Part 8 Women of the Old Testament
1, Abigail- (wife of David)
Abigail was married to Nabal, who was a worthless ass of a man. He
scorned David, who had provided protection for Nabal and his men.
David was about to come into his camp and kill him, when his wife,
Abigail, interceded, convincing David not to kill him. When Nabal
found out about this, he apparently had a heart attack or a stroke and
died ten days later. Abigail married David (she was his third wife}
- Ahinoam of Jezreel- (wife ofDavid)
Ahinoam became David’s wife when he was in the wilderness and she
appears to have been David’s second wife (although, he had been
separated from his first wife, Michal, for about a year). Although the
Bible does not specifically tell us that she is David’s second wife after
Michal, she bears David’s first child (Amnon) and is always named
before Abigail. 1Sam. 25:43 27:3, 30:5, 2Sam. 2:2 3:2,
- Athaliah was the only queen over Judah, the Southern Kingdom. She
2Kings 11:1–16, 2Chron. 23:12–15
- Bathsheba- (wife of David}
Bathsheba was apparently David’s right woman. Their relationship
began as an illicit affair and resulted in the death of her husband,
ordered by David (he made certain that Uriah, her husband, would be
in the front line of battle). Bathsheba was the mother of Solomon and
most of the kings of Israel came through her. David did suffer a great
deal of discipline for his actions. Because of this discipline, this
marked the end of David’s collecting wives and mistresses.
2Sam. 11:1–27, 2Sam. 12:1–31
The personal maid of Rachel who bore children for Jacob on behalf of
Rachel, who was barren at the time. Her sons were Dan and Naphtali.
- The Cushite Woman (wife of Moses)
Moses appeared to separate from his wife, Zipporah, on at least 2
occasions, and the second time appears to be for good. He later
married a Cushite woman, which caused quite a bit of controversy
among Moses’ siblings, Aaron and Miriam. Miriam was struck by God
with leprosy for her impertinence. This suggests two things: (1) God
does approve of remarriage under specific circumstances (Moses was
abandoned by his wife); and (2) God does not disapprove of interracial
marriages. 3 Num. 12:1–15
- The Daughters of Lot
These unnamed women had sex with their father and bore two sons,
Moab and Ben-ammi, who were the fathers of Moab and Ammon,
Arabic races which often caused great problems for the Jews.
We learn from this Lot did not teach his daughters what faith in God is about.
Therefore, when with their father Lot in a cave after the destruction of
Sodom, it never occurred to them that God still had a plan for their
lives. One option is, they could have presented themselves to their
great uncle Abraham, much the way the prodigal son offered to do the
work of a slave for his father (Luke 15:11–32). Abraham would have
no doubt received them graciously. They chose the option of incest
instead (this was all orchestrated by the older of the two sisters).
Deborah was the only female judge in Israel of whom we are aware.
God had chosen Barak to lead Israel against Jabin, a king of Canaan,
and his general, Sisera. Barak would not go to war without being
accompanied by Deborah. The time of the Judges was one of the
most degenerate times in the Age of Israel.
Judges 4:1–14, Judges 5:1–15
Samson was perhaps one of the most flawed and most unusual of the
heroes of Israel. When Delilah asked the nature of his super-human
strength he gave her several false answers and finally gave in and indicated that it was in his long hair, a part of his Nazirite vows (God gave him great strength while obeying his vows). When his hair was cut, God left him and he was captured by the
Philistines. Judges 16:4–21
The only daughter of Jacob (her mother was Leah). Dinah was raped
by Shechem ben Hamor, and Simeon and Levi tricked the men of his
city into becoming circumcised, and then executed them while they
were recovering from their operation.
Gen. 30:21 34:1–31
Esther became queen over Persia and helped protect the deported
Jews. Her story is one of the most fascinating in the entire Bible!
Eve is the first woman and she was taken out of man, making him
incomplete without her. She was still made in the image of God. It
was the woman who was deceived by Satan; Satan attacked Adam
through the woman and Adam fell by the exercise of his own free will.
As far as he was concerned, she was the only woman on earth for him
(which she was) and he was not going to live his life apart from her.
Hence, Adam chose to live with the woman outside of the garden
rather than fellowship with God inside the garden (he made this choice
by partaking of the forbidden fruit).
One of the things that we learn from Satan’s deception of Eve is, this
is Satan’s greatest attack against man: he uses half-truths, lies and
deception. Our defense against Satan’s distortions is the truth, which
is Bible doctrine (Matt. 4:1–11 Eph. 6:11–19 2Thess. 2:7–12).
Gen. 1:25–27 2:23, Gen. 3:1–20
Gomer was Hosea’s wife, whom he loved dearly. Throughout the book
of Hosea, what we have is a parallel between God and Israel and
Hosea and Gomer. God loves Israel and Hosea loves Gomer. Israel
and Gomer are both unfaithful to their husbands.
