When Is a Widow Not a Widow? Guardianship Provides an Answer,” BTB 28 (1998): 4–6; Rook, “Making Widows: The Patriarchal Guardian at Work,” BTB 27 (1997): 10–15; Paula S. Hiebert, “’Whence Shall Help Come to Me?’ The Biblical Widow,” in Gender and Difference in Ancient Israel, ed. Peggy L. Day (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1989), 125–41.
54 Stol, Women in the Ancient Near East, 275–95; Jonathan S. Tenney, Life at the Bottom of Babylonian Society: Servile Labour at Nippur in the 14th and 13th Centuries BC, CHANE 51 (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 78–79, 90–91; Galpaz-Feller, “Widow in the Bible,” 240–50; Hennie J. Marsman, Women in Ugarit and Israel: Their Social and Religious Position in the Context of the Ancient Near East, OtSt 49 (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 299–320; Roth, “Neo-Babylonian Widow,” 1–26.
55 See Rentería, “Elijah/Elisha Stories,” 114–15.
56 See Boer, Sacred Economy of Ancient Israel, 110–45.
57 Regarding the royal estates, see Izabela Jaruzelska, Amos and the Officialdom in the Kingdom of Israel: The Socio-Economic Position of the Officials in the Light of the Biblical, the Epigraphic and Archaeological Evidence, Seria Socjologia 25 (Poznán: Adam Mickiewicz University, 1998), 169–75; see also Yigal Moyal and Avraham Faust, “Jerusalem’s Hinterland in the Eighth-Seventh Centuries BCE: Towns, Villages, Farmsteads, and Royal Estates,” PEQ 147 (2015): 283–98.
58 Gregory C. Chirichigno, Debt-Slavery in Israel and the Ancient Near East, JSOTSup 141 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993), 142–44.
59 Boer, Sacred Economy of Ancient Israel, 118–21; Jaruzelska, Amos and the Officialdom, 166–69.
60 Boer, Sacred Economy of Ancient Israel, 146-56.
61 Jaruzelska, Amos and the Officialdom, 146-52.
62 Carlo Zaccagnini, “War and Famine at Emar,” Or 64 (1995): 92-109; Peter Garnsey, “Responses to Food Crisis in the Ancient Mediterranean World,” in Hunger in History: Food Shortage, Poverty, and Deprivation, ed. Lucile F. Newman (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995), 1-2.
63 Amihai Mazar, “The Divided Monarchy: Comments on Some Archaeological Issues,” in The Quest for the Historical Israel: Debating Archaeology and the History of Early Israel; Invited Lectures Delivered at the Sixth Biennial Colloquium of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism, Detroit, 2005, by Israel Finkelstein, Amihai Mazar, and Brian B. Schmidt, ABS 17 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007), 159-80, here 169-74.
64 Regarding the building projects of the Omrides, see Israel Finkelstein, The Forgotten Kingdom: The Archaeology and History of Northern Israel, ANEM 5 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013), 85-105.
65 J. Alberto Soggin, “Compulsory Labor under David and Solomon,” in Studies in the Period of David and Solomon and Other Essays: Papers Read at the International Symposium for Biblical Studies, Tokyo, 5-7 December, 1979, ed. Tomoo Ishida (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1982), 259-67; Serge Frolov, “‘They Will Be Yours for Corvée and Serve You’: Forced Labor in the Hebrew Bible, Modern America, and Twentieth-Century Communist States,” in La Violencia and the Hebrew Bible: The Politics and Histories of Biblical Hermeneutics on the American Continent, ed. Susanne Scholz and Pablo R. Andiñach, SemeiaSt 82 (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2016), 163-84, on Deut 20:10-14 in particular.
66 See Zaccagnini, “War and Famine at Emar,” 100-101.
67 Walter J. Houston, “Corvée in the Kingdom of Israel: Israelites, ‘Canaanites’, and Cultural Memory,” JSOT 43 (2018): 29-44.
68 Steinberg, “Romancing the Widow,” 1-2. The widow of 2 Kgs 4:1-8 would have been designated an אשה אלמנה a widow who has redemption rights in her husband’s ancestral estate which she exercises through her son. However, the husband seems to have forfeited his land to his creditor and was trying to pay off his debt. One hopes that the oil that the widow sells not only pays off the debt but secures the land again for her son.
69 Regarding the unwillingness of a levir to marry the widow of his male relative, see Dvora E. Weisberg, “The Widow of Our Discontent: Levirate Marriage in the Bible and Ancient Israel,” JSOT 28 (2004): 403-29; Ayelet Seidler, “The Law of Levirate and Forced Marriage—Widow vs. Levir in Deuteronomy 25.5-10,” JSOT 42 (2018): 435-56.
