Women of the Word: the Women Who Served at the Entrance to the Tent of Meeting

Eli served as the second-to-last high priest of Israel. He was faithful and did what was right, but his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were scoundrels who had no regard for the Lord. Even though they worked in the tabernacle with their father, they did not do so because they wanted to serve God. They only wanted to serve themselves. When people came to offer sacrifices to God, Hophni and Phinehas took the sacrifices for themselves. When women came to serve and worship God at the tabernacle, Hophni and Phinehas took them as objects on which to satisfy their sexual desires.

1 Samuel 2:22 says, “Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.”

Eli’s sons had absolutely no respect for God or for those who sought to follow Him. Because of this, God caused both of them to die on the same day. In their place, He raised up Samuel – the last priest of Israel who remained faithful to God all of his days. Under Samuel’s leadership, women could go to the tabernacle and not fear being sexually harassed or being forced to perform sexual favors. Continue reading

Women of the Word: Ministering Women In the Tent of Meeting

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After leaving Egypt, the Israelites took part in the construction of God’s sanctuary, also called the tent of meeting, while they sojourned in the desert. So dedicated were the Israelites to the sanctuary that they contributed more than was needed for its construction. They gave so much that the craftsmen in charge of construction told Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.” Moses then had to tell the people, “Stop! Do not do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.”

The book of Exodus gives a very detailed account concerning the construction of the temple and the men who were involved in its work. But men weren’t the only ones involved; women and children were involved, as well. Exodus 38:8, in particular, reads:

He [a craftsman named Bezalel] made the basin of bronze and its stand of bronze, from the mirrors of the ministering women who ministered in the entrance of the tent of meeting.

From the verse above we see that these women not only ministered in the tent of meeting, but they also assisted in its construction by allowing the bronze basins to be made out of their mirrors. Continue reading