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.
who remains anonymous20. More importantly, the intended readers of the book cannot fail to notice the wording of 1 Chr 2,16-17. Here both, Zeruiah and Abigail, that is, two mothers are allocated the expected role of males in a genealogic list. Moreover, out of the two fathers, one goes unmentioned and the other, Jether, is assigned to a slot comparable to that of a wife and bearer of children21. Given the explicit foreign association of Jether in Chronicles22, one might be tempted to surmise that the book here reflects a tendency to give preference to the inner Israelite connection, but a more ‘global’ perspective is easily recognizable in Chronicles. In fact, references to explicitly foreign ethnic backgrounds in the Judahite genealogical lists are quite prominent in the book, and likely stood as a critical response to ideological tendencies such as those expressed in Ezra and Nehemiah (see discussion above, and see also below)23. Since Chronicles emphasizes David to a great extent, and since in Chronicles Zeruiah and Abigail are characterized as sisters of David24, it is possible that their higher status here is related to the claim in Chronicles that they were sisters of David and daughters of Jesse25. Yet the readers are clearly told that in their case, the family lineage is to be construed according to the mother rather than the father26.
There is another, unequivocal case that reminded the intended and primary readers of the genealogies that the family lineage may, at times, be identified and maintained through the maternal side. In other