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There are many women in the Bible but most are unknown. published by
There are many women in the Bible but most are unknown. Several years ago I
There are many women in the Bible but most are unknown.

Several years ago I began a search for the women in the Bible. I knew that there had to be many more then the few we hear most about, Eve, Sarah, Ruth, Esther and Mary mother of Jesus.

Adam and Eve were created by God and had no earthly parents. Everyone else entered this life through a woman. All the Patriarchs and Prophets, all the kings and leaders of the early Church, all the evil doers and spiritual leaders were born of and most times educated by women. In Proverbs, it says son listen to the words of your mother. In this book there are many unnamed women.

These women cover a wide variety of personalities, there are saints and harlots, and faithful mothers and wives, queens, sorceresses, concubines, and businesswomen. In the foreground or background, named or nameless they are all an important part of the Bible. Women played a very important part in God's plan not just for reproduction of the human race, but in the events that are the history of the Bible and of the world.

I began with a book called "Everyone in the Bible", by William P. Barker. The problem with this book was that all persons are listed together in alphabetical order male and female. I had to read every name to find if they were female or male and the related scripture.

Then I found another book, "All the women of the Bible", by Edith Deen. It contains 316 concise biographies of women. How many of you know that there are 316 women mentioned in the Bible? Those are just the ones with names. Most probably do not and many others just don't care. The importance of women in the Bible has been marginalized as it has in society in general.

The three general sections of this book are:
Searching studies of women in the foreground
Alphabetical listing of named women
Chronological listings of nameless women in the background.

The women in the foreground are not women in leadership roles but a listing of the prominent women we are most familiar with, including the names I mentioned earlier, although there are several women in leadership roles. A woman in a leadership role is an uncommon and rare occurrence.

The last section, the nameless women most touched me. Many women in my family tree have only a first name, no sir name. One lady in the 1700's is listed only as the widow Emerick on a tax bill. Yet they are very important for without them I would not be me.

In the Bible there are many women like the wise-hearted woman Exodus 35:25 whose name we do not know. They are daughters, mothers, wives, widows and many other unnamed women.

A few others are
Woman with tabrets 1 Samuel 18:6
The Shulamite sweetheart in the Song of Solomon
The woman with leaven Matthew 22:25-32 and Luke 12:20-25
Many women where there Mathew 27:55

There are women in the Old Testament we can admire and look to for encouragement like Sarah, the mother of nations, Hannah a prayerful mother and Abigail a woman of good understanding. In the New Testament we have Dorcus also called Tabitha a woman full of good works, Mary mother of Jesus and Lydia the first Christian convert in Europe.

There were a few women who where leaders. When I first read about Deborah I was amazed to find a woman who was a Judge over Israel. When I mentioned this to a friend and ask why we hear so little of her, she reminded me that man had written the doctrines of Churches.

This is not a blog about women in leadership roles, but I can also not ignore these women as so many do now as in the past. I read one comment in a blog about women pastors that no one ever names these women leaders. That is not true, for one comment was 6 pages long when I printed it out. Many either don't read about them, ignore them or minimize their importance and accuse others of twisting scripture. I am only going to state where their story can be found.

Deborah's story can be found in the book of Judges. She ruled for 40 years. She was a good leader. Deborah was the wife of Lapidoth. The rabbis say she was a keeper of the tabernacle lamps. I found no mention of her as a mother or as a barren woman.

Athaliah was the only woman ever to rule over Judah. Her story can be found in 2 Kings 8:26, 2 Kings 11:1-3 and also in 2 Chronicles chapters 22 and 23. She ruled for only 6 years and was an evil leader and was murdered and trampled on by horses.

Lydia was a businesswoman, a seller of purple and probably one of the most successful and influential women of Philippi. Acts 16:14 and Acts 16:40

Priscilla also called Prisca can be found in the book of Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians and 2 Timothy. She was also a leader in the early Church. She and her husband Aquila were tent makers and teachers.

The importance of women in general has long been ignored. They are important enough to God to have their stories written about. Whether in a leadership and foreground role or in the background as a wife, mother, sister or daughter all are of equal importance to our Lord.

There are actually 2 Deborah's. The first Deborah is found in Genesis 35:8 and was Rebekah's nurse. Her role is no less important than the role of Deborah judge and prophetess and wife of Lapidoth.

That is the point of this blog. A woman who follows the leading of God, whether that role is in the foreground or background of life is a righteous and godly woman to be praised.

