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Who were the ministering women, and what exactly did they do?

Verse 8 states that the bronze bowl was made from the mirrors of the ministering women who ministered. Were their duties and responsibilities similar to those of the priests? Did they come from a specific tribe or were they called by God and went there to minister because of their call? It is interesting to read of women being used by God as far back as Moses' time. 

Exodus 38:8

ESV - 8 He made the basin of bronze and its stand of bronze, from the mirrors of the ministering women who ministered in the entrance of the tent of meeting.

Clarify Share Report Asked February 10 2014 Mini Anonymous

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Stringio Vin Smith Supporter Concert Pianist. Piano Tuner. Talk Show Host. Novelist.
It does not appear that the ministering women were actually engaged in priestly service in the sense of Levitical duties. We can surmise this based on the customs, the times and Biblical revelation. 

From the beginning, the Bible establishes the equality of men and women--yet places women in a support role--yet with clear instructions that women are the central figures in family structure.

it is women who run the Biblical household (Isaiah 3:12). Such a role is indispensable--and absolutely equal--to the administrative function of men. More times than not, no man can administer the big picture, without the attention to detail offered by women. Modern studies show women are quite superior in performing and administering detail; procedures (like running household schedules) and any kind of minutia. Thousands of Rosie the Riveters proved that during World War II. 

In the organization of the community, the genders are to be considered of equal consideration.. (Exodus. 21:15, 17, 28–31); (Numbers. 5:19–20, 29; 6:2; 30:1–16). 

Scholars do not believe the possibility that women actually performed the sacred duties that are considered priestly functions of the Levites.The JPS Torah Commentary on page 230 states of the women of Exodus 38:8: “None of the evidence supports the notion that they (the women) exercised any ritual or cultic function. The idea here is that even though these women were at the bottom of the occupational and social scale they displayed unselfish generosity and sacrificial devotion in donating their valuable bronze mirrors. They performed menial work …” 

It is likely they functioned in a maintenance capacity--actual cleaning and repair. Others have suggested that the ministering women were part of an artistic troupe of singers and dancers.

It seems beyond credulous that the ministering women held any kind of ritual positions.

February 11 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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