The Wise Woman of Tekoa: A Mediator (Sept. 16)

2 Samuel 14:1-20


Tekoa—a Judean hill country village ten miles south of Jerusalem—was home to one of two women designated as “wise,” both appearing in 2 Samuel.  One defining attribute of “wisdom,” in the biblical tradition, is skill in rhetoric (Prov 1:5-6 and passim), and the speeches of both this woman and her counterpart from the town of Abel (20:14-22) are highlighted in their respective stories. More obvious in the later story is the wise woman’s role as village leader, likely akin to the male role of elder. In the present narrative, subterfuge hides overt indications of such status, while at the same time offering under-the-surface allusions to its social and symbolic grounding. This narrative, however, to some degree clouds a clear judgment about the quality of the woman’s wisdom.

(Women of Scripture: A Dictionary of named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible, The Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, and the New Testament, edited by Carol Meyers, Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000, p. 263)

Reading the Scripture

Here are some ways you might read the scripture or tell the story:

•    Audio:
o    The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible (“presented by a stellar ensemble of today’s top-name actors, musicians, clergy, directors, and award-winning producers.” Available from Keith).

Teaching Suggestions

•   Wise Women of LABC: Maetta Gray—Mediator, Caregiver, Missions Leader, Teacher

Patsy Sharp had this to say about her Aunt Mae:  
Maetta Gray, Aunt Mae, was a lifetime inspiring role model for us as nieces. Admiration of her inspired me to choose nursing as my career. During difficult times, Aunt Mae was in contact by note, phone, or visit to listen, encourage, offering hope and prayer. She loved and worked for a lifetime for family and her church—teaching, leading, helping, mission support, cooking, serving, whenever and wherever she could, always in a kind, quiet, loving way, sharing her love of the Lord by words and action.

We are so proud that she is remembered and loved at LABC. If a mediator intervenes for reconciliation, we feel that Aunt Maetta has a star for that in her crown.

Jo Garnett remembers Maetta Gray this way:

What I remember about Maetta Gray was her ability to look at both sides of an issue.  She was a vital part of the Fun Luvin’ Hearts and traveled with us.  It really didn't matter what the problem was she was able to smooth out feelings and help bring people to consensus. She was never critical, but always loving and kind.  She looked at the positive and helped others to also see good in every situation.  I miss her.

o    Questions for reflection:
i.    Does anyone else have a Maetta Gray story?
ii.    What can we learn from Maetta Gray?
iii.    When you think of women mediators at LABC, past or present, who do you think of?

•    Midwife Teaching/Case Study Method: Reflect on the Bible story or your own contemporary case study using these questions for dialogue:
o    “What would you do?”
o    “What do you think is going on here, or what should the person have done?”

•    A silly, humorous clip about mediating a conflict, from The Office, might be used to introduce the lesson if your class likes to use video:

•    The Formation Teaching Guide suggests an activity, “What Can We Do?” (p. 18), which could be sensitive but also constructive. If you decide to do this and need help you may contact Tommy or Keith.


I have set aside a shelf in the library with resources for Sunday School teachers. I will place there resources of general interest and some specifically applicable to current lessons.

•    For additional commentary on the text see these commentaries in our library:
o    Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o    Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)

•    Also available in the Library
o    Women of Scripture: A Dictionary of named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible, The Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, and the New Testament, edited by Carol Meyers (Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000).