Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Today's post was written by Gail Kittleson

His daughter was Sheerah. She built Lower and Upper Beth Horon and Uzzen Sheerah               (I Chronicles 7:24, MSG)
Cursory research reveals little about Sheerah, daughter of Beriah, the son of Ephriam. But we do know she took her inheritance seriously. I wonder if she prayed the same prayer Jabez did (see chapter four.)
Jabez overcame the name his mother gave him (Oh, the pain!) after a rough childbirth. It seems Sheerah had some family pain to overcome, too. Her grandfather Ephraim grieved at length over his first sons, cattle rustlers killed by the natives of Gath.
He named his next son Beriah (Unlucky) because of all his bad luck. “Unlucky” became Sheerah’s father, who must have given her an inheritance, because we’re told she did something with it.

Commentators differ on the meaning of “built.” Because of the time frame, Sheerah could not have
physically built these cities, most agree on that. But her descendants did, and that means she taught them a thing or two. And it's important to realize that build can be taken as enlarged or fortified.

The cities, located on the tribe’s border, had been destroyed when the Israelites took them from the Canaanites. Joshua 16 locates Ephraim’s territory in the area still inhabited by Israel’s enemies after Joshua’s
victories. Hum . . . so the enlarging and fortifying may have been challenged. Sheerah’s descendants stuck to their goal, though, since the biblical record claims they completed their tasks.

Receiving an inheritance was rare for a daughter—maybe Beriah saw in Sheerah the qualities necessary to build, fortify, and enlarge. Maybe her tenacity stood out to him. Or perhaps, like Zelophehad’s five daughters, who petitioned Moses for their father’s inheritance, Sheerah had the courage to ask for an inheritance.

It’s all speculation, but Sheerah’s short story provides fodder for our writing lives. Well into life’s second half, my take is from an older writers perspective--we have so much to “make the most of”—all of our varied experiences, a wealth of analyzing ourselves, others, and situations, and our present day-to-day journey, too.

Nothing kept Sheerah’s descendants from enlarging and fortifying what they possessed. Probably they faced enemies who had other plans for their three towns, but they persevered. Duke Ellington said, “A problem is your chance to do your best.”

Today, let’s go for it!

1 comment:

  1. Gail, this reminds me of Othniel and Acsah (Caleb's daughter) that I wrote about on March 27. Other daughter who took control of her own destiny.