Middle Eastern Misogyny, Changed by Jesus Christ
Biblical Exposition by Johnny Cirucci
1400, 11 March 2012
The Old Testament is rife with examples of how women were treated by men in the Middle East, and the Book of Genesis is full of them.
When Abram left his home, his nephew Lot came along. The L-rd¹ blessed them both and they soon were forced to separate because they had too much livestock between them. But while Abram wisely chose open country to settle in, Lot chose a valley within close proximity to a city:
Sodom (Genesis 13:10).
Though the bright lights of the city can be alluring with opportunities available nowhere else, they are also where human nature is accentuated:
“The heart is more deceitful than all else, And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” ~ Jeremiah 17:9
Woe to those who add house to house and join field to field, Until there is no more room, So that you have to live alone in the midst of the land! ~ Isaiah 5:8
It was a bad choice. Lot chose according to what looked pleasing to him, rather than moving into the wilderness like Abram and trusting that the L-rd would provide his needs.
Soon, it was time for the city to be judged:
And the L-RD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave!” ~ Genesis 18:20
After visiting Abram and evoking from Abram the desire to reach out and protect Lot from the coming terror, two angels were sent to Lot in the guise of men.
Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” Yet he urged them strongly [What did Lot know would happen to the two men if they spent the night in the square?], so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” ~ Genesis 19:1-5
Lot reacted in the best fashion of Middle Eastern culture:
But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.”
But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. But the men [angels] reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway. ~ Genesis 19:6-11
In the Book of Judges, there is a similar story of travelers saved from spending the night in the town square because of predatory homosexuals. Except the girl thrown to these animals didn’t have angels to protect her. She was brutalized, tortured, raped and sodomized until she was dead.
Why would Lot subject his two virgin daughters to that?
Because he was a Middle Eastern male who was taught that hospitality to men was more important than the lives and sanctity of his own daughters. Women are “chattel” (possessions).
Islam bridges thousands of years to keep that brutality alive today.
Al Qaeda Use Two Down's Syndrome Women To Blow Up 99 People In Baghdad Markets ~ U.K. Mail
Iraqi Insurgents Use Eight-Year-Old Girl As Suicide Bomber ~ U.K. Mail
“Honor Killings” In U.S.A. Raise Concerns ~ USA Today
Muslim immigrant men have been accused of six "honor killings" in the United States in the past two years, prompting concerns that the Muslim community and police need to do more to stop such crimes.
14-Year-Old Girl Raped, Charged With Adultery And Lashed To Death In Bangladesh ~ Islam Watch
Muslim Man Mutilates His Own Two Year Old Little Girl to Keep Her from Enjoying Sex...in Atlanta, Georgia! ~Renew America
Saudi “cleric” says a muslim man marrying a 1 year old little girl is OK because “the Prophet” married his favorite wife at 9 ~ Answers for the Faith
Sadly, the Father of Faith—Abraham, himself—wasn’t much better.
Abram (later, Abraham) was blessed with an exceedingly beautiful wife; Sarai (Sarah). One would think that a good husband would cherish that blessing and guard her and her sanctity with his very life, blood and treasure.
Instead, he did just the opposite.
Other Middle Easterners at the time had an odd practice that made them feel good about themselves. When they saw a married woman they wanted, they refrained from taking her and committing adultery. They first murdered her husband, then took her and “married” her.
Aware of this tactic, Abram surged into the danger areas and protected his life and treasure by telling his wife to claim she was only his sister. They did this, not once, but twice—at least as far as Scripture tells us. I’ll wager we are only told twice because she was taken from him twice (they probably sinned in this manner multiple times but no one had the power to take her beyond what we read of).
In two separate accounts Abram allowed her to be taken from him and she would’ve been defiled, the first time by Pharaoh of Egypt and the second by Abimelech king of Gerar.
Normally, G-d does not intervene while man commits sin (at least, not immediately). But something more important than the fleshly sins of men was at stake; the very Salvation of all mankind. Should anyone have been allowed to defile Sarah, they could then call into question the Lineage of the Savior and a case could be made that Christ was unfit to serve as the Fulfillment of Prophecy. Both times the L-rd miraculously intervened to save the sanctity of Abram’s marriage.
