The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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Claudia V. Camp

Claudia Camp John F. Weatherly Professor Emerita of Religion at Texas Christian University. She writes on biblical wisdom literature and narrative, with a particular interest in feminist criticism. She is the author of Wisdom and the Feminine in the Book of Proverbs; Wise, Strange and Holy: The Strange Woman and the Making of the Bible; and Ben Sira and the Men Who Handle Books: Gender and the Rise of Canon Consciousness.

Articles by this author

Woman Wisdom: Bible

In some of the books of the Hebrew Bible, “wisdom” is personified as a female character. Her portrayal often draws comparisons to goddesses outside of the Hebrew Bible, although there is debate over whether Wisdom was worshipped as a goddess. Nevertheless, the stories of Woman Wisdom are significant for their use of a woman’s voice in male books.

Wise Woman of Abel Beth-Maacah: Bible

The second of two “wise women” portrayed in 2 Samuel lived in a fortified city in northern Israel. More straightforwardly than the story of the wise woman of Tekoa (2 Samuel 14), this narrative depicts what must have been typical leadership activities of a woman in this accepted position against the larger political tensions of David’s reign.

Wise Woman of Tekoa: Bible

The midrash includes the wise woman from Tekoa among the twenty-three truly upright and righteous women who came out of Israel. The Rabbi’ note that because the residents of Tekoa frequently used olive oil, they were wise. The woman’s wisdom was therefore linked to the blessing of olive oil and, in the opinion of the Rabbis, reflected the wisdom of all the area’s inhabitants.

Shunammite: Bible

The “great woman of Shunem” appears twice in the narratives about the ninth-century B.C.E. prophet Elisha. Her title suggests wealth, but also, as the story unfolds, independence of mind and faith.

Huldah: Bible

Huldah appears in the books of Kings and Chronicles. Her story involves a scroll discovered in the temple during the reign of King Josiah. Her identity as a female prophet is not especially remarkable for the time period, but it is significant for how her judgments are centered on a written document.

Abishag: Bible

Abishag is an unspeaking Bible character involved in the story of the power struggle between King David’s sons. She is used as a tool to move along the plot concerning Solomon and Adonijah; her story conveys the importance of male honor, as Solomon asserts his right to determine the sexual fates of the female members of his household.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Claudia V. Camp." (Viewed on December 5, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/author/camp-claudia>.

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