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Carol Meyers

Carol Meyers is the Mary Grace Wilson Professor in the department of religion at Duke University, where she teaches biblical studies, archaeology, and gender in the biblical world. As a field archaeologist, she has participated in and co-directed many excavation projects in Israel. Among her many books, Discovering Eve is a landmark study of women in ancient Israel; and her recent reference book, Women in Scripture, is the most comprehensive study ever made of women in Jewish and Christian scriptures.

Articles by this author

Rebekah: Bible

Rebekah is one of the most prominent women—in terms of her active role and her control of events—in the Hebrew Bible. The beautifully constructed narratives in Genesis 24–27 describe how she becomes Isaac’s wife, gives birth to twin sons after initial barrenness, and finally obtains the primary place in the lineage for her younger son, Jacob, who is destined to become ancestor of all Israel.

Jochebed: Bible

Jochebed, wife of Amram and mother of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, is mentioned by name only in Exod 6:20 and Num 26:59, both genealogical listings. The narrative in Exodus 2 about Moses’ birth introduces her, without providing her name, as a member of the priestly tribe Levi; she marries a Levitical man, also unnamed here.

Eve: Bible

The first woman, according to the biblical creation story in Genesis 2–3, Eve is perhaps the best-known female figure in the Hebrew Bible. Her prominence comes not only from her role in the Garden of Eden story itself, but also from her frequent appearance in Western art, theology, and literature. Indeed, the image of Eve, who never appears in the Hebrew Bible after the opening chapters of Genesis, may be more strongly colored by postbiblical culture than by the biblical narrative itself. For many, Eve represents sin, seduction and the secondary nature of woman. Because such aspects of her character are not actually part of the Hebrew narrative of Genesis, but have become associated with her through Jewish and Christian interpretive traditions, a discussion of Eve means first pointing out some of those views that are not intrinsic to the ancient Hebrew tale.

Zillah: Bible

The unusual appearance of Zillah and two associated females in the male genealogies of Genesis 1–10 may be linked to the special role of the children of Zillah and of her co-wife.

Women with Hand-Drums, Dancing: Bible

The scene of Miriam with her chorus of women drummers and dancers is echoed in several other instances in which song, dance, and drums appear in connection with women musicians.

Naamah: Bible

Naamah is one of only three females included in the genealogies of the early chapters of Genesis.

Mother of Micah: Bible

A woman living in the hill country of Ephraim in the period of the judges discovers that eleven hundred pieces of silver have been stolen from her. She then utters a curse (Hebrew alah) in the hearing of her son Micah, who is the thief.

Midwife: Bible

When the matriarch Rachel is giving birth to her second son (Benjamin), she is attended by a midwife (Gen 35:17). The presence of such a health care professional, called meyalledet (“one who causes, helps birth”), was probably routine in Israelite and pre-Israelite society, and the explicit reference to her in this case is not necessarily related to the difficulty of Rachel’s labor.

Adah 1: Bible

The Hebrew Bible character Adah appears in Genesis and is one of the two wives of Lamech. Her sons are in the seventh generation of naturally born human beings, and they are the founders of the civilized arts.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Carol Meyers." (Viewed on December 12, 2019) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/author/meyers-carol>.

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