Tuesday, August 25, 2009

As a man wipeth a dish

I was hand washing some new dishes today and as I dried a plate, I turned it over and dried it on the back. Then I wondered if I usually did that, and what did this tell me about myself, about these dishes or about the situation.

Why would I ask that? Because when I was little I heard someone say that men are more thorough and better at details and that is why God said,
    and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down.
See, God is like a man who wipes a dish on both sides. God is thorough and careful like a man. God is like a man and not like a woman. And that is why men are in charge, because men are like God. Men are like God and women are not.

If a female is a hen or a bear, then the female is like God, but a human female is only the weaker vessel.

And that is how some women are raised. Everything they do is permeated with the notion that a man can do it better. Because he is a man - like God.

That's one more reason why a gender accurate Bible would be nice. It's important to be aware, of course, that there are lots of things in the Bible that really are there in the original languages that we want to reject anyway, like the she bears who mauled the 42 children who mocked Elisha. There's lots of that stuff too.

But we also want to know, we want to be aware that sometimes people will use anything at all to prove that men are better than women, or that women are better than men. Two can play at this game. But the Bible is more useful for men somehow.

Even though Bibles today do not have the word "man" in this verse, because it wasn't there in Hebrew, the notion that men are better at doing things is alive and well. This is from Bible.org.
    Because the wife is physically weaker, she depends on her husband for provision and protection. His task is to provide food, clothing, shelter, and defense, while she is especially adapted by God to bear children and to provide them with the warm affection and tender care which they need. However, the very equipment which God gave her to assume that role is likewise the cause of a second area of weakness—her emotions. A woman must sometimes struggle with sudden and unexplainable changes in mood. These are chemically precipitated by hormones which form part of her reproductive capacity. This emotional vulnerability makes her especially dependent on the man God gives her. It seems to be the underlying idea in God’s words to Eve: “You shall welcome your husband’s affections.”79 She looks to him with an inner yearning to meet her basic needs. She was made for him, and so her life centers in him.

In the interests of not completely ruining your dinner, I won't cite more. But - men don't have hormones? Men don't need women?? Men aren't emotionally vulnerable???

Okay I was going to read the rest of the article myself but I had to stop. The thing is that sometimes the Bible is woven into a tissue of misogyny that is enough to strangle a woman.


Lin said...

hmmm. Bible.org must not know that some married men die young or become paralyzed and cannot provide for the family. And some wives die young so that must mean men cannot give loving tender care to his children. And of course, wives could not support a paralyzed husband.

Somebody should tell them about 1 Corin and being single. :o)

Lynne said...

"her life centres in him"?
So in order to be a virtuous wife, a woman must be guilty of idolatry?

Kevin Knox said...

Fascinating, as always, Suzanne.

The "as a man" quote is excellent, and the spontaneously generated "man" in the text is a ridiculous addition. I hope you keep feeding us these gems.

The bible.org quote is also excellent. I can't help but wonder with you that such things still exist. And I'm also taken by the fact they're dying. Really.

Religion, by its nature, is conservative, so I'd expect there will always be such quotes out there. Overall, though, those thoughts are going the way of the dodo, and that flavor of Christianity is marginalizing itself. As always, the loser in these evolutions is playing it up as if he's in the catbird seat, but it's just posturing. 30 years from now it will be obvious that the comps were engaging in wishful thinking with that kind of writing.

I'm not 100% certain I'm right on this, but I'd bet the farm and never look back.

Peter Kirk said...

Suzanne, I'm glad you have deconstructed this verse. We men don't want any women using it to say that the Bible tells men to do the washing up!

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Pe... ter ....

Men should do the washing up. But it is I and not the Lord who says so!

Lynne said...

and possibly there are some men who should just dry up! (present company excepted of course)

Kristen said...

I have heard this verse used in a joking manner, to defend the idea that ONLY husbands should do the dishes, not wives!

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Funny, I never heard that.

Unknown said...


Thanks for pointing out the gender issues.Yahuwah loves and appreciates men and women alike. It's important to note that in numerous places where the word "man" is used it's simply refering to "mankind".

In the case of the verse you cite above, 2Ki 21:13, the word "man" was added by the translators meaning that it's not there in the original text. If you therefore look at the original text it has nothing to do with mankind it's all about the Lord.

Having said that it's a good point you've made and us man do well to remind ourselves that the "woman" is a gift from our Creator and equal with man in all things except in those offices specifically apointed to man, such as the office of minister.

It depends if we look at the differences as a curse, or as the handy work of our Creator and loving command of Yahuwah to His children for their benefit and blessing to which we can answer: Thine will be done! :-)

Heavenly blessings to all in Yahushua's name!