A Case for Domestic Abuse

The feature article in the May issue of the SBL Forum is an article by Robin Gallaher Branch titled “A Case for Domestic Abuse in 1 Kings 14? A Look at the Marriage of Jeroboam I.”

Below is the introduction of the article:

The Bible introduces the wife of Jeroboam within the context of the account of Jeroboam, the first king of Israel in the Divided Kingdom (1 Kgs 11:26-14:20). Jeroboam reigned for twenty-two years, 930-909 B.C.E.[1]Although hers is but a cameo appearance on the biblical stage, it receives considerable textual space (1 Kgs14:1-18). A family crisis introduces her. Jeroboam’s son Abijah (presumably by this woman) is sick and near death. Jeroboam commands his wife to go-disguised-to the prophet Ahijah to discover the lad’s fate. Obedient, she goes. In addition to learning Abijah will die, she receives a startling prophetic word of household and national devastations. Acting as a conduit between king and prophet, she remains unnamed, silent, mysterious.

Read the article in its entirety by visiting the SBL Forum by clicking here.


Read my post which presents another view on this issue:

A Case for Domestics Abuse: Another Perspective

Claude Mariottini
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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This entry was posted in 1 Kings, Book of 1 Kings, Jeroboam, Mother, Women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Case for Domestic Abuse

  1. Exod1636 says:

    >Pretty interesting conjecture being made by the author. It seems like there is a lot that is deduced from silence in the text. Jeroboam may have been all Professor Branch claims and more. However it seems more judicious to argue from what the text reveals, not from what it omits. As I read the text I cannot see why one would conclude the marriage had “ended much earlier” and that “they had no personal relationship.” Professor Branch argues, “After hearing Ahijah’s prophesy, why does the wife of Jeroboam return home? If an abused wife, why does she stay?” Maybe because she was not abused. Maybe she was as hard-hearted toward Yahweh as Jeroboam. Maybe she benefited from being married to a king and had no problem disguising herself and traveling to see Abijah. All speculation based on the text.I don’t mean to come across as harsh but it was an interesting article nonetheless.


  2. >Dear Exod1636,First of all, you have an interesting post ID.I agree with your reaction to the article. Most of the article is based on conjectures and inferences from silence.After I read the article, I thought about a response. I may write a post in response to this article and publish it soon.Thank you for your comment.Claude Mariottini


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