The Qoheleth Team of Women , Leve Fanm Yo has chosen to discuss with our members the involvement of women in the genealogy of Jesus on the occasion of the holiday season. Here is what results.
Jesus does not have an "obscure genealogy". "We knew his genealogy, his ancestors on the fingertips" as we see in Matthew (Mt 1,1-17) and Luke (Lk 3,23-38). Jesus is indeed a legitimate historical figure who will play a leading role in universal history.
In the Bible, the ancestors of women are mentioned in Exodus 6:20 and Numbers 26:59. In the genealogy of Jesus there is an overflow. Five women are part of it to indicate that salvation comes through women. The story of the genealogy of Jesus is therefore truly revolutionary. This story attacks the patriarchal and priestly system of the time. Emmanuel will therefore be the sign of resistance to this system. We exalt the sovereign grace of God who could give birth to a Savior from a woman without using the materials of men, the sperm. The one and only seed of Mary will therefore crush the head of the serpent (Gn 3:15)
"Jacob begot Joseph, husband of Mary, from whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ" in connection with verse 2 of Matthew 1.16 "
Four other women well anchored in the Jewish imagination have been mentioned by name by the evangelist Matthew: Thamar (Genesis 38 and Mt 1.3), Rahab (Joshua 2; Mt 1.5a), Ruth (Ruth 1-4; Mt 1.5b) , the wife of Uriah (2 Samuel 11; Mt 1.6b).
All of these women believed in God's promise and work towards its fulfillment in their lifetimes.
We start with the first Tamar. At first glance, we are faced with a "story of fornication, a seemingly dark story, full of evil deeds of the flesh." In response, God wanted to reassure "the sinners that he had come to save the vilest and the lowest".
By deepening the reading of Genesis 38, the text does not highlight sin but righteousness. Thamar goes against the patriarchal system whereby a man has the right to life over women, children and slaves. And we find in verse 24 that his judgment is final, without appeal. He is not responsible to anyone. “About three months later they came and said to Judah, Tamar your daughter-in-law has become a prostitute, and even here she is pregnant because of her prostitution. And Judah said: Bring her out and let her be burned.
Thamar reacted by declaring that justice must be based on evidence, Mr. Boss of the system, on material evidence. Have you not seen your person in these objects?
Judah admits his guilt and declares: 26 Thamar is less guilty than I, since I did not give him to Shelah my son. And he did not know her any more.
Thamar is indeed a figure of justice. In her father-in-law Judah, including Joseph's brothers, she inspires them with repentance and forgiveness, even reconciliation with Joseph. It is placed in the genealogy of Yeshua’h to clearly show that justice is the backbone of the reign of God and that this "royal dynasty did not come from men, but from women".
The Qoheleth Team of Women, Leve Fanm Yo wish you happy reading while waiting for Rahab to arrive.
Sieur Onel Ecclesiaste