Women in Greek and Hebrew

Deborah is believed to have played a key role in public arena.

Even in the male dominant society of Israel, Deborahs orders were followed and people looked up to her for advice. In the position of a prophetess, she could give orders which were readily followed: “She sent for Barak…and said to him, The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: “Go, take with you ten thousand men…”” Barak was not willing to go alone and wanted Deborah to accompany him. Deborah is an important figure in ancient Hebrew culture and it is through her that we can see how this culture allowed women to have some freedom in their restricted sphere.

The daughter of Jephthah was another prominent figure. She was also a judge who ruled Israel as she was a woman of strong faith. After her father promised Lord that if he won, he would offer “whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites” (11:31), the daughter urged him to keep his word: “My father.

..you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised, now that the Lord has avenged you of your enemies.”

Another positive example of a woman and her role comes in the book of Samuel. Hannah was a woman of faith and piety. She asked for a son and decided that if she ever had one, she would give him to the Lord. She kept her word when Samuel was born. Trough Hannah had no leadership role to play; she was always discussed in a positive manner showing that ancient Hebrew culture had more appreciation for their women than ancient Greek cultures did.


The Odyssey, the Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, 6th ed. Vol 1, Ws. Norton & Co. Inc. New York

Book of Joshua” accessed online 16th april 2005:


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