Monday, December 12, 2011

Advent Reflection #13

Matthew's gospel, as we have seen, begins with a genealogy, which includes 5 women:  "he begot X by woman." is said four times.  All were shamed. Tamar, who pretends to be a prostitute and goes a god job of it, getting pregnant by her father-in-law in one of the most sordid "I'll make him pay" stories imaginable.  Rahab the independent businesswoman of Jericho, a woman who definitely took things into her own hands.  She also appears in the hall of faith, so sticking "the harlot" on her name seems unnecessarily.  Interestingly, she is that in Joshua but not called that in the New Testament.  Ruth the Moabite, Bathsheba the adulterer.  And Mary the virgin.  The first four were hardly virgins.  Matthew does not have to include these wmen, so we can speculate that it is to prove that while God worked through the Jews, He was by no means only the God of the Jews, or of men.   God is for everybody; He is inclusive in that way.

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