A Review Of Carol Meyers. "Rediscovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context". New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. 295 pp. $24.95. -- By: Joshua M. Philpot

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 020:1 (Spring 2015)
Article: A Review Of Carol Meyers. "Rediscovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context". New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. 295 pp. $24.95.
Author: Joshua M. Philpot

A Review Of Carol Meyers. Rediscovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. 295 pp. $24.95.

Josh Philpot

Pastor for Worship & Administration
Founders Baptist Church
Houston, Texas

Rediscovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context is a revision of Carol Meyers’ 1988 work, Discovering Eve (Oxford), a feminist study that garnered much praise and enthusiasm in feminist biblical studies. Meyers aims to reconsider in context “Eden Eve,” the first woman in Genesis 2-3, and “Everywoman Eve,” the average Israelite woman in Israelite history (particularly in the entire Iron Age, ca. 1200-586 BC). Much of the book is taken up with archeological, ethnographic, and sociological studies surrounding the “Everywoman Eve” of the Levant, which I will not discuss in detail here since Meyers’ analysis of the former (“Eden Eve”) is, in my view, of greater import for ongoing studies in biblical manhood and womanhood. A summary of the contents, however, is in order, followed by critical interaction.


In chapter 1 Meyers demonstrates how the character of Eve is familiar to Western culture and therefore links the present with the past. The twenty-first century woman can learn much from the representative “first woman” of the Hebrew Bible. Her stated objective is to “confront the problematic stereotypes projected on the biblical past in popular culture and biblical scholarship, both of which follow the long tradition of reading later ideas about women into Israelite contexts” (202).

In chapter 2 Meyers discusses the sources for her project, namely, the Hebrew Bible and other ancient Near Eastern (ANE) writings, anthropological data, and archeological findings, especially in the last 50 years. The Hebrew Bible is for Meyers a “resource” for understanding the daily lives of “Everywoman Eve,” but is insufficient for giving readers a full picture of their daily lives and tasks (24). Chapter 3 describes the setting and context for the lives of Israelites in Iron Age I and II. In chapter

4, Meyers attempts an exegesis of Genesis 2-3 without reading into it the influence of later misogynist, post-Hebrew Bible commentators and translators, which only serve to perpetuate a false reading of the text in her opinion, biased on false presuppositions. She aims, on the other hand, to consider only the problems and customs associated with the Israelites at the time when they emerged as a nation among the cu...

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