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Dismembering Israel

The Downward Spiral of the Abuse of Women in the Book of Judges

In: Journal of Pentecostal Theology
Author:
A. Rebecca Basdeo HillPentecostal Theological Seminary, Cleveland, Tennessee, USA, bhill@ptseminary.edu

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Abstract

The book of Judges vividly depicts the spiritual decline, violence, and lawlessness that directly results from Israel’s failure to hear Yhwh. Israel’s refusal to hear Yhwh’s voice leads to each generation becoming more perverted, more depraved, and more corrupted than the prior generation, resulting in complete disorder at the end of the book. The downward spiral into anarchy and the steady social and spiritual deterioration seen in the book of Judges closely correspond to the security, interests, and welfare of the women in the narrative. The spiritual disintegration caused by Israel’s progressive deafness to Yhwh’s voice is linked to the oppression, violence, and silencing of women’s voices in Israel. This article examines the stories of the Israelite female characters in Judges and argues that the stories of women are organized in such a way that they expose the downward spiral of Israel as a whole.

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