Saturday, April 13, 2013

Noah's Wife

Noah's Nameless, Voiceless Wife

Noah's wife is nameless and voiceless.  How did she feel?  What did she think and believe about what Noah was doing?  Genesis 7:1 claims God said to Noah, "you alone are righteous before me."  Did Noah declare that to his wife?  What about her righteousness?  If she was not righteous why was she going along?  Are her reproductive abilities and those of her daughters-in-law the only reason they are included? Her story is found in Genesis 6:17 -9:21.     

Noah's wife tells her story

He says he and only he in the whole world has found favor with God.  He says God is going to destroy the world but I am to survive because he is righteous.  Do I want to survive in a world that has been destroyed?  What kind of a life will that be?  He says he is going to build a boat to hold two of every animal in the world.  He doesn't say who is going to care for all those animals.  I already know that.

He built it.  He says I  am to pack up our house hold and get on the boat.  Oh God.

I have never experienced anything so horrible. The water got deeper and deeper.  People were screaming and crying for help.  He would not let us save anyone or anything that had not entered the boat with us.  I was heart sick.

We are to leave the boat.  The water and everything else is gone.  He is going to kill some of the animals.  Animals I have tended he is going to slaughter.  How do I start over?

 He got drunk.  The first harvest from the vineyard and he got drunk.  After all I have been through and he got drunk.         

Observations on Noah's nameless, voiceless wife

Flood stories abound form all over the globe.  "Versions preserved in the ancient Mesopotamian traditions of Babylonia and Sumeria, in particular the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, come closets to the biblical account."(Miriam Theresa Winter)  The sons of Noah are named but the women mentioned in our story are not. They are on the margins and the concerns of their lives are inconsequential to the writer. 

1 comment:

  1. I really like the questions you pose about righteousness, the purpose for the women's inclusion in the voyage, the quality of life in a destroyed world, and the responsibility of animal care.

    Something I noticed in Genesis 8:1... God remembers Noah and the animals. There is no mention of the women?!

    How marvelous that you give Noah's nameless wife a voice, transporting her from the margins into text. And, I love how Ellen M. Taylor gives her a name - Patience - in her fabulous poem which can be found by clicking on the link provided!