It wasn’t until the Teachings of Jesus Christ that mankind was shown the sinful reality of his misogyny.
In John 4 Jesus reaches across multiple cultural taboos to change the life of a woman.
- She is a Samaritan, He is a Jew.
- She is a woman doing a woman’s chore, He is a man, associating with her while she does it.
- She is a woman 5 times divorced and a 6th time living in sin.
- She is an older woman, cynical about life and “love”.
Yet, He reaches across them all to have a powerful effect upon her, amazing the men in his company (yet they dared not question Him).
In John 8 the religious leaders (all men) shove a woman caught in adultery before Christ to test His Teachings of “equality” and “compassion” against the Law of Moses (the man who committed the adultery with her is strangely absent). It is one of the most famous confrontations in all of history as the Rabbi again astounds the men around Him by protecting the woman from undo examination by men who, themselves, are also sinners (much less well-known are Christ’s Words to the woman after forgiving her, “Go and sin no more.”)
In a time when men divorced their wives for any random excuse. Christ shocked them and told them that adultery was the only reason a divorce could be granted.
When Jesus had finished these words, He departed from Galilee and came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan; and large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there.
Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore G-d has joined together, let no man separate.” They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
The disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” ~ Matthew 19:1-10
Sadly, decadent Western culture now takes us to the radical opposite extreme of our Middle Eastern counterparts where the basic differences between men and women are denied to the extent that women are now dressed like men, clad in body armor and shoved onto the battlefield where they are raped and tortured.
The Price of Women in Combat (female helicopter pilot loses both legs)
Female Principal Feminizes Entire School ~ Washington Post
Robyn Hooker, principal of Kent Gardens Elementary School, has told students they may no longer play tag during recess after determining that the game of chasing, dodging and yelling "You're it!" had gotten out of hand. Hooker explained to parents in a letter this month that tag had become a game "of intense aggression."
Inmate Overpowers Female Sheriff, Tazes Her And Takes Her Sidearm ~ Associated Press
What the Bible teaches is that there are differences between men and women and the purpose is to teach us about Divine Authority and Heirarchy:
I want you to understand that Christ is the Head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and G-d is the Head of Christ.
For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.
However, in the L-rd, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from G-d. ~ I Corinthians 11:3, 8-9, 11-12
Sin had degenerated the relationship between man and woman in general and husband and wife in specific:
To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband [to control him],
And he will rule over you [like a tyrant].” ~ Genesis 3:16
But the Way of Jesus Christ calls for balance (evidenced in the relationship between husband and wife), again, as a lesson in Spiritual Hierarchy. It is the man’s challenge to be emotionally expressive to his wife, to tend to her needs and not exploit his authority for laziness or personal gain whilst it is the woman’s challenge to subvert her will to her husband (made much more easy for her if he isn’t an a-hole).
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the L-rd. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This Mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. ~ Ephesians 5:22-33
Neither West nor East has the “battle of the sexes” right and we are all suffering the consequences.
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1) Throughout my walk as a Christian I have been frequently disturbed by how others, who call themselves “Christian” have so little respect for the Name of G-d. In the Time of Jesus Christ, Jews had such fear and reverence for the Name of G-d that they dared not speak it, instead calling Him only, “Ha Shem”, “The Name”. In fact, one of the most common Names of G-d, “YHWH” (known as “the Tetragrammaton”) is actually ineffable. There is no way to easily speak these 4 Hebrew consonants. Later, vowels were added for convenience but the names “Jehovah” and “Yahweh” are found nowhere in the Bible.
How often have you heard a Christian say the words “Oh my God!”? It is a vain (meaningless) usage of His Name and qualifies as blasphemy.
So, in an effort to draw the attention of Christians to this issue, I have taken the tradition of Orthodox Judaism which hyphenates the Name of G-d out of respect for that Name.