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Thread: The Tent

  1. #1
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    The Tent

    THE TENT

    You have to read carefully, IMO, because the story seems to hang on so few words, and may even depend on whether you believe there’s a difference between 'the tent' and 'her tent'.

    Briefly; an escaped fugitive seeks refuge from a woman who is ‘home alone’ and she offers him some buttermilk when he’s thirsty, and a place to sleep in the tent. We aren’t told much about his character, but he warns Jael (her name) not to reveal him to anyone who comes looking, and then goes to sleep.

    Apparently he never wakes from that sleep because she takes a tent peg and hammer, and kills him! Later, she tells the authorities what she’s done, and shows them the dead body in 'her tent'.

    This all happens in Judges 4 (you’ll want to read it for yourself), and leaves us with more questions than answers. Maybe he didn’t like buttermilk? Maybe she didn’t like being ordered around? Did she know him, but didn’t let on?

    My understanding is that women had separate tents, based on the story in Gen31:33 about Rachel hiding the idols, and it appears to me that Sisera had only himself to blame. What do YOU think?
    Dux allows: "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out the matter". Pr25:2

  2. #2
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    Shalom Duxrow, and thank you for bringing this out.

    Yes, in ancient times, the women were the property owners. They were the ones who owned the nomadic tent, similar to native american custom, by the way. To enter her tent, the portion that was walled off from the open front porch area, was forbidden. Jael took his life into his own hands by doing just that. The expression in Hebrew (the masorets tried to alter the text to change it, for example see Gen 13:3 in Hebrew) "her tent" actually occurs 4 times in Genesis (the first instance is in Gen 9:21) and 5 times in Ezekiel as the name 'Aholah.' That is what the 'huppah' in Jewish weddings is all about. It is the formal request and permission given by the wife for the man to 'enter her tent'.

    That is why in my translation those instances are rendered as 'her tent', not the usual 'his tent'. Those facts might not have been popular in a male driven society, but they are there to expose the truth of a misunderstood eastern culture.

    Ronen

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    JAEL

    Thanks, Greg. Couldn't think of the word Nomadic, and your info is great!
    The 'Women' page on my website says about Jael: "Don't mess with this lady". dux
    Dux allows: "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out the matter". Pr25:2

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryfl View Post
    Shalom Duxrow, and thank you for bringing this out.

    Yes, in ancient times, the women were the property owners. They were the ones who owned the nomadic tent, similar to native american custom, by the way. To enter her tent, the portion that was walled off from the open front porch area, was forbidden. Jael took his life into his own hands by doing just that. The expression in Hebrew (the masorets tried to alter the text to change it, for example see Gen 13:3 in Hebrew) "her tent" actually occurs 4 times in Genesis (the first instance is in Gen 9:21) and 5 times in Ezekiel as the name 'Aholah.' That is what the 'huppah' in Jewish weddings is all about. It is the formal request and permission given by the wife for the man to 'enter her tent'.

    That is why in my translation those instances are rendered as 'her tent', not the usual 'his tent'. Those facts might not have been popular in a male driven society, but they are there to expose the truth of a misunderstood eastern culture.

    Ronen
    Hi Ronen,

    Where did you get that information? Can you give me any citations? It sounds very strange to say that women were the property holders since the Bible doesn't indicate anything like that as far as I know. Indeed, if it indicates anything, it is that women were counted as property along with the camels, donkeys, and houses. E.g. the Tenth Commandment is written to men about not coveting their male neighbor's stuff, like his animals, wife, and house.

    All the best,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
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    Shalom Richard,

    Besides the actual word of the text in scripture, which you can see for yourself using standard Hebrew grammar rules, who would you consider a citation source that you would consider trustworthy? I only say this because I could try to find sources, but it could easily be said to be their own biased opinion, since none of them lived in the days of the patriarchs. I have read of others speaking of women owning their own tents, and the things in them, and I have no reason to believe that to be untrue. It fits with the nomadic culture.

    As you know, to say 'his' as a possessive pronoun in Hebrew, a waw is affixed to the end of the word. (lev 4:18 as an example using the word for tent) To say 'her' as a possessive pronoun, a hey is affixed to the end of the word. This is what we see in the 4 instances I believe to be erroneously translated 'his tent', in Genesis.

    Ronen

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryfl View Post
    Shalom Richard,

    Besides the actual word of the text in scripture, which you can see for yourself using standard Hebrew grammar rules, who would you consider a citation source that you would consider trustworthy? I only say this because I could try to find sources, but it could easily be said to be their own biased opinion, since none of them lived in the days of the patriarchs. I have read of others speaking of women owning their own tents, and the things in them, and I have no reason to believe that to be untrue. It fits with the nomadic culture.

    As you know, to say 'his' as a possessive pronoun in Hebrew, a waw is affixed to the end of the word. (lev 4:18 as an example using the word for tent) To say 'her' as a possessive pronoun, a hey is affixed to the end of the word. This is what we see in the 4 instances I believe to be erroneously translated 'his tent', in Genesis.

