Here’s a new look at the Old Testament…but this time the women’s voice gets the prominence it deserved all along. Always witty, often funny, and definitely never boring, the women’s common sense outlook puts quite a different spin on the bible stories you think you remember. Finally, take a clear look at the outrages that have been swept under the carpet for centuries and laugh at some of the nonsense that’s been hiding there as well. The men who wrote the Bible have had the field to themselves for centuries. Let’s see that ancient world through a woman’s eyes. You may be surprised!
The Bible would have been quite another book if the women had held the pens.
…..Barely had Samuel adjusted to the responsibility of guiding a nation when the children of Israel went out to battle the Philistines. Unfortunately, the Israelites took quite a trouncing. The ark of The Lord with its precious contents was captured by the enemy and taken to the temple of the Philistine god Dagon, where it no doubt suffered the humiliation of being placed below the salt at all significant feasts. This insult did not go unnoticed by the God of Israel, who expressed his displeasure by afflicting the offending Philistine men with—severe haemorrhoids.
…..No sooner did this uncomfortable situation become public knowledge than a general meeting of Philistine leaders was called.
…..“Everyone, be seated,” began the chairman. This was standard practice.
…..“Uh, I think I’d rather stand,” demurred an elder. A general buzz of agreement suggested a consensus in favour of standing.
…..“Well…perhaps this once. Since the battle, we’ve been experiencing an awkward…um…inconvenience. It’s probably purely coincidental, but it has been suggested that we might consider returning that captured ark to the Israelites. What do you think?”
…..There was an enthusiastic chorus of agreement from the crowd.
….,.“By all means.”
…..“It’s only neighbourly…”
…..“The sooner the better!”
…..The chief priest stepped forward with as much dignity as was possible under the circumstances. “It might be expedient to include a small gift,” he suggested, “…perhaps with a suitably worded note of apology.”
…..“But what shall we send?” they asked. “You must have something in mind…”
…..“As a matter of fact, I think I know just the thing,” the priest assured them. “Mice. Golden mice are always a nice gift.”
…..“Golden mice? Are you sure? And where are we going to get golden mice on such short notice?”
…..Obviously, this was not the first time they had been afflicted by God—the last occasion must have been a plague of rodents, because the priests happened to have a surfeit of golden mice in stock. Generously, they packed into a cart the ark itself and a gift casket containing a number of golden mice equal to the number of Philistine cities suffering the painful haemorrhoid outbreak.
…..The Philistine women, it must be admitted, found it quite entertaining to see their men afflicted by such an undignified curse, and showed very little sympathy.
…..“If the God of Israel is in the habit of visiting all manner of plagues on those who offend him,” they warned, “He may well have trouble sorting out which discomfort went to whom. And golden mice, while always a welcome gift, might not be sufficiently pertinent to remind Him of the specific affliction you want removed. It might be helpful to jog His memory by including something a bit more evocative…might we suggest an appropriate number of solid gold haemorrhoids, for example?” The tears rolled down their cheeks from the effort of hiding their amusement.
…..To their extreme delight, the men, desperate, promptly had artisans whip up a set of five, as realistically fashioned as possible, and included them with the mice in their gift in order to indicate to The Lord very clearly which particular problem they wished him to address. The men’s discomfort did, indeed, disappear following the return of the ark to the Israelites, but not before the women had ample opportunity to place a few spirited bets regarding which of their mates had posed for the goldsmiths.
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HERE’S WHAT ONE READER HAD TO SAY:
I have to say, I was a bit unsure about this. As a Christian, I’m a little sensitive to how people treat the Bible.
However, my wife was reading over my shoulder and chuckling. As she pointed out, it’s not ‘a theological treatise–it’s a light-hearted feminist critique.’ She’s a Methodist Minister, so she speaks with some authority.
…it’s well written, light and amusing (though not without some sharp edges!)
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