"Women in Ancient Israel" compares Israelite women and their influence to other women in different civilations during ancient times

Essay by LuLu1712A+, March 2003

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Present day women are essentially regarded to as equals to men, but women have not always possessed this respectful status. Women today are allowed to obtain education, vote, and hold jobs previously considered only for males. The extent of numerous ancient civilizations' female activities included cleaning, cooking, producing heirs, and raising the children. Women were not allowed to receive much of an education and several of the jobs within their society were for males only. However, in some societies such as the ancient Israelite civilization, women possessed a little more influence, respect, and standing than in others. Marriage, family life, and various jobs were all several of the occurrences early Israelite women experienced.

Marriage was regarded by the ancient Israelites as the most important of the three great events in a family: birth, marriage, and death. When a marriage was being arranged in Israel, the parents generally took over all decisions from who was the groom or bride to what they would wear.

The groom then would present the future father-in-law with a considerable gift, and in return the wife typically brought into the marriage a dowry along with a slave that attended her. Marriages were important economic as well as social institutions. On the contrary, disadvantages were also associated with the momentous and important event of marriage. Females were not able to initiate divorce for any reason. Males however were allowed to divorce their wives for whichever reason pleased them. A husband could divorce his wife if she "spoiled his cooking", spoke loud enough for the neighbors to heed, or even if he discovered someone he thought was more appealing than her. Marriage could be beneficial in some aspects, but it could also be disastrous for a number of females.

The Israelite household depended tremendously on females. Nearly al...