Of the many women in the Bible, you are probably most familiar with Eve and Mary, and maybe a few others. Most likely the few others would at least be Ruth and Esther, who both have Old Testament books named after them; and women in Jesus time.
Test yourself and see how many women of the Bible you can name outside of the first four I named. I’d say if you can name five more women in the Bible; that is good; ten is very good; ten to twenty women in the Bible and you get a bonus star. If you name all 188 women in the Bible without peeking, then you are most excellent and you can have my job.
188 women in the Bible, that is only 16% of the 1,181 men mentioned. Considering the times, having a women mentioned in the Bible seems like a very important thing; particularly if you are mentioned by name, and not as elect lady or Ethiopian woman.
Consider Ruth and Esther, the two that got their own book in the Bible.=
Ruth was the Moabite women who stayed with her mother-in-law Naomi after her husband died. These two women in the Bible then traveled together to Bethelehem, where Ruth marries Boaz, a relation to Naomi. David, the king of Israel is their great-grandson. Ruth’s simple act of obedience brings us a story of love, in more ways than one. For the time, and the place, it was a story of people doing right by one another.
Esther, a Jewish woman, married King Ahasuerus of Persia after his then queen Vashti refused to attend one of his shindigs. These two women in the Bible were not exactly polar opposites or anything. Vashti was just fed up with a quarrelsome old man, who unfortunately for her happened to be King.
Esther on the other hand was just in the right place at the right time. Esther is responsible for calling the royal official Haman for the trouble maker that he was. In doing so she saved her people from his plot against the Jews. She was a truly influential person for the day.
The New Testament
In the New Testament, there are women in the Bible, shown to us as strong leaders. There were women who would have babies, no matter what their age. You’ll even find women in the Bible who were in ministry. People sometimes don’t recall them right off but Paul brings them to the forefront. Women like Pheobe, a deaconess from the book of Romans; and Priscilla, a pastor in Ephesus; were spreading the word. These women in the Bible were influential in their churches and communities.
Today if you look around your community and in your church, who are some of the influential women you see? Is there a Ruth caring for a loved one, or an Esther fighting for someone’s cause? Maybe you have a Pheobe or Priscilla who are deep in the word and they are great spiritual teachers. Whoever and wherever they are take the time to recognize them.