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Famous Women In The Bible

Could you name the five most influential women in history? You’ve undoubtedly heard of a few…maybe. There’s probably the first lady; maybe an actress, musician, or a businesswoman. If you don’t count historical figures but only include people from your life, then no doubt it would be your mom, grandmother, or that one girl down the street that always seems to have it all together. And yes, famous women in the Bible are also among those we consider to be role models and pillars of society.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a woman in the Bible? What about all of the famous biblical women like Ruth, Esther, and Mary Magdalene? Sure, you’ve read about them in your Sunday school classes and maybe even seen a few movies or plays based on their stories, but what would it really be like to live in those times?

In this course we’ll get to know the women of the Old Testament by examining their stories and finding out what made them so special. We’ll also learn about famous biblical woman as well as some of the other important women who played key roles in the stories of Jesus’ life and ministry as he grew up.

The Bible has been around for thousands of years, and it’s one of the most widely-read books in human history. That’s because it contains stories that have helped shape who we are as humans—and women.

In this article, we’ll look at some famous women from the Bible, the purpose of a woman in the bible and see how they influenced people throughout history. And if you’re looking to learn more about biblical women, check out our other articles on Martha and Mary, Ruth, and Esther!

Women in the Bible—Learn From Great Women and Bad Examples, for Bible Study

Famous Women In The Bible

These prominent women include the Matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, Miriam the prophetess, Deborah the Judge, Huldah the prophetess, Abigail (who married David), Rahab, and Esther. A common phenomenon in the Bible is the pivotal role that women take in subverting man-made power structures.


You probably remember the story of Jael and Sisera. He was a Canaanite general who had led his army against King Jabin of Canaan. After a long battle, he was defeated and fled from the battlefield. He sought refuge in the tent of Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite—an Israelite man (Judges 4:17).

Jael was a woman of great courage. She showed no fear as she snuck into Sisera’s tent while he slept and drove a tent peg through his temple until it pierced both sides of his head (Judges 4:21). This act caused him to die instantly!


Deborah was a prophetess, judge and military leader of Israel. She is the only female judge in the Bible, but her role as an advocate for women’s rights in leadership positions clearly made an impact on history. Deborah’s story begins in Judges 4 when she tells Barak that God has commanded him to gather 10,000 men to fight against Sisera and his army of 900 chariots. Before they go into battle, Deborah sings a song out loud so that all can hear it:

“Curse Meroz! Curse its inhabitants! Curse Kedesh and its villages! Curse Ramah and its villages! Curse Mount Tabor and Mount Gilboa!” (Judges 5:23-24)

She goes on to call them cowards because they refused to come with her into battle against Sisera’s troops. After winning this battle against overwhelming odds, Barak asks Deborah who should lead them next time around: “Would you rather I be captain over ten thousand men or general over a hundred thousand?” (Judges 4:6)


The Bible is full of fascinating women, but none are more notorious than Jezebel. She’s the villainess in the story of King Ahab, who falls under her spell and leads his kingdom astray. The story of how she got her name is pretty interesting too; it involves a contest between Baal and Yahweh to see which god was stronger.

When you think about it, though, there must be something special about this woman if she can sway a king to worship another god and lead an entire nation astray with her influence.


Ruth was a Moabite woman who married a Jewish man named Mahlon. She was a widow when she married Mahlon, and he died without leaving any children for her. At the beginning of her story, Ruth is grieving for her late husband and searching for ways to support herself. She goes to work in the fields with other women, where she meets Boaz—a rich relative of Naomi (Mahlon’s mother), who had also recently lost his wife in childbirth.

Ruth was a virtuous woman and an ally to Naomi in her time of need, helping out with household chores while also nursing and caring for Naomi’s newborn grandchild during the day while Naomi slept or worked in the fields at night. Her loyalty becomes apparent when she shows up at Boaz’s field every night hoping to glean some grain from him so that she could feed herself as well as provide food for Naomi’s family members back home who were starving from drought conditions plaguing their village at that point in time.”


Tamar was a Canaanite woman, who was the daughter of King David and sister of Absalom. She was married to a man named Uriah, who was the son of King Saul. Tamar bore two sons: Amnon and Solomon.

However, during this time in history it was forbidden for women to inherit land or property. So instead her husband took all that she had inherited from her father and gave his half-brothers more land than Tamar got because he wanted them to be happy with their inheritance too!

