Thanks so much. In addition to your help here I happened on a paper by T.M. Lemos, "Were Israelite Women Chattel?" which suggests some of the points you make. She notes too that sons are sold with daughters in Neh 5:5.

About "sold" in Gen 31:15:

>>The root used for “sold” is מכר, certainly a common enough term, but again, the passage presents challenges for understanding marriage as a purchase. First, Jacob’s brideservice would have been atypical in ancient West Asia. Second, the passage presents Leah and Rachel as expecting an inheritance and complaining about the nature of their marriage, implying that marriage as a sale would have been seen as atypical and perhaps unsavory by an Israelite audience.<<

I'm wondering if Yahwism was unusual in valuing the female equally, so this hazy 'unsavory' quality around the wife being property might owe to Rachel & Leah being semi-ingratiated in the new deity practice.

religion. sex. facts.

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