I Pulled a Card for You
From my Sacred Muse deck: a woman, her story, and oh-so-much wisdom - all for you!
Today’s card: The Concubine
Her story: One of the most violent stories in this text, a man and his concubine are traveling. As they pass through a particular city they are assailed by a mob that wants to gang-rape the man. He turns his concubine over to them instead and they rape and abuse her all night, then drop her back at the home where the man was staying. After she dies, the man dismembers her body into pieces and sends one part of her remains to each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Phyllis Trible, scholar, theologian, and author of Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives says the following about this story:
The betrayal, rape, torture, murder, and dismemberment of an unnamed woman is a story we want to forget but are commanded to speak. It depicts the horrors of male power, brutality, and triumphalism; of female helplessness, abuse, and annihilation. To hear this story is to inhabit a world of unrelenting terror that refuses to let us pass by on the other side.
Indeed, this is the only way I’ve been able to work with such a horrendous text—to name just how abhorrent it is so that she is not silenced yet again by our discomfort. When her story is known, we are shocked into the awareness that such a thing cannot continue to be allowed, let alone tolerated.
And yet . . . stories like hers (sans the dismemberment) happen every day.
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