Does it ever happen to you, reading a well-known story in the Bible and suddenly you notice something you never noticed before? It happens to me quite regularly...
Recently I read the story in Genesis 29, where Jacob is on his way to Haran to find a wife. When he comes to a well with his herd, he addresses a group of shepherds. In verse 9 it says: Jacob was still talking with them when Rachel arrived with her father's flock, for she was a shepherd.
Rachel was a shepherd? I did not know that. The best-known shepherd in the Bible is David (well, except for Jesus who is called the Good Shepherd). I wonder whether Rachel had a slingshot to shoot rocks with, just like David. I wonder whether she chased lions and bears, just like him. I wonder whether she played a musical instrument, just like David?
I am trying to imagine what kind of woman Rachel was. Probably not the kind of lady looking in the mirror all day. Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face (verse 17). She probably owed her good figure to the many walks with the herd :)
I find it intriguing that the Bible specifically mentions that she was a shepherd. In Hebrew, the word shepherdess is the same as shepherd. Shepherds (and therefore also shepherdesses) play an important role in the Bible, as guardians of sheep and as overseers of a local church.
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood (Acts 20:28).
I love it, these special women in the Bible!