    Ronen
    Hello Ronen

    I shall be pleased to know the outcome of this debate based on the Hebrew words used. I am not a language scholar and I have to learn from the research of others. In the Bible and in Genesis, I read; "the tent" and "his tent" and then this; Gen 24:67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, No reason is given why or that Isaac spoke with Sarah when he did. If the tent was Abraham's you would have expected the text to say; "Abraham" or "his". From what you have been saying, it is logical for Isaac to take Rebekah (a woman) into a woman's tent for safe-keeping.

    Considering the other conversations that have been going on concerning women's rights and equality, this adds another interesting factor into the mix.


    David

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryfl View Post
    Shalom Richard,

    Besides the actual word of the text in scripture, which you can see for yourself using standard Hebrew grammar rules, who would you consider a citation source that you would consider trustworthy? I only say this because I could try to find sources, but it could easily be said to be their own biased opinion, since none of them lived in the days of the patriarchs. I have read of others speaking of women owning their own tents, and the things in them, and I have no reason to believe that to be untrue. It fits with the nomadic culture.

    As you know, to say 'his' as a possessive pronoun in Hebrew, a waw is affixed to the end of the word. (lev 4:18 as an example using the word for tent) To say 'her' as a possessive pronoun, a hey is affixed to the end of the word. This is what we see in the 4 instances I believe to be erroneously translated 'his tent', in Genesis.

    Ronen
    Hey there Ronen,

    The word used in the text of Scripture says nothing about women owning property. It merely refers to the tent in which Sarah lived. If a female friend lived in a rented house, I would visit her in "her house." You cannot draw any conclusions about actual ownership from such language.

    Any source that logically derives conclusions from legitimate facts is "valid." If they are so weak in logic and facts that "it could easily be said to be their own biased opinion" then why would you believe them? It has nothing to do with the fact that they didn't live at that time. None of us lived at that time, yet there are things about that time that can be learned from the historical record.

    I agree that women might have had a semblance of "ownership" of their private property, but they themselves were often treated as property, so I don't see how this supports your radical assertion of that "in ancient times, the women were the property owners. They were the ones who owned the nomadic tent." From everything I have read in the Bible, it is the MEN who own everything, including the women who were classed along with his house, servants, oxes and donkeys.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    I shall be pleased to know the outcome of this debate based on the Hebrew words used. I am not a language scholar and I have to learn from the research of others. In the Bible and in Genesis, I read; "the tent" and "his tent" and then this; Gen 24:67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, No reason is given why or that Isaac spoke with Sarah when he did. If the tent was Abraham's you would have expected the text to say; "Abraham" or "his". From what you have been saying, it is logical for Isaac to take Rebekah (a woman) into a woman's tent for safe-keeping.
    Well, we can be sure he did not speak with Sarah, since she was dead at that time (Gen 23:1).

    The text refers to the tent as Sarah's only in the sense that it was the tent in which she dwelt before she died. It says nothing about who really "owned" the tent.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  9. #9
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    Whoever owned the tent is 'beside the point'. The use of "her tent" is what gives us a clue to why she killed him -- she had offered the hospitality of THE TENT (main room), and he had cowardly sneaked into the females tent -- maybe even more, because the account takes place during the judge-reign of Deborah and battle of Barak. Nothing IMO to warrant support of Sisera.
    Dux allows: "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out the matter". Pr25:2

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Hey there Ronen,

    The word used in the text of Scripture says nothing about women owning property. It merely refers to the tent in which Sarah lived. If a female friend lived in a rented house, I would visit her in "her house." You cannot draw any conclusions about actual ownership from such language.

    Any source that logically derives conclusions from legitimate facts is "valid." If they are so weak in logic and facts that "it could easily be said to be their own biased opinion" then why would you believe them? It has nothing to do with the fact that they didn't live at that time. None of us lived at that time, yet there are things about that time that can be learned from the historical record.

    I agree that women might have had a semblance of "ownership" of their private property, but they themselves were often treated as property, so I don't see how this supports your radical assertion of that "in ancient times, the women were the property owners. They were the ones who owned the nomadic tent." From everything I have read in the Bible, it is the MEN who own everything, including the women who were classed along with his house, servants, oxes and donkeys.
    I primarily get my thinking from what I have read of the beduouins, although I am aware of how the culture has changed some in the last few years. From what I understand, they claim to follow customs passed on from their ancestors, going all the way back to Abraham. That, of course, who can prove? I can only hear of such and then see if I find clues of it in scripture.

    When I speak of women owning the tent, and such, yes, it is their owner who gave it to them. If he had more than one woman, oftentimes they each owned their own tent, especially if he was wealthy. One writer, Karol Harding, writes a summation of the findings of William Lancaster, who lived among the bedouins and wrote what he learned of their customs. Many of them have been seen to be close to things we read about in Genesis. Here is her summation, along with another article that attempts to connect some of those customs with the scripture:

    http://joyfuldancer.home.comcast.net...ng/Bedouin.htm

    http://www.nwc.edu/c/document_librar...&groupId=12124

    I fully acknowledge and do not make excuses for what you will likely see as an unfair treatment of women in that article. I am not sharing this to argue that point one way or another. I am merely sharing information that the scriptures at least allude to a woman owning property, such as her own tent.

    Ronen

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