Many people think that Jesus teaching by parables was a new thing.
It was not. God uses real-life instances in the Old Testament to teach
the truth to us. Right along side every narrative in the Bible is Bible
doctrine which we ought to learn by means of the narrative.
Hagar is Sarai’s Egyptian personal servant who had relations with
Abram, producing a son, Ishmael. Ishmael became the father of
another group of Arabs who have caused Israel problems to this very
day. Because of Hagar’s association with Abraham, both she and her son
were preserved and blessed by God.
Gen. 16:3–16 21:9–21, 25:12
Haggith is King David’s 5th wife who bore Adonijah. While David
is still alive, Adonijah takes over as king, temporarily, in a power move,
intending to edge out Solomon. When Bathsheba becomes aware of
this, she goes to David and has him install Solomon as king.1Kings 1:5–53
Hannah, the barren wife of Elkanah, promised God that she would give
her first son completely over to God if He would but open up her
womb. This son was Samuel, who became the last and greatest judge
over Israel. 1Sam. 1:1–27
Jael killed Sisera, the general under Jabin, who went to war against
Barak and Deborah. Sisera had escaped capture and was exhausted.
Jael provided him a place to stay and killed him white he slept.
Judges 4:17–24, Judges 5:24–27
She was of Sidonian royalty who married Ahab, king over Israel (the
Northern Kingdom). They were both about as evil as a couple could
- She was a nearly constant threat to the life of Elijah.
1Kings 16:30–31, 19:1–3
Jochebed was the birth-mother of Moses. All male children in Egypt
were being killed by the midwives (by order of the Pharaoh), so
Jochebed gave birth to Moses, and then placed him in a small boat,
where he floated to the Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses had obviously
been circumcised, as she knew immediately that he was a Hebrew
infant. Jochebed participated in the raising of Moses, although the
Pharaoh’s daughter acted as his mother, giving him protection.
Ex. 2:1–10 6:20
Abraham’s second wife after the death of Sarah. Abraham recognized
that the promise of God was fulfilled in Isaac, and he left all of his
substance to Isaac. Gen. 25:1–4
Leah was the older sister of Rachel and the daughter of Laban (who
was the brother of Rebekah). Jacob was tricked into marrying her
when he thought he had married Rachel, the sister he loved. She bore
Jacob seven children, including one daughter. Gen. 29, 30
- Maacah, (wife of David)
When David became king over southern Israel (Judah), he married a
third woman, a woman of a royal background, Maacah, the daughter
of Talmai king of Geshur (this is an area east of the Jordan, and it
provided David with an important political alliance from that area). She
is the mother of Absalom, the brother of Tamar (who is raped by their
half-brother Amnon). Absalom will kill Amnon, because David did
nothing about his crime, and then Absalom escaped and lived for a few
years in Geshur. 2Sam. 3:3, 1Chron. 3:2
Saul’s eldest daughter who was originally given to David to wed. Saul
changed his mind and gave her to be married to someone else.
- Michal (daughterof Saul, wife of David)
Michal was another daughter of Saul’s who loved David and married
him (she was his first wife). Saul had assumed that she would distract
him enough that the Philistines would kill David (Saul was suffering
from jealousy of David at that time).
1Sam. 14:49, 18:20–28
Miriam was Moses’ older sister who, after he had been placed in a
basket in the Nile, watched over him until he was picked up by
Pharaoh’s daughter. She then got her mother to nurse baby Moses (it
was apparent that the Pharaoh’s daughter knew what was going on
here). As an adult, Miriam lost her concept of her place in relationship to
Israel. She saw herself as important as Moses and bucked his
authority. When Moses married a Cushite woman (an Egyptian),
Miriam threw a l fit. God made it very clear to Miriam that she was
out of line by giving her leprosy temporarily. She died prior to entering
into the Land of Promise.
Ex. 2:3–10 15:20, Num. 12:1–15 30:1
Naomi, her husband and her two sons traveled from Israel into Moab,
during a famine in Israel. Her husband and both sons died, and she
remained with Ruth, her daughter-in-law. They returned together to
Israel. Ruth 1–4
Orpah was Ruth’s sister-in-law, a Moabite who married Ruth’s
husband’s brother. When their husbands died, Orpah remained in
Moab. Her choice not to stay with her mother-in-law was probably a
choice which ultimately meant that she was not saved. Ruth 1:1–14
- Potipher’s wife
The wife of Potipher, a ruler over Egypt, attempted to make Joseph
commit adultery. Joseph refused, so she claimed that Joseph came
on to her, and got him thrown into jail. Gen. 30:1–21
- Queen of Sheba
The Queen of Sheba came to Jerusalem to meet with and speak to
Solomon. What drew her was his world-renown wisdom, which he had
learned from David. Although we do not tend to think of Israel as being a missionary
country, many people were drawn to Israel (like Ruth or the Queen of
Sheba) because they had positive feelings toward God. Israel also sent
out missionaries, like the very reluctant Jonah. 1Kings 10
The woman that Jacob (Isaac’s son) was in love with and his second
wife (he was tricked into marrying Rachel’s sister instead of Rachel).
