By Mieke Bal
Read or Download Anti-Covenant: Counter Reading Women's Lives in the Hebrew Bible (Bible and Literature Series) PDF
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Extra info for Anti-Covenant: Counter Reading Women's Lives in the Hebrew Bible (Bible and Literature Series)
Here we have a reversal of power from the narrative in Gen. 8-9 in which Lot was willing to exchange his daughters to appease the Sodomite men. Lot is asleep from drunkenness in this scene. Like Adam and Abraham before him, he has no mastery over the act of covenant-making. Female Self-Pleasuring in the Patriarchal Narratives In the first family cycle, 'Sarah-Hagar', Sarah does not appear to be as concerned about conceiving as Abraham and the Lord. In a conversation between Abraham and the Lord, Sarah is first portrayed in the background of the text and then comes forward as the focalizer: The Lord said, 'I will surely return to you in the spring, and Sarah your wife shall have a son'.
According to his theory, women as autonomous actors in social reality are non-existent. Levi-Strauss, and the biblical scholars using his theory, are attempting to demonstrate the structural correlation between kinship systems and myth. The work of these scholars confirms Bal's observation that: Structuralists often work from the assumption that the series of events that is presented in a story must answer to the same rules as those controlling human behavior since a narrative would otherwise be impossible to understand.
The logic of the fabula is twisted in a way that absolves the males from being condemned or condemning themselves for the trading of women for favors. Furthermore, when the men resolve the problem, it is declared ultimately that, 'because of Sarah' calamity had occurred (Gen. 18). This blaming of the victim is underscored in the description of Sarah as beautiful (Gen. 11). Rebekah as fair to look upon (Gen. 7) and Rachel as beautiful (Gen. 17). Beauty and barrenness are juxtaposed to foreignness and fertility.
Anti-Covenant: Counter Reading Women's Lives in the Hebrew Bible (Bible and Literature Series) by Mieke Bal