Cover image for Wisdom from women in the Bible
Title:
Wisdom from women in the Bible
Author:
Deen, Edith.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Harper & Row, [1978]

©1978
Physical Description:
viii, 148 pages ; 21 cm
Language:
English
Subject Term:
ISBN:
9780060618513
Format :
Book

On Order

Summary

Summary

Get wisdom, get understanding ... Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. -- Proverbs 4:5-7 In this new edition of a classic of women's Bible study, beloved Christian author Edith Deen brings to life the stories of more than fifty biblical women and shows the lessons contemporary women can learn from each one. The culmination of a quarter century of study, Wisdom from Women in the Bible provides firsthand insight on how the women of the Bible dealt with both the everyday topics of marriage, home, possessions, children, and widowhood; and the eternal themes of spiritual awareness, love, worship, and faith. Represented here are the women whose wisdom shines like a beacon down through the ages: Mary, Ruth, Esther, and Deborah. But we can also learn from the wicked and the foolish -- Eve, Delilah, Jezebel, and Lot's wife -- the ones whose faults lead all too often to destruction. In engaging and perceptive portraits, Deen reintroduces us to women who reflect our own weaknesses and potential for greatness, our petty jealousies and soaring prayers. She then applies each story to modern life, firmly outlining its meaning for our time. The result is a book both classic and contemporary, inspirational and practical. "So I send this book forth with the hope that it will inspire a deeper study of the Bible and that it will help others gain a new wisdom and understanding in handling their daily problems. This is one of the wonders of the Bible. Any theme one chooses turns out to be contemporary." -- from the Preface


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Originally published in 1978, this classic Bible study companion presents the stories of more than 50 biblical figures. Deen (1905-1994) published six Bible study books in her lifetime, including All of the Women in the Bible and The Bible's Legacy for Womanhood. In this volume, she sought to emphasize the Bible's function as a "pragmatic" guide to contemporary behavior. Reading the Bible, she suggests, reveals "the sameness of all women's problems, both in primitive days and now," and the "advice, first given long ago, can be passed on from one generation to another." Though less traditional readers may be put off by parts of Deen's exegesis (one chapter compares Delilah to modern "prostitute-spies trying to trap influential men"), many are likely to find inspiration in her succinct retellings of Deborah's heroism, Esther's self-denial and Pricilla's faith. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

(Gen. 4:1-26) "God has given me another child instead of Abel, whom Cain killed," said Eve, the wife of Adam, when their last named son Seth was born. Eve's tribulation, the narrative implies, was her testing time. Amid her grief over the loss of her most promising son, Abel, and the blighted hope in her wayward son, Cain, she must have suffered poignant heartaches. It is easy to believe that Eve, like all mothers during periods of family tragedy, learned to turn to God for comfort. He was her fortress and strength, or she could not have spoken so joyfully when Seth was born. Her buoyant reaction suggests that after Seth's birth she gained a new perspective and that she was to know, as Job later learned, that God is just and that he does not fail those who serve and patiently wait on him. A sorrowing mother like Eve was sure to learn also that God never lets us grieve for long. He teaches us to walk upon the high places, where we come to a better understanding of the psalmist's words: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the seas; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. (Ps. 46:1-3) Eve's family is typical of the human family at its worst and at its best. All of us, like Eve, dwell in and out of the Lord's presence. Eve first left God's presence when the serpent (evil) tempted her to eat of the forbidden fruit and when she influenced Adam to do the same. The life pattern of Eve and her family, though briefly described in the Bible, follows the cycle of family living. Eve is first depicted as young and beautiful, dwelling in a lush garden where she had begun her life. Then after yielding to temptation, she is seen amid the tragedies of motherhood. She no doubt sought God in order to surmount her sorrow after her farewell to Cain, a murderer who went out from the presence of the Lord. The latter part of Eve's story, call it a legend if you will, reminds us of Jesus' farewell address to his disciples: "So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you" ( John 16:22). What a blessed promise this is for all of us. It can be especially comforting to a mother, who, like Eve, mourns both the evils and the sorrows of her family. In her affliction Eve was typical of mothers as a whole. Although sorely grieved over the evil in Cain, she learned, just as we must learn, to draw nearer to God, who loves us and who opens new doors when others close. Eve's new door opened upon Seth, who was followed by a godly generation. That we know, for "at that time men began to call upon the name of the Lord" (Gen. 4:26), and Eve was filled with joy once again. Her tragedies and subsequent spiritual renewal assure us that the Lord will deliver us from the heartaches of tragedy and sorrow if we diligently seek him and then strive to do his will. All the wise Eves of today will find inspiration in these words from a 19th-century hymn set to the music of a Brahms Chorale: Let nothing ever grieve thee, distress thee, nor fret thee; Heed God's good will, my soul, be still, compose thee. Why brood all day in sorrow? Tomorrow will bring thee God's help benign, And grace sublime in mercy. Be true in all endeavors and ever ply bravely, what God decrees brings joy and peace, He'll stay thee. We can infer that Eve, a woman brought forth in God's image, had the wisdom to know that God created her womanly being, that through him she learned the wonder of parenthood, and that God ordained for her life an unending pattern of spiritual truths. She was farsighted enough to draw nearer to God in all of his wonder. Toward the end of her life, as she gained in strength and understanding, she also grew in wisdom and love for God her creator. Wisdom was first of all created things; intelligent purpose has been there from the beginning. (Ecclus. 1:4-5, NEB) (Continues...) Excerpted from Wisdom from Women in the Bible by Edith Deen Copyright © 2003 by Edith Deen Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.