In conversation with David Adamo’s Africa in the Bible approach, which investigates the presence of Africa and Africans in Scriptures, this article conducts a synoptic search of the named and unnamed “African” women of the Torah and Nebiim with the aim of probing their socio-economic status. We ask, to what extent does a socio-economic reading of the portraits of these women – from Hagar to the Queen of Sheba – afford us a glance into the lives of women in antiquity in the geographical location called Africa today, many of whom seemed to enjoy a great degree of social and economic independence? The social identity and status of these women may help to counteract some of the modern images of African women as victims of patriarchy under male power. The implications of the findings for African biblical hermeneutics of which Adamo is one of the foremost proponents cannot be over-emphasised.
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