SANAT TARIHI DERGISI-JOURNAL OF ART HISTORY, vol.27, no.2, pp.391-407, 2018 (ESCI)
A related issue addressed in this research is whether or not these handmaids in the Jacob story, who are depicted in Christian art as playing important roles and holding crucial positions in the family, are biblically more important to both the narrative and the family than has traditionally been recognized. Because of the importance of the historical context, the story of Zilpah and Bilhah is a remarkable myth for females and may be viewed as a master archetype of the age-old infertility problem. This raises of the question of how handmaids were defined in the Bible. In the study, examples of Christian art were included with the Bible commentary. Consequently, identifying the handmaids is only possible by following the chronological sequence of events in Genesis. This study also shows the identify of handmaids in the biblical book of Genesis. Besides the Bible, rabbinic sources were also investigated in detail. It is possible that children may have increased the status of women in Genesis but this is only true of women who already had status to speak of.