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Art: Representation of Biblical Women

In narratives or abridged cycles more or less faithful to the biblical text, art has portrayed biblical women as role models and reference, occasionally adding exegetical elements both Christian and Jewish. Although the text of the Bible became fixed at different dates and in various versions, these images are not fixed, but reflect the ebb and flow in society’s attitudes towards women and their role.

Susanna: Apocrypha

Although readers will respond to and remember most vividly Susanna and her predicament, the story’s conclusion emphasizes Daniel’s emergence as a young figure of wisdom. Susanna presents a further challenge to contemporary readers. On the one hand, Susanna’s resistance to rape and adherence to the Mosaic law is laudable. On the other hand, Susanna’s understanding of her dilemma unfortunately supports the problematic notion that victims are somehow themselves guilty.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Susanna." (Viewed on January 23, 2018) <>.


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