Uriah wasn’t able to fight in battle because he had been injured so badly that he couldn’t walk anymore; so instead he stayed at home while everyone else went off fighting far away where they wouldn’t see him suffer (and they wouldn’t miss him either). This made him sad because no one noticed how hard it was being an invalid soldier… until Tamar came along!

Lot’s wife!

Lot’s wife was a woman who lived in the country of Sodom. She is famous because she defied God and was turned into a pillar of salt.

She is not only known as the wife of Lot, but also as an example of how people should not disobey God because they will face punishment for doing so.

Lot’s wife was considered beautiful by many, but she was actually more concerned with her own vanity than anything else. This trait led her to disobey God and get punished for it later on in life when she became a pillar of salt instead of continuing to live out her new life with Lot after they had left Sodom behind them.

There are many women in the Bible that have helped develop it into becoming one of the best selling books of all time.

You may not be aware of it, but there are many women in the Bible that have helped develop it into becoming one of the best selling books of all time. The Bible is a collection of stories written by many authors and includes both historical events as well as theological teachings. It is divided into two parts: old testament and new testament. The old testament tells us about God’s people before Jesus came to earth while the new testament tells us about God’s plan after Jesus came to earth.

In addition to being able to read this book today, we also have access to other translations such as English and Spanish which allow readers from around the world access to these stories regardless if they could understand Hebrew or Greek (languages used by authors).

Famous Biblical Woman

Women play a powerful role in God’s story of redemption throughout Scripture.

1. Mary of Nazareth

Mary’s significant role in Scripture is widely known: Mary of Nazareth is the mother of Jesus.

She gave birth to the savior of the world when she was just a teenager.

The angel Gabriel told her of the unique role she would play in God’s story and, while this certainly was frightening, Mary bravely embraced her calling and bore for all of humanity the savior of the world:

Scripture on the life of Mary:

“Six months after Elizabeth knew she was to become a mother, Gabriel was sent from God to Nazareth. Nazareth was a town in the country of Galilee. He went to a woman who had never had a man.

Her name was Mary.

She was promised in marriage to a man named Joseph. Joseph was of the family of David. The angel came to her and said, ‘You are honored very much. You are a favored woman. The Lord is with you. You are chosen from among many women.’ When she saw the angel, she was troubled at his words. She thought about what had been said.

The angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid. You have found favor with God. See! You are to become a mother and have a Son. You are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great. He will be called the Son of the Most High.

The Lord God will give Him the place where His early father David sat. He will be King over the family of Jacob forever and His nation will have no end.’” (Luke 1:26-33)

2. Ruth the Moabite

Ruth the Moabite played a significant role in the coming of Jesus.

After her husband died, she followed her mother-in-law Naomi to her homeland in Israel, where she met Boaz. They would become the great grandparents of King David, and eventually propagate the lineage of the messiah.

Ruth faced great tribulation as a woman in an ancient context with no protection.

But she boldly followed Naomi to the land of Israel, devoted herself to the Lord, and played a critical role in the victory of God over sin and death through her everyday faithfulness in the face of impossible circumstances.

The most popular Bible verse from the Book of Ruth:

“But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God’” (Ruth 1:16).

3. Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene is often misunderstood.

She was a faithful follower of Jesus.

After Jesus healed her, she ventured alongside him in his ministry, meeting his needs and encouraging the disciples, eventually bearing witness to his crucifixion and burial.

Three days later, she would be the first witness of the empty tomb of Christ and one of the core critical eye-witnesses to his resurrection that would later resource the gospel writers to give the church historical credibility.

Mary Magdalene in the Bible:

“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb” (Matt. 28:1).

4. Rachel

Rachel waited earnestly, but patiently, to marry the love of her life: Jacob, who would later be named Israel. She was deceived by her father Laban and sister Leah who, after Jacob had worked seven years to acquire Rachel, was tricked into marrying Leah. So Jacob worked another seven years and Rachel waited patiently another seven years in order to marry Jacob.

Though childless initially, she became the mother to Joseph, who by God’s strength single-handedly saved all of Israel, and Benjamin, the last tribe in Israel to remain faithful to the Lord before the time of exile.

Rachel’s role in the history of redemption is difficult to underestimate, and she should be celebrated for her strength in the face of adversity by the strength of the Lord.

