What's Happening

Troperville

Tools

collapse/expand topics ykttw archive back to Main/BadAssIsraeli

ginsengaddict
topic
08:36:21 PM Mar 28th 2011
edited by ginsengaddict
In order to avert an Edit War, I'm going to bring this up here, and invite [[troper:Penzilla]] the chance to make their arguments in a structured environment.

The issue is an example in the Bible section of the trope, regarding whether or not Jael had sex with Sisera before killing him. I believe she did in fact have sex with him, given the context, while Penzilla says otherwise on account of there being no direct reference to sex (in English) in the verse where the assassination took place.

Now, for the purposes of this trope, I would say that if Jael did not sleep with Sisera, she doesn't qualify for the Badass Israeli trope, on account of the fact that all of the sexual dominance of a woman over-powering a hated man is sapped out, and we're left with a basic vamp.

On that note, i say she does qualify for the trope, due to the context of the story. She is shown to be a strong, gutsy and even borderline promiscuous woman by biblical standards (coming out of her tent to invite a lone man in - very strong sexual overtone). Furthermore, the actual translation of verse 8 of the passage says she "covered him." The general consensus among scholars is that she covered him with a blanket, akin to "tucking him in." However, the actual Hebrew word used is a mystery - nobody really knows what it means. I agree with the scholars who claim she 'covered him' with her own body, because the order in which these events happen is:

1: she "cover(s) him" 2: she "(gives) him milk" 3: she "cover(s) him" AGAIN

It doesn't make sense. If "covered him" means "tucking him in", why would she do that BEFORE feeding him, and then tucking him in a second time??? Of course, this makes complete sense when "covered him" refers to sexual activity. They had sex, took a break and had something to drink, then had more sex. Perfectly reasonable.

As for context, Sisera has just lost a major battle and is running for his life. The passage makes a point of mentioning that Jael's husband, Heber, is on good terms with his king and so he would run in this direction to find shelter - traditionally, he would've gone straight to Heber's tent, but Jael comes out and invites him into her own, alone - this is actually very odd and promiscuous behaviour for a married woman of that time. Typically in the bible, whenever a man and a woman are alone together, they have sex - It Makes Sense in Context that the same would happen here.

Furthermore, I've heard all the arguments that the story is about the power of maternal action and that Sisera is rendered as helpless as a child by Jael... I don't buy it - Sisera is a general of an army that has been oppressing Israel for 20 years and he's now on the run for his life - I honestly don't think he planned to stay at Heber's very long, and "motherly hospitality" will not convince him to stay. Sex might. It's a well-known fact that men tend to fall asleep after sex, and Sisera would have been trying to avoid sleep, being on the run for his life - but sex might actually tire him out enough for Jael to deliver the blow.

As a final note, before Sisera does go to sleep, he tells Jael to "stand" at the door and if anyone asks "is a man here?", to tell them "no." This is amusing, because Sisera actually orders Jael as if he were ordering a soldier, a very masculine order. It's also amusing, because he's implied that there is no longer any masculine presence left in the room, because Jael has become dominant and Sisera has been reduced to an effeminate shell of a man - further reinforcing the theme of female dominance.

Penzilla, your response?
ykttw archive back to Main/BadAssIsraeli

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy