Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Most Blessed of Women be Jael

Commemorates the song of Deborah. Jael acted with stealth as she gave Sisera, an enemy king, milk and not water. The music of seeming refuge lulled him to sleep in Jael's tent, where she offered hiding after a losing battle with prophetess-judge Deborah and army-leader Barak. When the king was fast asleep

"Her hand reached for the tent peg,
her right hand for the workman's hammer.
She struck Sisera, she crushed his head,
she shattered and pierced his temple.
At her feet he sank,
he fell; there he lay.
At her feet he sank, he fell;
where he sank, there he fell -- dead." (Judges 5:24-31)

The song rises with righteous entreaty in the final verses:

"So may all your enemies perish, O Lord!
But may they who love you be like the sun
When it rises in its strength."

In the book I'm reading now called "Army of Roses: Inside the World of Palestinian Women Suicide Bombers" by Barbara Victor, I'm introduced to modern day women just like Jael and Deborah. Fighters. Killers. Praisers of Allah and his allegiance to those who love him and do his bloody work.

And, I thought that such feminine militaristic zeal was a new thing. As long as there are religious warring men, there are religious warring women -- equal in life, death, and spiritual ambition for glory.

1 comment:

Jennie said...

Could you please tell me a little about your painting there? I am trying to get some images together of different depictions of this story for a class I'm teaching this fall. Who is the artist? I love the idea of dragging the bed around in a nomadic tent.