I Chronicles in the Bible is a book that has its first nine chapters dedicated to genealogies. Naturally, you might want to skip those boring accounts, yes, they could be boring. It is normal to be tempted to jump to the ‘main’ stories thinking there is nothing much to learn from genealogies. But in the midst of the Lagbaja-begat-Lakaṣegbe-who-gave-birth-to-Tamedu stories are salient references that shouldn’t be missed or ignored. These references always come in few lines and words that are enough to paint the whole story of the person to the reader. An example is the story of Jabez (I Chronicles 4:9-10). But my focus is on Sheerah today, not on Jabez.
I can’t remember noticing Sheerah in the Bible all these years I have been reading from I Chronicles. It is possible I skipped the genealogy section, because I remember I had studied through the first and second books of Chronicles before, or maybe the alarm did not just ring.
Okay, I was reading I Chronicles a couple of months back, and as I painstakingly read through the genealogies, I reached verse twenty of chapter seven, the part dedicated to Ephraim. Ephraim had sons. One of his sons was Beriah and his daughter was Sheerah (v23-24). Now, Sheerah built three cities! Did you read that? She built three whole cities—Upper and Lower Beth Horon and Uzzen Sheerah!
From the passage, depending on the version you are using, Sheerah appears like Ephraim’s direct daughter or Beriah’s direct daughter. But she couldn’t have been a direct offspring of either of them because Ephraim and Beriah definitely died in Egypt and there were still about three to four generations after Beriah before the exodus (my calculations are based on the fact that the Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years). Since Sheerah built these three cities in Canaan, she must have been a great granddaughter of Ephraim and Beriah, thus it is right to refer to her as the daughter of Ephraim or Beriah.
I am sure Sheerah was not the only daughter in Ephraim’s lineage, there must be several daughters. And even though, the system in her days was patriarchal, her exploits distinguished her such that the compiler(s) of the books of chronicles could not but refer to her. For her to build three cities, she must be a strong woman, a woman of purpose, one who did not take no for an answer, a goal getter. Just imagine all the efforts and resources required to build a city, multiply that by three—that was what Sheerah achieved. Such a feat was uncommon for women in her days, maybe not woman-like, but she defied the status quo and built three cities. She did her own part and today, anyone reading the Bible will read about her. Forget that a verse not a whole book was dedicated to her. That single verse speaks volume to whoever has ears.
Like Sheerah, there are several other women in the Bible who did stand out in their own unique ways—Zelophehad’s daughters, Acsah, Deborah, Jael, Esther, Rahab and the likes. They could not be ignored, their names had to be mentioned in the books.
I don’t know about you,
But I, Ayobami Temitope Kehinde,
Did not come to this world to count bridges or to sell popcorn, nah.
I came for a specific purpose which must be fulfilled.
I cannot afford to be like every other woman.
I am a woman of influence, a woman of substance.
I am not a mean woman but a woman of means,
I make impact in my world.
I don’t take no for an answer.
I am resilient, challenges bow to me and not the other way round.
I shut the mouths of lions,
I move mountains.
I am more than a conqueror.
I am a trend setter,
I make things happen and do not watch them happen.
I arise and shine for my light has come and God’s glory is risen upon me.
When great people in my generation are mentioned, I will occupy a prominent position among them. I cannot be ignored.
I will leave my own set of indelible footprints on the sand of time.
I will die empty.
©2015, Ayobami Temitope Kehinde