WOMAN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
« And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok».(Genesis 32/22)
« And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob».(Genesis 36/6)
According to the New Testament, Abraham had two wives. Polygamy was spread among the Israelites like everywhere else in the ancient world. Man could marry as many wives as he liked or divorce them at his behest. In addition they might have innumerable concubines.
The slaves, the prisoners of war or the slaves purchased in slave markets were employed in diverse jobs and sold like chattels. The concubines served their masters in every respect, sex included.
It goes without saying that the wealthy and the kings had more wives than the ordinary citizen. David had first two wives. Afterwards the number increased. « And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.» (2 Samuel 5/13)
King Solomon, in addition to Pharoah's daughter, married an infinite number of wives:
« But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites (1 Kings 1)And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.» (1Kings 3)
« When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.» (Deuteronomy 24/1)
Woman had no value in ancient past when the strongest had the supremacy. The husband would easily dismiss his lawful wife and take as many wives as he pleased.
OTHER RELEVANT SUBJECTS
Creation of Woman
« And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; »(Genesis 2/21)
« And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.» (Genesis 2/23)
The creation of woman was told in the form of a tale to the uncultivated people of the day.
Those who have been against the emancipation of women, considered them as second class beings since they had been created from the rib of Adam. Actually, woman was not created from the rib of man; nor was she his slave; she had equal rights with men. The Qur'an has explained the true state of affairs with reference to women.
« Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.» (Genesis 3/16)
Man has dominion over woman. Any decision she may have made is subject to her husband's ratification. « Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.» (Numbers 30/13)
« Widow shall marry her brother- in- law If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.» (Deuteronomy 25/5)
« And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israe ».(Deuterenomy 25/6)
Stoning of the Adulteress and the Adulterer
« If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.» (Deuteronomy 22-24)
WOMAN IN THE NEW TESTAMENT