A Gendered Venture: The Devaluing and Dispossession of Israelite Women in the Book of Numbers

Dora Rudo Mbuwayesango (Salisbury NC)


The book of Numbers is part of the imperial narrative constructing Israel’s travels from Sinai to the promised land of Canaan. The representation and characterization of women in male imperial narratives are strategies used to articulate male interests. The contributions of imperial women in the imperial venture are often hidden and female labor is disavowed in ways that leads to their marginalization and dispossession. This paper applies a postcolonial approach to the portions of the book of Numbers (especially Num 1:1–10:10; 26:1–51; 27:1–11; 36:1–13) to illustrate how the marginalization and dispossession of women is ideologically validated.