Antje Labahn - Ehud Ben Zvi, «Observations on Women in the Genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1–9», Vol. 84 (2003) 457-478
These observations address the construction of women and their roles in the genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1–9. References to women in these chapters construed them as fulfilling a variety of roles in society, and characterized and identified them in various ways. To be sure, the genealogies reflected and reinforced the main construction of family and family roles in a traditional ancient near eastern society. But, numerous references in these genealogies indicated to the early (and predominantly male) readers of the book that ideologically construed gender expectations may and have been transgressed in the past and with good results. By implication, these references suggested to the readers that gender (and ethnic) boundaries can and even should be transgressed on occasion, with divine blessing, and resulting in divine blessing.
to Jabez’s mother is far more important in the pericope than that of his father, who goes totally unmentioned — and is perhaps, partially and symbolically substituted by YHWH who provides him with land, i.e., a main component of a patrimonial inheritance — and of his brothers whose only role is to characterize him through contrast; namely they appear just that it may be stated that they are less honored than him. Jabez’s sons are not mentioned14.
The explicit, textual presence of what in the present form of the text might be another unnamed mother is obvious in 1 Chr 4,17, because of the occurrence of the verb rhtw "and she became pregnant". It is unclear, whether the mother mentioned in that verse is Bithiah (without textual emendation, see Radak; with textual emendation, see, for instance, Japhet), or Ezrah if the latter can be understood as feminine, which is dubious (cf. Johnstone), or whether the mother is presented without any name15. The entire pericope (1 Chr 4,17-18) is, however, very clear on another matter. It associates and classifies two mothers as per their ethnic origin. One is a Judahite (or Jewish?) and the other is Egyptian. Significantly, the book of Chronicles informs its intended and primary readers that the children of both are included in the Israelite genealogies. One may add also the Egyptian is characterized on the one hand emphatically as an outsider ("Egyptian" and "daughter of Pharaoh")16, but on the other she is clearly Israelitized by means of her name; she is hytb, "Bithiah", that is, a daughter/worshiper of YHWH, not of Pharaoh. It seems therefore, that a text in the genealogies suggests to the intended and primary readers that, at least in the case of women, the "ethnicity" of their origin (and accordingly, their genealogy) does not fully disappear with marriage to an Israelite, but that in the end, such ethnicity does not matter for inclusion or exclusion from Israel, because the main differentiating line is that of worshipper of YHWH and non-worshipper of YHWH (on this matter