See Robert Alter, “The Song of Songs: An Ode to Intimacy,” BR 18:04.


Notwithstanding the remarkable presentation of women throughout the Bible, almost without doubt the authors responsible for the biblical material were men. It is true that in general, ancient Near Eastern literature, including the Bible, is anonymous, and therefore one rightly could argue that “he or she” is called for when referring to the author. But when we possess the names of scribes, as we do from ancient Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia, they are invariably men; with no evidence to the contrary, I assume the same is true of Israel.


See Ellis Easterly, “A Case of Mistaken Identity: The Judges in Judges Don’t Judge,” BR 13:02; and Daniel I. Block, “Why Deborah’s Different,” BR 17:03.


See Frank Anthony Spina, “Reversal of Fortune,” BR 17:04.


See Janet Howe Gaines, “How Bad Was Jezebel?” BR 16:05.


I refer to Genesis 16:12 pere’ ’adam “a wild ass of a man,” usually understood as an insult but in truth to be understood in very positive terms. The wild ass, or onager, is a noble beast, roaming the wilderness, undomesticated, with no human as his master.


The Hebrew word is the general word for “play,” but it has a wide range of meanings, from expressions of joy to sexual overtones as well. See Jonathan Kirsch, “What Did Sarah See?” BR 14:05.


Adele Berlin, “Ruth: Little Book, Big Theme,” BR 12:04.


Tikva Frymer-Kensky, “Forgotten Heroines of the Exodus,” BR 13:06.