Eve was the first woman,but not a matriarch. We know more about her life than any other woman up to Rebecca. Eve had something. She wanted--and that was a crime. She was only allowed to want what G-d wanted her to want--that, and nothing else. Just another reason why I do not believe in G-d as the haredis do--the basic essence of creating humans is that once you breathe life, once you inspire them--the wheels start turning independent of the creator. That's what Rabbi Loew found. That's what Victor Frankenstein found. Apparently men believe that creators are due blind obedience from that which they create. No, that's not what you get. Men demand blind obedience. I can't get into that. Man created G-d in his own image. G-d, as the haredis believe, is not divine, but a petulant terrorist.
Then, no other woman is mentioned until Sarah. There is a great deal of begotting and Jewish accountancy. We learn that Lot's daughters, after the terror of the destruction of Sodom, were terrified and truly believed that the repopulation of the earth was up to them. So they got Lot drunk and made his babies. But where did they get the idea, unless this was done as a rule. Incest was not the best,but was common. Where is the compassion for the terrorized? We are meant to be shocked, but mostly grossed out. Eww--you did it with dad? Your father is also your mother's father? Eeek. Sarah was Abraham's half sister by another of Terah's wives. Rebecca was a grandniece, a cousin of Isaac's. We regard that as incest too over here.
Sarah was a cipher. Hardly involved except as a pawn. Tell the pharaoh you are my sister. G-d will provide a child. G-d will provide a ram. Chaya Sarah--the parsha that should deal with the life of Sarah,instead deals with her death and her burial and the Jewish accounting that went into the purchasing of the cave. And the binding of Isaac is what caused her death. So Abraham comes back, buries her, and sets about the negotiations for Isaac's wife with his grandniece.
And what a version of maidenly modesty we meet. She humbles herself besides the servant, can't do enough for him. Let me water your camels, let me bathe your feet. She does everything but zip him up. Yet--she is a saucy minx for all that.
Her parents want her to remain in Ur for 10 months--why? She refuses--she is disinclined to obey mother and father--she wants to set off sooner,not later. So we are tipped off from the start that this is no shrinking virgin.
This is a woman who will eventually give birth to Esau and Jacob, favor poet over the hunter, as if someone who fed his family had little worth compared to a sensitive intellectual type, encourage sibling rivalry, and then, when Isaac was sick and visually impaired, had the cheek to dress up Jacob's arms with furs and send him in to Isaac as Esau. Another woman, who like Eve, found her husband less than companionable. Now there were no serpents to be BFF with--but look at her sensitive son--her companion. Portnoy without the complaint. Esau, out all day, hunting--perhaps sparking the local girls, perhaps already moving away from her. And like Eve--she wants. So she does the unthinkable and makes Isaac's into the first Schnook of Genesis. (Think Bert Lahr as the Mountie who never got his man--to them he's Schnook of the North).
And those are the first two matriarch--the obedient Sarah who died of a broken heart and Rebecca--the stunning crook of Canaan. No broken heart for her. She sees her chances and she takes them.