70 In contrast to a priest’s daughter or a divorced woman, who may return to her father’s house and eat of her father’s food, “as in her youth” (Lev 22:13).
71 Galpaz-Feller, “Widow in the Bible,” 237.
72 Cf. Abigail (2 Sam 25:39-42) and Ruth (Ruth 4). If she was a widow of a layman, she was out of luck if she wanted to marry a priest (Lev 21:14).
73 In a Middle Assyrian law book §34: “If a man has taken a widow, but no binding agreement has been made, and she has lived for two years in his house, then she is his wife. She shall not leave.” Cited in Stol, Women in the Ancient Near East, 290. There is no comparable law in the Hebrew Bible.
74 Simkins, “Widow and Orphan,” 28-29.
75 Phyllis A. Bird, “Prostitution in the Social World and Religious Rhetoric of Ancient Israel,” in Prostitutes and Courtesans in the Ancient World, ed. Christopher A. Faraone and Laura K. McClure, Wisconsin Studies in Classics (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), 40-58; Bird, “The Harlot as Heroine: Narrative Art and Social Presupposition in Three Old Testament Texts,” Semeia 46 (1989): 119-39; Bird, “‘To Play the Harlot’: An Inquiry into an Old Testament Metaphor,” in Day, Gender and Difference, 75-94.
76 Phyllis Bird, “Of Whores and Hounds: A New Interpretation of the Subject of Deuteronomy 23:19,” VT 65 (2015): 352-64, here 356-57.
77 Van der Toorn, “Torn between Vice and Virtue,” 1-13.
78 Jerrold S. Cooper, “The Job of Sex: The Social and Economic Role of Prostitutes in Ancient Mesopotamia,” in The Role of Women in Work and Society in the Ancient Near East, ed. Brigitte Lion and Cécile Michel, Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records 13 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2016), 209-27, here 210-11.
79 Gerhard Lenski, Power and Privilege: A Theory of Social Stratification (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966), 281.
80 See the various essays in Lion and Michel, Role of Women in Work and Society in the Ancient Near East, and note the thirteen-page Index of Professions and Activities (366–78). Stol, Women in the Ancient Near East, 339–90; Marsman, Women in Ugarit and Israel, 404–37.
81 See Nathan MacDonald, “Feasting Fit for a King,” in Not Bread Alone: The Uses of Food in the Old Testament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 134–65, here 164.
82 Yee, “‘He Will Take the Best,‘” 834–37.
83 Van der Toorn, “Torn between Vice and Virtue,” 3–4; See also Robert K. Englund, “Hard Work—Where Will It Get You? Labor Management in Ur III Mesopotamia,” JNES 50 (1991): 270–73; Francis Joannès, “Historiography on Studies Dedicated to Women and Economy during the Neo-Babylonian Period,” in Lion and Michel, Role of Women in Work and Society in the Ancient Near East, 459–72, here 466–67.
84 Cooper, “Job of Sex,” 210. The picture of the Ebla grinding room can also be viewed in Stol, Women in the Ancient Near East, 350.
85 Jennie R. Ebeling and Yorke M. Rowan, “The Archaeology of the Daily Grind: Ground Stone Tools and Food Production in the Southern Levant,” NEA 672 (2004): 108–17, here 109.
86 Joannès, “Historiography on Studies Dedicated to Women,” 466; Martha Roth has suggested that widows could be sheltered in a social institution called bīt mār banâ (Martha T. Roth, “Women in Transition and the Bīt Mār Banâ,” RA 82 (1988): 131–38; Roth, “Neo-Babylonian Widow,” 24–26.
87 Van der Toorn, “Torn between Vice and Virtue,” 4.
88 Regarding the “gaters,” see Marty E. Stevens, Temples, Tithes, and Taxes: The Temple and the Economic Life of Ancient Israel (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2006), 71-75.
89 See Jacqueline Jones Royster, Traces of a Stream: Literacy and Social Change among African American Women, Pittsburgh Series in Composition, Literacy, and Culture (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000), 83-84: “As Erna Brodber, sociologist and novelist from Jamaica, has said: ‘We must imagine the truth until a better truth comes along.‘ This strategy for inquiry claims a valuable place for imagination in research and scholarship—imagination as a term for a commitment to making connections and seeing possibility. So defined, imagination functions as a critical skill in questioning a viewpoint, an experience, an event, and so on, and in remaking interpretive frameworks based on that questioning.”
90 Mari J. Matsuda, “Beside My Sister, Facing the Enemy: Legal Theory out of Coalition,” Stanford Law Review 43, no. 6 (1991): 1183-92, here 1189.