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While he is asleep, Jael hammers a tent-pin through his temple.

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She points out that "on the one hand" such a reference elevates women, and "on the other hand" the "strange" woman also in Proverbs "perpetuates the stereotype of woman as either wholly good or wholly evil." Frymer-Kensky says the Hebrew Bible often portrays women as victors, leaders and heroines with qualities Israel should emulate.

Hagar, Tamar, Miriam, Rahab, Deborah, Esther, and Yael, are among many female "saviors" of Israel: "victor stories follow the paradigm of Israel's central sacred story: the lowly are raised, the marginal come to the center, the poor boy makes good." Frymer-Kensky adds that, though the Hebrew Bible does focus primarily on "movers and shakers", most theologians agree it does not depict the slave, the poor, or women, as different in essence from other ordinary Israelites, though some women in the Hebrew Bible are victims of violence.

He gave it to Shaphan the king's scribe, who read it, then Shaphan took it and gave it to King Josiah.

The king tore his robes in distress and said "Go and inquire of the Lord for me ..." So they did, going to the prophet Huldah the wife of Shallum.

Multiple scholars support the view of the Hebrew Bible as patriarchal, yet some such as feminist scholar Tikva Frymer-Kensky say women such as Deborah, the Shunnemite woman, the prophetess Huldah, and king David's wife Abigail rise above societal limitations and provide examples of the egalitarianism of the Hebrew Bible which does not attempt to justify cultural subordination with an ideology of superiority or "otherness".

Views on women in the New Testament are diverse with particular controversy over women teaching, being in leadership, and having authority over men. Mac Donald says, historically, there is evidence of egalitarianism in early Christianity, while historian Shulamith Shahar says the church was primarily patriarchal in the middle ages.Frymer-Kensky says "Once again an intelligent determined woman is influential far beyond the confines of patriarchy" showing biblical women had what anthropology terms informal power.Biblical scholar Michael Patrick O'Connor attributed acts of violence against women described in the Book of Judges to a period of crisis in the society of ancient Isreal before the institution of kingship.Frymer-Kensky says "This story starkly illuminates the relations between women in a patriarchy." She adds that it demonstrates the problems associated with gender intersecting with the disadvantages of class: Sarah has the power, her actions are legal not compassionate, but her motives are clear: "she [Sarah] is vulnerable, making her incapable of compassion toward her social inferior." She is one of the biblical nameless.Frymer-Kensky says this story is also an example of class intersecting with gender and power: when she is unhappy she runs home, only to have her father give her to another, the Levite.Trible and Frymer-Kensky find the story of Eve in Genesis implies no inferiority of Eve to Adam; the word helpmate (ezer) connotes a mentor in the Bible rather than an assistant and is used frequently for the relation of God to Israel (not Israel to God).

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