The Holy Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Each word including punctuation marks are important, significant and intentional. (Matthew 24:35) There are two special personalities who are given with some information. One is Jabez, whose prayer is well-known and there are books written on that prayer. (I Chronicles 4:9-10) However, there is another woman named Sheerah who is generally ignored or not well-known.
Ephraim had sons and grandsons; however, they were all killed by men of Gath who raided for livestock. (I Chronicles 7: 20-22) Bereaved Ephraim mourned for many days. Then he gave birth to a son called Beriah in his old age. “His daughter was Sheerah, who built both Lower and Upper Beth-horon, and Uzzen-sheerah.” (I Chronicles 7: 24) She was either daughter of Ephraim or granddaughter through son Beriah. (I Chronicles 7:23)
Generally, the names of women are not included in genealogy. Those included were outstanding in their accomplishments or termed as ‘outliers.’ In that sense Sheerah was a remarkable woman. Sheerah could have heard about the tragedy that struck her family. She did not want to live in perpetual slavery and at the mercy of enemy nations. For that she had to defeat them and build strong fortified towns.
Women are generally builders. They build families, communities and nations. They have wisdom, nurturing spirit, devoutness and relational touch that builds up people. There were mighty women who were leaders, who led army, conquered places and built cities. Sheerah was one of those leaders. She built both Lower and Upper Beth-horon, and Uzzen-sheerah.” (I Chronicles 7: 24) The Egyptian sources indicate that Shishak of Egypt conquered this city from Rehoboam. Many centuries later, Bacchides repaired Beth-horon with high walls, bars and set a garrison according to Maccabees.
Women have creativity, initiative, resourcefulness, strength, stamina and influence as evidenced in many characters in the Bible. Sheerah is an inspiration as she did not live-in defeat as victim but raised up to defeat her own pessimism by faith and built cities that endured for centuries.
Do I forget past to gain hold of future?