By Professor Janet Howe Gaines
An alien, a polytheist from Phoenicia, the biblical Queen Jezebel posed a major hazard to the soundness of the Israelites' unmarried male deity. So robust was once this chance that writers in the course of the a while have portrayed her because the incarnation of female evil, and her identify has develop into synonymous with the misogynist view of ladies as seductresses.Janet Howe Gaines argues that the bride of the Israelite king Ahab turned a handy scapegoat for biblical writers who portrayed her because the basic strength in the back of their nation's apostasy. The biblical account offers the queen as a assassin, as a disruptive strength for evil. Despised, the strong-willed Jezebel continues to be the most exciting girls of the Bible.Music within the previous Bones is a consultant to the everlasting Jezebel tale. the 1st a part of this illustrated research is an in depth research that explores the biblical story from conventional and feminist issues of view. Gaines then analyzes the methods authors in the course of the centuries have taken care of Jezebel. Her unburied bones turned misogynist relics for generations of writers who retold her tale as a caution concerning the hazards of rebelling opposed to patriarchal society. From the sermons of John Knox to the novels of Margaret Atwood, from the poetry of Percy Shelley to the ballads of Boyz II males, from the drama of Racine to the Academy Award-winning movie starring Bette Davis, Jezebel has lengthy been the topic of creative inquiry. Her picture because the undesirable woman of the Bible remains to be worthwhile to writers. such a lot take advantage of her identify and evil acceptance to augment their admonitions to ladies, yet a couple of become independent from from culture and brazenly recognize Jezebel's braveness and vigor.Placing the biblical account of Jezebel's doomed reign within the context of its xenophobic writers, Gaines proposes a brand new and extra sympathetic examining of the murdered queen whose physique was once left to rot within the streets and whose acceptance suffered a destiny much more egregious. instead of delivering a good burial for the mangled bones of Jezebel, Gaines seeks to flesh them out and revivify them simply because, as she demonstrates, "there's song within the outdated bones yet."
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Additional resources for Music in the Old Bones: Jezebel Through the Ages
Furthermore, the golden calf incident in the desert before the people enter the Promised Land is hardly the first instance of disobedience among the ancient Hebrews. Stories before and after Jezebel's tell of the people's religious lapses. Transgressions against divine law must therefore be resoundingly condemned by each generation of scripture writers. When the monarchy was firmly established in Israel and the people went astray again, Jezebel provided a logical focus for the prophets' harangues against sin.
Who are the biblical purveyors of information on Jezebel, and why do they condemn her for all time? Are the authors or editors conveying factual material, an objective record of what occurred in Israel? Today we expect historians to provide an analysis of people, places, and events as they actually were and to interpret the significance of these things for our own age. Whether we actually get such Page 5 unprejudiced reportage is open to question, but we do hope for it. Compilers of biblical stories did not share this modern view of how history should be written.
Extrabiblical sources elaborate somewhat on Omri's reputation among foreign powers, and evidence indicates that Omri is one of Israel's most able rulers. Though Omri is forced to make embarrassing concessions to the powerful Assyrians (Peake 296), he holds on to power. Omri's exploits are recorded in cuneiform on the Assyrian Black Obelisk, an impressive tribute that refers to Israel as Omri's country long after his death and his kingdom's fall. The obelisk contains a relief showing Jezebel's assassin, Jehu, submitting to Shalmaneser III, king of Assyria.