Happy New Year

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Marsha Tyler Ronquist is retired and enjoying life. You can find out more about Marsha Tyler at her profile page

Published: Dec 31 2008 02:23:03pm

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Sandy Brooks (@poodlelady)

Katz this is an awesome blog with a wealth of information. I had no idea there were 316 women mentioned in the Bible. You had to of spent a great deal of time putting this information together to share it with us. I want to thank you for doing that.

Hannah Stewart (@kiwigirl)

Hi Krafty Katz, thanks for your thoughts. You've brought up some issues that certainly need airing. From a study point of view it can be frustrating, because there just isn't much written about many of the women in scripture, either in the Bible or otherwise. Earlier on in the year I took a course on Luke's Gospel and wrote an essay on the story of Mary and Martha, as told by Luke. It was hard, because not many commentators have taken the time to write much on these brief and seemingly insignificant narratives. But if they were truly unimportant, they wouldn't been incuded in scripture. Have you read much Christian feminist biblical study? Although you might not agree with all they are writing, feminist theologians and/or biblical scholars tend to spend time with these "obscure" biblical women. A feminist is looking to highlight the issues women and so they are seeking to understand and find meaning in the lives of Biblical women, because like all of scripture, their stories have something to teach the 21st century church. I have spent time thinking about what is not said in some of the accounts of women in the Bible. Take Esther for example. How often do we stop to really think about what God required her to do? Here was a good, Jewish girl who could have ended up as just another concubine to a heathen king. Of course, Esther was acting within the design of God, but think about what she was risking. She willing turned against the good, moral way a Jewish girl was expected to act. If the king hadn't chosen Esther as his wife, she would have been left completely unmarrigable to any other man. Doesn't it seem that what God required this girl to do was just a little unreasonable?! And yet she did it, and trusted God, and through Esther, God saved the lives of all the nation of Israel. What an example! But doesn't it also suggest that the things that God calls us to do are not always "respectable" in the eyes of those around us? Anyway, I maybe off topic a bit, but those are just my thoughts. Bless you, KiwiGirl

Marsha Tyler Ronquist (@kraftykatz)

Thank you for your kind words. I wrote this back in 2008 so I had to refresh my memory just a bit.

Catherine M Walls (@godssheep)

This is awesome and I too had no idea that there are so many women mentioned in the Bible. I knew about a few like Deborah, Sarah and Hanna, Martha and Mary and a few more. I always think about them thou, because I am a women also called of God, and its not a doubt in my mind, as a matter of fact since I been in Christ,I feel like I can relate to each and every one of them in some kind of shape form or fashion. I was just thinking about being female and being called to preach, teach, prophecy what ever God calls us to do. But to be honest somewhere in the back of my mind, every since I've been sure of my calling, I've always felt that I am going to have a hard time because I'M FEMALE. That concern has been with me from the beginning and still is. And I feel real sad for the men who don't except female preachers because they are doing themselves a great disservice because God uses us women greatly. And when they don't except us not only are they missing out on their blessings, they are rejecting God. Just like our Lord said that "If you can't receive me then you can't receive who sent me". Matthew 18:5 Matthew 26:10 God said In the last days "His sons and daughters shall prophecy" which means to preach! So why some men have such a hard time accepting female preacher I don't know? And Ive always said if God can use a donkey and make him speak, what makes men think he can't or want use a women? Thanks for the info KraftyKatz

Joyce Bethy Ferguson (@bethy)

Mrs k. i have read this blog a few times now. Each time i read it I am reminded how much my God values women.
That means he values you and me. Is he not wonderful?

Ramona Meek (@ilovehimso)

Thanks, Krafty. This is a wealth of info on an excellent topic. Most encouraging to women, today, I think. And what a lot of time and effort you must have spent! Kudos, and thanks again. Love in Him, Mona

Marsha Tyler Ronquist (@kraftykatz)

Kiwigirl Have you read much Christian feminist biblical study? Although you might not agree with all they are writing, feminist theologians and/or biblical scholars tend to spend time with these "obscure" biblical women. Genesis 1:27 I tend to avoid anything with the word feminist because the word has become so misused, abused, degraded and marginalized that it's true meaning is lost. I stick with teachers, authors and such that are established teachers. Anything else I read with a very causes and careful thought. AS: Genesis 1:27, And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. God created them in His image. That means a true feminist is one who sees scripture through the eyes of the God who created the feminine woman. God created the woman with the feminine side to His nature and He understands us better than any human man ever will. godssheep And Ive always said if God can use a donkey and make him speak, what makes men think he can't or want use a women? Never looked at it that way but you are right. Some men would listen to a donkey before they would listen to a woman.