Rachel in the Bible:

“And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.” (Genesis 30:22)

5. Hannah

Hannah was initially childless, and prayed desperately for a son.

She made a promise to God that if he permitted her to bear a son, she would devote him to God.

When God fulfilled this request, she faithfully kept her word. She left her son, Samuel, to be raised in the temple of the Lord while continuing to provide him guidance and mentorship along the way.

Hannah’s faithfulness was never in question.

Samuel, her son, would go on to rescue Israel from centuries of slavery to the Canaanites and idolatry to Baal by anointing King David, whose heart was fully devoted to the Lord and who gifted God’s people with most of the Psalms, which the church uses on a daily basis as a source of strength, encouragement, and worship, both through seasons of blessing and tribulation.

Hannah in the Bible:

“It is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the Lord will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of the earth” (1 Sam. 2:10).

6. Eve

Eve is a very often misunderstood character in the Bible.

While she and Adam both brought sin and death into the world through partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, she is the mother of the human race, and represents God’s promise to beget the one who would crush the head of the devil and redeem humanity from sin once and for all.

Eve in the Bible:

“The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living” (Gen. 3:20).

7. Deborah

The season of the judges was a tumultuous time for Israel.

After Moses led Israel out of the land of Egypt and Joshua had led Israel into the land promised to Abraham to conquer the Canaanites, Israel fell into cycles of disobedience that prompted God’s wrath to fall on Israel in the form of slavery to the Canaanites.

In this time, God raised up judges to redeem Israel from political slavery and give them an opportunity to repent. Israel often did repent for a single generation, but fell back into idolatry and disobedience, prompting once again God’s wrath.

Deborah was the only named female judge during this time.

She aggressively pulled on the moral bridle of Israel to return to worship of the one true God, and ruthlessly purified the nation of those evil actors who were interested in keeping Israel spiritually complacent and under slavery to the Canaanites.

The top Bible verse about Deborah:

“Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman” (Judg. 4:9).

8. Esther

Esther was a persecuting citizen of Israel under Persain reign.

In the 7th–6th century BC, Esther was chosen out of the women of Israel to be part of the harem of King Xerxes. She used her political influence to destroy the antisemitic actors who sought to destroy the Jews in Persia, and through her faithfulness, established the Jewish festival of Purim. She was thereafter chosen by Xerxes to be his queen, and she ruled Israel as a Jewish queen of a gentile nation.

Like Deborah a thousand years earlier, Esther saved Israel from the consequences of its own spiritual folly and established a safe place for Jews to worship in the land. It was on this basis that Judaism was allowed to flourish under Greek and Roman rule in the centuries to come, and it was because of Esther that the ministry of Jesus was able to thrive freely and openly in a public society.

Simple story of Esther:

“So Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter concerning Purim. And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews in the 127 provinces of Xerxes’ kingdom—words of goodwill and assurance—to establish these days of Purim at their designated times, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had decreed for them, and as they had established for themselves and their descendants in regard to their times of fasting and lamentation” (Esther 9:29–31).

9. Miriam

Miriam was a prophetess and Moses’s older sister.

She helped to save Moses when he was only an infant. Moses’s mother left him in a basket to protect him from being murdered by Pharaoh due to his being a Jewish baby. When Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses and had mercy on him, Miriam devoted herself to Pharaoh’s daughter in order to raise him so that they could remain together.

We can credit Miriam with instilling Moses with a devotion to the Lord that manifested itself in later days, which enabled his openness to divine encounter with the one true God and his moral conscience which guided Israel all the way to the promised land.

Miriam in the Bible:

“Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing.  Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.’” (Ex. 15:20–21)

10. Sarah

Sarah was a strong woman of the bible.

She was Abraham’s wife, and served as an example of the fact that God always keeps his promises. When God promised Abraham he would bear a son, despite Sarah’s inability to bear children, Sarah gave birth to Isaac when she was 90-years old.

Sarah in the Bible:

“And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, [and] with his seed after him” (Gen. 17:19).

11. Elizabeth

Like Sarah, Elizabeth was far too old to conceive a son.

However, God made it possible for her to bear a child.

She would go on to conceive and give birth to John the Baptist, the last “Old Testament” prophet who would bear direct witness to the divinity and messianic authority of Jesus Christ.

Elizabeth’s faithfulness is meant to draw our minds back to Sarah and the thousands of years during which Israel waited for the Messiah to come.

