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Counting the Women

Wei Hsien of Torn Notebook notes the presence of women in a biblical genealogy—and it isn’t the one in Matthew. He notes there are actually more women in the genealogy of Jacob’s descendants in Genesis 46:8-27, even some Gentile women. I would also mention that women are found in the genealogy of Esau’s descendants in Genesis 36:9-30.

So, perhaps Matthew’s inclusion of Tamar, Ruth, and “the wife of Uriah” is not quite so anomalous as it is sometimes presented to be. Why are they there? To point to the idea of Gentile inclusion? To prepare the readers for the “unorthodox” details of Jesus’ birth? Wei Hsien is unconvinced, for good reasons.

Maybe Matthew simply believed that women matter, and that their stories were part of the history Jesus came to redeem.



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