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What do Jael, Judith, and Mary Have in Common?

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December 20, 2013 by mattfradd


MaryCrushingtheSerpent

In today’s post I want to take a quick look at three great heroines of the Bible and see what they have in common.

Blessed Among Women

In the Scriptures we see that there are three women who are called blessed among women: Judith, Ja’el, and Mary. In order we read:

And Uzziah said to her, “O daughter, you are blessed by the Most High God above all women on earth (Judith 13:18).

“Most blessed of women be Ja’el (Judges 5:24).

“and [Elizabeth] exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! (Luke 1:42).

Wouldn’t it be interesting if these three women had something else in common. Well, as it turns out, they do!

Each crushed the head of the enemy king.

Ja’el

The commander of the Canaanite army, Sisera, was killed by Jae’l’s tent peg.

“But Ja’el the wife of Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, till it went down into the ground, as he was lying fast asleep from weariness. So he died” (Judges 4:21).

I love that the author felt it necessary to write “till it went down into the ground.” As if “so he died” weren’t descriptive enough.

jael-sisera-1024x682

Judith

Holofernes, an invading general of Nebuchadnezzar, was killed by Judith’s sword.

She came close to his bed and took hold of the hair of his head, and said, “Give me strength this day, O Lord God of Israel!” And she struck his neck twice with all her might, and severed it from his body. Then she tumbled his body off the bed and pulled down the canopy from the posts; after a moment she went out, and gave Holofernes’ head to her maid, who placed it in her food bag (Judith 13:7-10).

Judith

Mary

Satan was crushed by Mary’s son.

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

immaculate_conception_ca_1628

Someone might say, “it was Christ, not Mary, who crushed the head of Satan.” I’ve even heard one person suggest that it’s blasphemous to think that anyone other than Christ could crush Satan. This, I think, is an unnecessary distinction. Of course it is God’s doing, but he uses us and our submission to his will to bring it about.

St. Paul, in his letter to the church of Rome writes that “the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” If we can say this of Christians in general, then, I would argue, we can say it of Mary in particular, and to the greatest degree!

It is precisely because of her unique role in salvation history that we can say of her, in a way that we can’t of others, that the God of peace crushed Satan under her feet.

What are your thoughts?

One thought on “What do Jael, Judith, and Mary Have in Common?

  1. Matthew says:

    Excellent post, Matt. Another great example of women having priority and prominence in Scripture, much to the chagrin of so many of our “modern” brothers and sisters.

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