Gender Oddities or Why Does God hate women?
Jacob and family moves from the land of Canaan to Egypt at Joseph’s request. The Pharaoh has offered them the best of land on which to raise their herds. This chapter covers the move but mainly consists of rather dense lists of the children and grandchildren who migrated. When you look closely, oddities emerge. Guess what! They’re nearly all boys. With the exception of Dinah, all the listed descendants of Jacob are male. That is strange. Now the Bible does say the following:
Jacob’s people who migrated to Egypt–his direct descendants, not counting the wives of Jacob’s sons–numbered sixty-six persons in all.
This is somewhat understandable. The wives of his sons would not be his descendants. But except for Dinah, who played a part in the saga, there is not another girl. The troop consists of Jacob and his three living wives; Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah, plus Dinah, and sixty-one sons and grandsons. Do they actually mean to imply that there was only one daughter/granddaughter in the entire family? No, not quite, for when Joseph was thought to be dead, Genesis 37/35 states “Though his sons and daughters tried to console him, he refused all consolation.” Notice the word “daughters” with an “s”. Other Bible versions say it even more clearly “all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him.”
The question begs to be asked. Where are the women? Why are these daughters virtually unmentioned? Why doesn’t the tally of descendants mention them, either by number or by name? Had they been married off? Everyone? All the granddaughters too? If that’s the case they would have to marry them off in diapers.
I think the truth here is clear. It’s that same truth that has come up before and will, no doubt, rear its patriarchal head again. The women and girls weren’t mentioned because they weren’t important enough. No one bothered counting or remembering their names, unless of course, they were unlucky enough to be raped, and then only for the purpose of detailing biblical retribution. That in mind, it’s possible that Jacob’s family may have been nearly twice this number. Those uncounted multitudes were simply considered to be no better than livestock.
We’ve come a long way baby! We have just a little farther to climb.