By Savina Teubal, Raphael Patai

The basically resource during which Sarah is pointed out is the ebook of Genesis, which includes only a few hugely selective and quite enigmatic tales facing her. at the floor, those tales let us know little or no approximately Sarah, and what they do inform is advanced and careworn through the chance that it represents residue surviving from assorted written resources according to self reliant oral traditions. however, the function which Sarah performs, within the Genesis narratives, apears to be a hugely vigorous one, a task so energetic, in reality, that it many times overshadows that of her husband.

In a patriarchal surroundings corresponding to the Canaan of Genesis, the location is discordant and tricky. Dr. Teubal means that the trouble is eradicated, even though, if we needless to say Sarah and the opposite matriarchs pointed out within the narratives acted in the demonstrated, conventional Mesopotamian function of priestess, of a category of girls who retained a hugely privileged place vis-a-vis their husbands.

Dr. Teubal indicates that the “Sarah culture” represents a nonpatriarchal procedure suffering for survival in isolation, within the patriarchal setting of what was once for Sarah a international society. She extra shows that the insistence of Sarah and Rebekah that their sons and heirs marry better halves from the outdated fatherland needed to don't a lot with choice for endogamy and cousin marriage as with their purpose of making sure the continuation in their outdated kahina-tradition opposed to the overpowering odds represented by means of patriarchal Canaan.

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Extra info for Sarah The Priestess: The First Matriarch Of Genesis

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Some critics will argue that, for all her erudition and skillful marshalling of evidence, the case remains circumstantial. The fact cannot be changed that nowhere in Genesis, or in all Jewish tradition for that matter, is there a clear statement as to Sarah's priesthood. As Dr. Teubal states at the end of her conclusion, the very word kohenet, the female form of kohan, "priest," has not survived in the Biblical Hebrew vocabulary. On the other hand, her theory sheds new light on the puzzling, highly energetic role Sarah and the other matriarchs play in the Genesis narratives a role so active that it repeatedly overshadows that of their husbands.

In matriliny, descent is traced through the mother; and since, as Abram explained, he and Sarah had different mothers, they would not be considered siblings, or in any way blood relatives. It is for this reason that they were permitted to be married. Considering the different views of offspring in matriliny and patriliny, what was the sense of the exchange between Abram and the kings? Abram: In your society, Sarah is regarded as my sister and therefore our union is not valid in your eyes. As my sister, Sarah is free to become your wife.

There is absolutely no suggestion that a blood tie exists between Terah and Sarah. " (Gen. 20:12) This revelation leads us to many questions. What social order was Abram following? What was Sarah dealing with? And what did the redactors think of it all? For the kings, to whom patriliny was the norm, descent was traced through the male line, so Sarah and Abram, both being the offspring of one father, Terah, are brother and sister. In Sarah's society, however, patriliny was not the custom. Sarah is introduced to us as Terah's daughter-in-law, not as his daughter.

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