Elizabeth in the Bible:

“And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41).

12. Priscilla

Priscilla was a powerful church leader in the book of Acts.

She and her husband, Aquila, led the church in maintaining theological purity, love for the poor, and mentorship of young, charismatic leaders such Apollos, who were still figuring out how Jesus fit into God’s story of redemption.

Priscilla represents God’s counter-cultural insistence upon the dignity of women in church leadership and the power he plans to accomplish through them to revolutionize what it means to belong in the people of God and what women can do to lead by example in faithfulness and hospitality.

Priscilla in the Bible:

“He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately” (Acts 18:26).

13. Mary of Bethany

Mary of Bethan was the sister of Martha and Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the lead (Lazarus).

She hosted Jesus in her home.

While hosting him there, Jesus commended her for “choosing the better” by sitting at his feet instead of being distracted by housework and the duties of entertaining.

Mary of Bethany represents Jesus’s clear message that he cuts through cultural expectations and desires to extend fellowship to all human beings, despite the hierarchy humans are often tempted to put into place which marginalize and suppress others.

Mary of Bethan in the Bible:

“Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound[a] of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii[b] and given to the poor?’ He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me’” (John 12:1-8).

14. Martha

Mary’s sister Martha was rebuked by Jesus for putting her entertainment obligations above learning the words of Jesus. However, she was still a devoted disciple of Christ and desired deeply to know and love Jesus, and did everything in her power to dignify him as the unknown king.

Martha in the Bible:

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her’” (Luke 10:38–42).

15. Jehosheba

Jehosheba was the daughter of King Joram.

She is known for saving her nephew while he was an infant.

Her nephew was the prince Joash, who was to be massacred by the Queen Mother. Joash’s survival enabled the line of David, and consequently the line of the Messiah, to endure.

Jehosheba’s bravery played a critical role in the possibility of the coming of Christ, and God’s working through her faithful devotion to his purposes is difficult to underestimate.

Jehosheba in the Bible:

“But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes, who were about to be murdered. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom to hide him from Athaliah; so he was not killed.” (2 Kings 11:2).

Over to you

We implore you to follow the example of these women of the bible.

These strong women in the bible held the line of faithfulness when many men in Israel were satisfied to capitulate to the paganism of Canaan, Persia, and Greece.

These biblical women represent not only the kind of bravery to which all Christians are called to in the face of suffering, but represent a uniquely powerful purpose which God has designated for women to achieve God’s plan which would otherwise be impossible.

We hope you share these powerful women in the bible with someone else.

The Purpose Of A Woman In The Bible

There are countless millions of women around the world who work tirelessly to do their jobs in a way that brings glory to God. God has entrusted women with twelve wonderful roles:

  1. To Have a Deep and Abiding Love for the Lord Who Is Worth All Honor and Worship
    Allure can be deceiving, and beauty can be superficial.

but praiseworthy is the woman who respects the Lord.
Don’t hold back the results of her labor, and let the townspeople sing her praises for all her hard work. (Prov. 31:30-31)

And the unmarried or engaged woman worries about the Lord’s affairs and how to live a holy life. But a married woman worries about the external world, specifically how to make her husband happy. (1 Cor. 7:34)

So that the Church’s evangelistic efforts can continue to thrive
I pray that you will receive our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchreae, with the joy due the Lord’s servants, and that you will assist her in any way you can; she has been a patron of many, including myself. (Rom. 16:1-2)

Help these women who have worked alongside me in the gospel alongside Clement and the rest of my fellow workers whose names are written in the book of life, as I ask you to do as well, true companion. (Phil. 4:3)

  1. To Work Hard at Her Callings
    And all the women who were skilled spinners brought their wares, which included fine twined linen, blue, purple, and scarlet yarns. (Exod. 35:25)

She thinks about it and decides to buy a piece of land, where she plans to establish a vineyard. (Prov. 31:16)

She extends a helping hand to the less fortunate and welcomes those in need into her home. (Prov. 31:20)

A follower named Tabitha (Dorcas in the original Greek) lived in Joppa at the time. Good deeds and acts of kindness poured out of her like water. (Acts 9:36)

A God-fearing merchant of purple goods from the city of Thyatira by the name of Lydia overheard us. Thankfully, the Lord softened her heart so that she could hear Paul’s message. (Acts 16:14)

To Have a Family 4. To Be a Wife
And the Lord God took one of the man’s ribs and stretched it out to make a woman, and he brought the woman to the man. When I asked what he meant, he said,

Finally, I can say that this new human being is made entirely of my own flesh and bone, and so I have decided to give her the name Woman to reflect the fact that she was derived from Man.

