Counter-Narratives: Rizpah and the “Comfort Women” Statue


Read the lastest blog post from The Shiloh Project entitled 'Counter-Narratives: Rizpah and the “Comfort Women” Statue'.

The post draws on the biblical story of Rizpah, which can be found in 2 Samuel (chs 3 and 21). Rizpah was a concubine of King Saul. After his death she is ‘taken’ by Abner, probably in a bid by Abner to challenge Saul’s son and likely successor, Ishbosheth. This would account for the quarrel that erupts between Abner and Ishbosheth. Abner defects to David who becomes king of Israel after Saul. In order to appease the Gibeonites, David then agrees to execute seven of Saul’s sons. Five of these are the sons of Saul’s daughter Merab; the two remaining sons are Rizpah’s. When the corpses are left exposed, Rizpah spends five months protecting them from scavengers until David relents and they are properly buried.

In this post Rizpah’s story – of sexual exploitation and perseverance in extreme adversity – is read as a counter-narrative that serves to illuminate the contemporary political situation arising from the Japanese government’s objection to commemorative bronze statues of the ‘comfort women’ in Korea.

Read the full blog post here