cover image Defiant: What the Women of Exodus Teach Us About Freedom

Defiant: What the Women of Exodus Teach Us About Freedom

Kelley Nikondeha. Eerdmans, $17.99 trade paper (214p) ISBN 978-0-8028-6429-1

Theologian Nikondeha (Adopted) explores in this accessible work of biblical exegesis the stories of women in the book of Exodus, asking what their lives can teach about the spiritual mandate to work for justice. Each chapter focuses on a particular woman or women, such as Shiphrah and Puah, the midwives ordered by a pharaoh to kill male babies born into Hebrew families; Bithiah, daughter of the pharaoh; or Miriam, sister of Moses, all of whom the author describes as “liberation practitioners.” Nikondeha places biblical narrative in historical context and interweaves stories from her own life and other examples of present-day women working for justice. For example, the chapter on Moses’s mother, Jochebed, situates Jochebed’s pregnancy and decision to relinquish her son against the backdrop of Egyptian politics during biblical times and the racial politics of reproduction under apartheid in South Africa. This empowering work will do well in a Sunday school or book group setting. (Apr.)