The Lost Ladies of Make Your Move
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If you’ve read Make Your Move, you met many women who displayed confidence in spite of what culture said or even their own minds told them!
Today … meet the Daughters of Shallum, some of the gals who displayed unshakable confidence, but didn’t make it into Make Your Move.
Their story is told in Nehemiah 3, but before we get to their introduction, let me give you a bit of a backdrop. Within the timeline of our study of Make Your Move, the daughters of Shallum fall after Abigail in chapter five, but before the women of Bethany in chapter six.
As the book of Nehemiah opens up, the wall protecting the city of Jerusalem has been torn down and the gates have been destroyed by fire by the Israelites. All who are living in the City of David are exposed, unprotected by the surrounding enemy. They are in big trouble. This reminds me of the setting of two other women in the Old Testament, Deborah and Sheerah.
Nehemiah, one of the Israelite royalty who is living as an exile in the city of Babylon, is broken hearted over this disaster. The city of his fathers and his God is in ruins. Upon learning of it, Nehemiah weeps. He prays and asks God to give him the favor he needs with the king in order to go to Jerusalem and begin this overwhelming project: repairing the wall and gates of Jerusalem.
God answers Nehemiah’s prayer, not only having the king give him permission to go, but also giving Nehemiah the supplies to do so. The issue before him now: labor.
I’m going to skim, and I do mean skim the first three verses of Nehemiah 3. I want you to get a feel for the pattern without me reading all the verses leading up to our key verse: verse 12.
“Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel. 2 The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zakkur son of Imri built next to them. The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.”
If you read all of Nehemiah 3, it contains two words over and over again.
Built or rebuilt.
Repairs are happening. The wall is being rebuilt … and it is being rebuilt by men. This pattern goes on for the next 8 verses, men rebuilding the wall and the gates until we meet our gals.
“Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters.” v. 12
There they are! The daughters of Shallum, lifting rock, hoisting bars and mortaring the crevices. The daughters of Shallum are not your ordinary working class gals either. These women, daughters of a wealthy man who is the ruler of half of the district of Jerusalem, would have most likely had servants who did all of their labor for them. Washing, cooking, cleaning … these would not have been the tasks for affluent gals like the daughters of Shallum. They would have been used to being waited upon.
But here, for the 52 days it took to rebuild the wall, they were stone setters and foundation framers. Their days of manicures and massages behind them, they did what they needed to do; “A man’s job”. I am sure many observing them would have complained. More than likely, some looking on would have given the daughters as well as their father a hard time, believing construction labor was no job for a couple of girls. Looks to me like no amount of gossip deterred them. Partnering with their dad, they got the job done. And Nehemiah, the ruler and general contractor, would have witnessed it all.
Again, I am gaining Christ confidence from women in God’s word. Not matter what needed to be done, if the assignment came from God, they were given the power and help to get it done!
Thank you, Lord, for sharing these incredible women with us through Your word.
I’d love to hear your thoughts after studying Make Your Move. Would you be so kind to share a line or two as a review on Amazon? I’d be so grateful and so will others looking for their next Bible study!