Rachel bore two children to Jacob: Joseph and Benjamin, and died
while giving birth to Benjamin. How Jacob felt about Rachel is recorded in Scripture in such a personal way, as to suggest that Jacob could have been the only
person to write those words (Gen. 29:18–20). Gen. 29:1–29 30:1–6,
Rahab was a prostitute who lived in Jericho. When Israel sent two
spies in to check out Jericho, they enlisted her aide against her own
people. She recognized that God was with them and asked that they
spare her and her family. Later, she married an Israelite and was in
the line of our Lord’s humanity.
Joshua 2:1–24, Matt. 1:5
Abraham sent one of his servants to find a wife for Isaac. He found a
beautiful virgin from the same family as Abraham (Abraham did not
want Isaac to marry a Canaanite from the land where they lived).
Rebekah bore Isaac twin sons, Jacob and Esau. One was a Jew
(Jacob) and the other was a gentile (Esau). And this was not because
Jacob was a nicer fellow than Esau (he truly wasn’t), but because he
was interested in his spiritual heritage and Esau was not
(Gen. 25:29–33),Gen. 24:1–67
Saul had a mistress, Rizpah. After Saul’s death, his top general took
up with Rizpah, which caused a riff between Saul’s son, Ish-bosheth,
and his general, Abner. Abner defected to David because of this
dispute. The loss of Abner resulted in the end of Ish-bosheth as ruler
over Northern Israel. Abner was the true power behind Ish-bosheth.
Ruth was a Moabite woman who married a Jew. He died, but Ruth
had bonded with her mother-in-law, Naomi, and accompanied her back
to Bethlehem. She eventually married an Israelite, Boaz, and
became another Gentile woman who was in the line of our Lord. Ruth and Boaz became the great grand parents of King David! Ruth is “special”! Ruth 1-4
- Sarah (Sarai)
Originally named Sarai, she was Abraham’s first wife. It was Sarai
who suggested that Abraham fulfill God’s promises by having sex with
Hagar, her personal maid, which was a great mistake. However, as
the man, this mistake was on Abraham’s shoulders, because he chose
to listen to his wife and do the wrong thing. [Adam did the same thing]
Sarah bore her first son, Isaac, when she was 91 years of age, past
the time of being able to conceive (Gen. 18:13). The idea behind this
unusual birth was to foreshadow the birth of our Lord.
Gen. 11:29 16:1–6, 17:15–21 18:6–15, 21:2–3
- The Shulamite Woman
The Song of Solomon is one of the most unusual books in all the Bible.
It is about an extremely beautiful woman whom Solomon desires and
Solomon has 1000 wives and mistresses. However, he is very taken
with her beauty. Her soul is guarded by her shepherd-lover (he is in
her soul), so that she does not give in to Solomon, as had so many
women done before. Song of Solomon
- Tamar (wife of Er)
Tamar married Judah’s firstborn child, Er, but he died. When his
younger brother was to impregnate her, according to the Levirate
marriage custom, he had sex with her, but did not impregnate her.
God killed him. Judah promised her that she would marry another son
of his, but reneged on the promise, thinking her to be bad luck. Judah
himself impregnated her sometime later, taking her to be a prostitute.
Her son, Perez (a twin), was in the line of our Lord.
Gen. 30 Ruth 4:12, 18
- Tamar (daughter of David)
Amnon, David’s son by Ahinoam, was in lust with is half-sister, Tamar.
He finagled a scenario where she had to take care of him and he
raped her. Her full brother, Absalom, murdered Amnon, which set up
a schism between his father David and himself. This led to a
revolution throughout all Israel which caused David to leave the
country. 2Sam. 13
The personal maid of Leah, who bore sons Gad and Asher to Jacob.
Now, you may wonder, how is it that God seemingly blesses the 12
tribes of Israel when these are the sons of Jacob by 4 different women.
The key is, God works with what He has. He works all things together
for good to those who love God [one way of designating spiritual
maturity in a believer] (Rom. 8:28).
- Zipporah (wife of Moses)
Zipporah was Moses’ wife of Midianite descent. Moses appeared to
get along much better with his father-in-law than he ever did with
Zipporah. Moses apparently sent her away once he circumcised their
children (she apparently viewed this as a gross and perhaps even
heathen ritual). She returned to him later when he first entered the
desert to lead Israel, but she apparently left him once again. In any
case, after she is brought back to Moses by his father-in-law, we never
hear about her again. Ex. 2:16–22 4:24–26, 15:1–7 18:2