Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Mini Post: Miriam

Way back when I was in college, I took a class on the History of the Bible. There was no discussion as to whether or not we believe in what the bible tells us, only a look at the book itself as a piece of historical literature.

I learned about some very interesting things. One thing in particular that sticks in my mind is how few women are named in the Old Testament. I don’t mean mentioned, I mean actually given names. One of the “named” women was Miriam.

The theory goes that Miriam was originally a deity, too powerful in the local lore to remove her altogether, so the writers of Genesis called her the sister of Moses and Aaron. Did you know Moses had a brother and sister? Well yeah, they were Aaron and Miriam.

I don’t know much more about Miriam; that was a short piece in the beginning of the semester and it was a long, long time ago. But she left a deep impression on me. Any woman that strong is bound to leave a deep impression. I think that’s the whole point. It takes some serious strength to beat the patriarchal writers of two of the oldest major religions.

This post is dedicated to my friend Miriam. She’s being going through a tough time lately, but I want her to know that in my mind at least, she’s associated with the strongest woman I’ve ever heard of. Whether she believes in the bible is irrelevant—she can still draw strength from the source. Miriam, we’re all here for you, whatever you need, and I believe you’re going to come out ok.