Women of the Word: Judith and Basemath

judith-and-basemath-wotw

Jacob and Esau were brothers, twin brothers at that, but they were as different as hot and cold. One area in which they were different was in their choice of marriage partners. Jacob married the daughters of his uncle, Leah and Rachel. Later, he was also given their servants, Bilhah and Zilpah, as partners. Genesis 26:34 tells us that Esau married Judith and Basemath. Judith was the daughter of Beeri the Hittite and Basemath was the daughter of Elon the Hittite.

Jacob’s wives were pleasing to his parents, Isaac and Rebekah. But Esau’s wives were not. Genesis 26:35 says that Judith and Basemath “were a source of grief” to them. Talk about a classic case of in-law discord. They were such a grief that in Genesis 27:46 Rebekah said, “I loathe my life because of the Hittite women.” She was so disgusted with them that she didn’t want Jacob to follow his older brother, Esau, and marry one of them. Rebekah would not have considered her life worth living if both her sons married Hittite women. This is one reason why Isaac and Rebekah sent Jacob away to Laban. They didn’t only send him away to keep him safe from Esau’s wrath. They also sent him away to keep him from marrying a Hittite woman or any Canaanite woman for that matter. Before Jacob left home, Isaac explicitly told him, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother.”

It should be noted that Esau later married another woman. When he saw that Judith and Basemath did not please his parents, he wed Mahalath. She was the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth. There’s no word on how she fared with Isaac and Rebekah. But back to the women at hand: What did Judith and Basemath do to cause such grief to their in-laws? We aren’t told. But we can learn from them to live in such a way that we are a joy, not a grief, to those around us. Continue reading

The Three Spinners

the-three-spinners-fairy-tale

Faith of Our Fairy Tales #11 (Original story / photo)

Story Scripture: …The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. – 1 Samuel 16:7

Story Saying: That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste. – John Green

Behind the Story: Once there was a woman who had a daughter who was very idle and would not spin. No matter what she said, the woman could not get her daughter to spin. One day, the woman became very angry and beat the girl. It just so happened that the queen was driving by, and when she heard the girl crying she stopped her carriage and went inside the house. The woman was ashamed to tell the queen that she was beating her daughter because she was idle. Instead, she lied and said that she was beating her daughter because she was such a good spinner and would not stop, but because the mother was poor, she could not afford to buy flax. Continue reading

Women of the Word: Philip’s Four Daughters

philips-four-daughters-wotw

Philip was an evangelist in the early church (this Philip is not Philip the Apostle who helped an Ethiopian eunuch find his way to Jesus). Philip the evangelist had a house in Caesarea, is mentioned several times in the book of Acts, and had four prophesying daughters. Acts 21:9 says, “Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.” Let’s see what we can learn from these four women who only get a short line in the Word.

Continue reading