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In Jeroboam's Wife, Robin Gallaher Branch presents women who share combinations of obscure characteristics. Rizpah is named but does not speak; the wise woman of Abel Beth Macaah speaks but is named only in terms of her function; the wife of Jeroboam is both unnamed and does not speak; the widow of Zarepath speaks but is named in terms of her function; and Athaliah is both named and speaks, but her genocide against her family is unique in scripture for a woman. Other obscure women who are considered in Jeroboam's Wife are the unnamed daughters of Lot, the daughters of Zelophehad, Ephrathath (the second wife of Caleb but evidently so important that she gave her name to an entire district), the Levite's concubine, Acsah, the widow of the prophet, the great woman of Shunem, and the unnamed wives of Isaiah and Ezekiel. Much has been written about such prominent figures as Sarah, Eve, Ruth, Esther, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Moses, Paul, and Mary--but much less on those who play supporting roles in Scripture. Yet the plots of the stories and the character development of these major figures advance because of the input of supporting characters. People often feel less significant in God's eyes than "the biggies" in history or contemporary life, whether that be a TV evangelist or a local pastor. The people considered in Jeroboam's Wife are obscure for various reasons, and yet God uses them to play key roles in the text and the themes of the Old Testament.
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