Women of the Bible 11: Who am I?

As a child, I was trafficked into slavery and purchased by a rich family. Away from parents, home, and country, I became a lady’s maid. At first, I cried and cried. I wanted my mommy and daddy.

After a few years, I could hardly remember what they looked like. I feel bad that I cannot even remember their faces. I am still a little girl and not yet a woman.

My mistress makes sure I do my work, but she also speaks kindly to me. I am thankful. I have heard stories.

When my master becomes ill, I am sad. Will I lose another father? Will my mistress always be depressed? Will I be sold?

I find it hard to sleep these nights.

This morning, I told my mistress, “Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! For he would recover him of his leprosy.”

Word of my suggestion reaches the ears of the king, who writes a letter and sends ten talents of silver, six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of clothing to the king of Israel, along with my master and his servants.

When the king of Israel reads the letter, he is so disturbed that he tears his clothes and says, “Am I God?” He knows he cannot heal my master. The prophet of Israel hears about the king’s actions and sends a messenger to my master. He tells him what to do in order to be healed. But, my master is a proud and powerful man, and he is insulted. He thinks the prophet should have come in person and done some kind of a show while healing him.

My master scoffs.

His servants convince him to obey the prophet’s directions, and he finally does.

He looks down at his skin and notices it looks brand new. He is completely healed.

I am glad for him. My mistress is happy again. Both my master and mistress are beginning to believe in the power of my God.

I praise my God for answering my prayers.

Who am I?

Who is my master?

In which nation do I live?

For bragging rights, who was the king of that nation, the one who wrote the letter to the king of Israel?

Women of the Bible 10: Who am I?

I am a sceptic and always have been. If I can’t prove it, I don’t believe it.

So, I hear about a king, north of here. (I live in Yemen.) They say he is the greatest on earth. He has the most powerful army, the best-dressed courtiers, and is the richest, wisest…. They say he’s the greatest ever.

How can anyone be all that?

The reports keep coming. His throne room is like no other. His houses … they drink from gold vessels….

In order to disprove the rumors and satisfy my curiosity, I prepare to go and meet this great so-and-so. It’s an official visit, since I am queen.

I take spices, gold, and precious stones. After all, what do you give to someone who has everything?

As I’ve heard he is wise, I take with me a list of hard questions, to test him. What does this king know and believe?

After many long hot days, we arrive with our caravan of camels and find him welcoming and amicable. I feel that I can talk with him about anything. I’m almost embarrassed, as I realize I have told him all that is in my heart.

I ask my questions—my long list—and he answers every single one. To my satisfaction. With wisdom. I’m in awe.

His house, the gourmet food, the manner of the servants and their attendance to details, his ministers, the sparkling robes on everyone, his cupbearers, and the reverence with which he procedes to the house of his God leave me speechless—a rarity for me.

When I find my tongue, I say to him: It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.

I give the king 120 talents of gold, many pounds of spices, including frankincense from my country, and precious stones. In fact, I heard he had never received so many spices ever before as he did from me.

What the king do, then? He asked me what I wanted. I could choose anything. Believe me, I took advantage of his generosity. I chose silk, gold-studded robes for me and my household, some golden chalices, and a large box of silver. He wasn’t satisfied. He gave me more as a present. I am overwhelmed.

When my servants and I turn towards home, I am a different person. I have put my faith in the God of Israel. I am a believer in two senses: I now believe what I was told—and they hadn’t described even the half of what I saw with my own eyes. And, more importantly, I found the most powerful, awesome God.

Who am I?

Who is the great king?

For extra credit, how far did I travel from Sana’a, Yemen to the king’s palace in Jerusalem?

Women of the Bible 3: Who are we?

My grandfather was Hepher, the son of Gilead, of the family of Manasseh. My father had no sons, but I have plenty of sisters. I think my parents must have been hard up for girls’ names, since all of us got –ah at the end. I am Noah. Can you believe it? Just like the guy who built the ark and saved his family and the animals. My sisters’ names are even worse. But I’m being foolish.

My father was faithful to God, but Jehovah only gave him daughters.

When our father passed away, my sisters and I were single women. We had no brother to take care of us. Our father’s wealth would pass to no one if we couldn’t inherit. So, all five of us got our heads together and came upon a plan. It was bold, but we figured it never hurt to ask. The result would determine if we’d be destitute and the community would need to help us, or we would be able to inherit, just as if we were sons.

We presented ourselves to the leader, the priest, princes, and the congregation by the door of the tabernacle. My eldest sister spoke, “Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons. Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.”

The leader turned his back on us and walked away. We later found out he’d taken our cause before the Lord.

After a half hour, he returned and told everyone that God had spoken to him, saying, “The daughters … speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.”

This ruling became a precedent. God said women could inherit if there were no brothers.

God said something else to our leader: we could only marry within our tribe. If we did not, we wouldn’t keep our inheritance. All of us ended up marrying our father’s brothers’ sons. Thus, we kept our wealth in the tribe of Manasseh.

Through my sisters and me, God showed the generations to come that He is fair and loving, and that He takes care of women left fatherless.

I am thankful for an older sister who was brave enough to speak up; for our leader, who went to God with our petition; and most of all, to God, for pleading our case—and providing for the rights of many young women which would follow.

Praise Jehovah, for He is good.

Who are we? You already know my name. Who are my sisters? And, who was our father?