For this reason, a man must give up his paternal and maternal ties in order to fully commit to and support his spouse. (Gen. 2:22-24)

As an answer, he said, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’ Consequently, there is now only one of them instead of two. Don’t put a wedge between a couple that God has joined together. (Matt. 19:4-6)

Five. To Raise a Family
Sarah then proclaimed, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” She continued, “Who would have told Abraham that Sarah would be a mother?” Still, I gave birth to a son for him when he was an old man. (Gen. 21:6-7)

Joyful celebrations are in order for your parents and the woman who gave birth to you. (Prov. 23:25)

If she has been the wife of only one man, has raised children, shown hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, cared for the afflicted, and devoted herself to every good work, then she may be enrolled as a widow as long as she is at least sixty years old and has a reputation for good works. (1 Tim. 5:9-10)

To Take Care of Her Family
The wisest woman can build her house, but the foolish one can destroy it with her own bare hands. (Prov. 14:1)

Even though it’s still early in the morning, she gets up and cooks dinner for her family and sets aside some for her maids. (Prov. 31:15)

To avoid giving the enemy any material for slander, I propose that younger widows get married, have children, and take charge of their households. (1 Tim. 5:14)

  1. To Assist Her Spouse
    God then decided it was not good for man to be on his own, so he decided to craft him a suitable companion. (Gen. 2:18)

Her husband and children all give her shouts of blessing, and he says, “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” (Prov. 31:28-29)

Because it was actually the other way around: men evolved into women. Similarly, women weren’t made for men, but men were made for women. (1 Cor. 11:8-9)

In order to adore and honor her husband
But let each of you show that you respect your husband by loving your wife as much as you respect yourselves. (Eph. 5:33)

Wives, in the same way, should submit to their own husbands so that those who disobey the word may be won without hearing a word being spoken by your respectful and pure behavior. (1 Pet. 3:1-2)

That God’s word might not be maligned, instruct the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to work hard at home, to be kind, and to be submissive to their own husbands. (Titus 2:4-5)

In order to be submissive to her husband
However, I would like you to keep in mind that Christ is the head of every man, the husband is the head of his wife, and God is the head of Christ. (1 Cor. 11:3)

You wives should submit to your own husbands as you would to the Lord. As Christ is the head of the church, his body, and its savior, so too is the husband the head of his wife. Wives now should submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ. (Eph. 5:22-24)

For the Sake of Respect
And now, my dear, have no apprehension. All my neighbors know you’re a good woman, so I’ll do anything you ask. (Ruth 3:11)

Not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is fitting for women who profess godliness: with good works is how women should adorn themselves. (1 Tim. 2:9-10)

Their wives should also be respectable people who don’t spread rumors but are instead levelheaded and loyal. (1 Tim. 3:11)

You should adorn the most important part of yourself—your inner self—with the unfading charm of a meek and quiet disposition, for such a person is very precious in God’s sight. Just as Sarah submitted to Abraham and addressed him as “lord,” so did the holy women who put their hope in God. (1 Pet. 3:4-6)

Eleventh, to Study in Discreetness at Church
In religious services, female attendees should remain silent. For the Law also specifies that they are not to speak but rather to be submissive. (1 Cor. 14:34)

It’s best for a woman to learn in silence and submission. I forbid women from holding positions of authority over men and expect them to keep quiet. The two sex partners, Adam and Eve, came into existence in reverse order of formation. (1 Tim. 2:11-13)

Purpose: To Instruct on the Right Course
She speaks a word of knowledge, and the counsel of charity is on her lips. (Prov. 31:26)

When Priscilla and Aquila overheard him speaking out in the synagogue, they took him aside to give him a more refined explanation of the Christian faith. (Acts 18:26)

Equally, older women should act with reverence and not be slanderous or alcohol slaves. So that God’s word is not maligned, it is the responsibility of mothers and teachers to instill in young women the values of self-control, purity, hard work at home, kindness, and submission to their own husbands. (Titus 2:3-5)

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