Bible Review 5:1, February 1989

Bringing Miriam Out of the Shadows

By Phyllis Trible

Buried within Scripture are bits and pieces of a story awaiting discovery. It highlights the woman Miriam. To unearth the fragments, assemble them, ponder the gaps and then construct a text requires the play of many methods but the dogmatism of none.1 This enterprise welcomes all lovers of Scripture who seek to redeem life from patriarchal death.

At the Bank of the River

Hints and guesses begin the search. A text hints, and the reader guesses. The setting is parlous: Egypt, an alien land; the king, a tyrannic ruler; his edict, a death decree. Disobeyed by two midwives who have refused to kill Hebrew sons, the Pharaoh extends his order to all the people: “Every son that is born—into the Nile you shall cast him, but every daughter you shall let live” (Exodus 1:22).a In Pharaoh’s land, sex determines life and death for Hebrew babies.

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