Divrei Hayamim I – One: Mehetabel

First chapter of the final book! It starts with a throwback all the way to the beginning, with the genealogy of Adam to the sons of Noah, and then the breakdown among them, all the way to Abraham. Then, we get a list of all of the sons of Abraham – not just Isaac, whose lineage we’ve been following this whole time, or even Isaac and Ishmael, one of the many iconic sets of biblical brothers. Ishmael’s children are also listed, as are the sons of Keturah, Abraham’s late in life concubine. And more and more names, some of which are familiar, and so many others who aren’t given prominence or voice or even real mention in the text. And, nearly at the end, a special addition. “And Baal Hanan died, and Hadad reigned in his stead. Now the name of his city was Pai, and his wife’s name was Mehetabel the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab (Chronicles I 1:50).” I can confidently state that I’ve never heard of these people before, but I’m intrigued enough to want to know more about this rarely named woman who comes from a line of what must be strong women. She’s a queen of the Edomites, and while she’s barely an aside in the text, she’s important enough to be mentioned, and therefore I’m intrigued. I’m kind of hoping there’s a whole line of midrashim about this silent sister, and while I can’t imagine we see her again, I want to keep Mehetabel and all of the other voiceless women in the text in mind as this project arcs towards a close.

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