Mayer I. Gruber

Mayer I. Gruber is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Bible, Archaeology, and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheva, Israel. His many publications concerning women in the ancient Near East and in Judaism include The Motherhood of God and Other Studies, Women in the Biblical World, and Hosea: A Textual Commentary.

Articles by this author

Shiphrah: Bible

Shiphrah (more commonly spelled "Shifra") is one of the two named midwives who serve the Hebrew women in Egypt and who contravene Pharaoh’s order to kill at birth all Hebrew males.

Puah: Bible

Puah and Shifrah were the midwives who defied Pharaoh’s orders and allowed Israelite women to birth their sons in safety. It is not clear whether the midwives were Egyptian or Israelite. They may have been overseers for Pharoah’s harem and held positions of honor.

Hebrew Women in Egypt: Bible

Hebrew women in Egypt are critical figures in the Bible, especially concerning their maternal and physically nurturing roles. Hebrew midwives help male babies escape the infanticide commanded by the Pharaoh, and another woman helps save baby Moses’ life. These stories show how women were able to undermine the Pharaonic authority and ensure the survival of the Hebrew people in general.


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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Mayer I. Gruber." (Viewed on May 19, 2024) <>.