Marsha Tyler Ronquist (@kraftykatz)

I'ved done a study on the Hebrew word "ezer" -- the word that is translated in the KJV as "helpmeet" and in more modern translations as "helper" or "companion." (Gen 2:18). It is used most often by God when He is describing His relationship to Israel. For example, Deuteronomy 33:26 reads "There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides on the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty. (NIV) the word translated "help" is "ezer." I know about the term for helpmeet. The blog was long enough and that is why I did not add that. Thanks for doing so. Being made in the image of God does not make a female a god any more then the a male as a god. Although I have known many human men who do seem to think they are a god. KraftyKatz

Jesse Clark (@jsclark5768)

Well I thought a man should say something in here. I think this was a great a blog and I appreciate it. Also I thought I'd throw out something about 'ezer.' Help is ezer, but help meet is ezer neged. The two together mean "aid front." But front in this sense means "to stand bold out opposite." In other words, woman is man's "protecting, bold opposite." And if you think about it then, I think this speaks to two things. An opposite is not the same as it's counterpart, but the inverse of it. Second, to be opposite of something else you must be equal to that something else. If you put five pounds on one side of a scale, you must have weighing AGAINST it another 5 pounds pulling opposite. So to be a ezer neged, one must be different and equal.

Elizabeth Fox (@whobelieve)

As a young woman who is struggling to reconcile several different things- having leadership abilities, being in a church that needs some change, and being a woman and wife- I had been searching for examples in the Bible of women. Most of the time I got bogged down in how usually if a city was disappointing to God it was described as a harlot, or how usually in Proverbs (except a few examples, like when speaking of wisdom or in Proverbs 31) women are only spoken of when describing a jezebel. Or, I would get discouraged in Paul's writing in the New Testament, thinking that women must be really horrible or incompetent to need so much "lording over." I would also get let down in that usually women were rarely mentioned, or how a king who had many wives and concubines would be exalted (like David). It was really demoralizing! Anyways, thank you so much for reminding me that although there are many examples of what not to be, as well as many "forgotten" women, there are also upstanding examples to pattern myself after. Furthermore, as many "bad" women as there are and left out, there are just as many, if not more men! :) Thank you Kat!

Marsha Tyler Ronquist (@kraftykatz)

The Bible study group I am in just began the study of the book of Esther. The leader had a hard time finding any commentaries on this book. John Calvin does not even mention the book of Esther. That reinforces everything that has been said. Thanks to all of you that did respond. KraftyKatz

Marsha Tyler Ronquist (@kraftykatz)

You have good insight, for a man. Thanks for sharing. KraftyKatz

Linda Young (@savedbyegrace)

Oh, please, let us not forget the Hebrew midwives who defied Pharoah and did not kill Moses when he was born. Or Jochebed, Moses's mother. I led a ladies sunday school class last year and each week was a different woman of the Bible. It was marvelous -- not me doing the teaching, I mean the preparing and sitting down with a roomful of ladies and finding good traits and mistakes they made so that we can learn from them. John McArthur has a book too, Twelve Women of the Bible, and I do think I used the book you mentioned, and there was another. If only I could think of it. Great blog, KK. I think we've been so inculturated about feminism and women being equal, yada yada, and being told that all that is contrary to Scripture -- that we no longer have a balanced view of the role of women.

K Reynolds+ (@kreynolds)

I'm glad this old blog popped up. I did not comment on it back in 2008 when it was first published but I remember reading this. I'm also familiar with the blog you mentioned about women pastors. I remember mentioning back then that I knew of a woman who had been pastoring a church on an Indian Reservation for about 30 years. Her denomination could not get a man to go so they sent her. She's still out there, btw! I remember being told that it would be better for NO ONE to go rather than for a woman to go. Ironically, this was not said to me by a man... it was by a young woman.

I don't believe that for a minute and I know that you do not either. I have been called a feminist by some Christians. If by feminist they mean that I believe that God loves women and uses them to minister to others and teach/preach the Gospel as He directs, then yes, I am. God may use whoever He wants in any way He desires.

Some people believe that women should only preach/teach women and that they should never do so with men. The funny thing is, sometimes I've seen women able to reach men when other men couldn't. The point is, God knows who is the right person for the right job and He is the one who says what we can or cannot do.


K :princess:

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