Women in Biblical Tradition
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Kathryn Smith
March 12, 2003
"The Temptress Woman"

I.   Tamar - a Morally Troubling Tale
A.   Obligations and laws of the Levirate
1.   Obligation of the second son
2.   Later law - Deut 25:5-7
B.   Tamar as Temptress
1.   Tamar the temptress/Judah the victim
2.   No such indication in the text
C.   Another Woman saves Israel's posterity
1.   The men in this story (Judah & the 2nd son) do not care about prolonging God's "nation"
2.   It was the woman who was concerned about moving the nation on
3.   HOWEVER, think about this, Judah probably thought he was protecting his 3rd son by sending her away, it was only after the whole story developed did Judah realize that she was more righteous than her - he probably thought he was doing the best thing and therefore not attempting to pass on the responsibility of caring on the nation's line
II.   Location of the Narrative
A.   Interrupts Joseph Cycle
1.   Tamar and Joseph - two anomalous figures to the patriarchal hierarchy
2.   Heightens the anomaly - the low in status are exemplars of God's redemption
B.   Does the Tamar story ultimately support patriarchy?
1.   Some think because the center of the text is centered around having another son, therefore it is helplessly patriarchal
2.   The problem with this is they are not looking at it from the under dog perspective - if it is seen from the perspective the underdog it isn't about prolonging more patriarchal units
C.   What do we do not see in the story? - A type of patriarchy that does not allow women to be passive, and if anything encourages women to be active in their pursuit of life