The Women of Honor
Esther was the daughter of Abihail and wife of Ahasuerus. Esther is one of only two books in the Bible bearing a woman’s name. Ester became queen of one of the most powerful world empires. She saved the Persian Jews from a massacre by Haman and had it written into law that Jews could defend themselves and slay their enemies. She was a courageous and brilliant woman. The verses below show her courage when she went in before the King to plead her people’s case.
Esther 4:5 Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king’s chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was. 6 So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king’s gate. 7 And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them. 8 Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people. 9 And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. 10 Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; 11 All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or women, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. 12 And they told to Mordecai Esther’s words. 13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. 14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? 15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, 16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. 17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.
Euodia was a Christian at Philippi, where women first heard the Gospel. She was probably a deaconess or a prominent member of the congregation.
Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. 2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
Eunice was the mother of Timothy. She was praised for her faith by Paul in his second letter to Timothy.
2 Timothy 1:4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; 5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
Eve (“life; life-giving”)
Eve is the first woman mentioned in Genesis. She was the first woman, wife, mother, and the first to be deceived, beguiled, and tempted.
Genesis 3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
3:20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD
Hannah was one of the thirteen prophetesses and one of the barren women in the Bible. Samuel, her son, was the earliest of the great prophets and the last judge of Israel.
1 Samuel 1:4 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.
1:19 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her. 20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.
She is one of the thirteen prophetesses in the Bible and the mother of Mahershalalhashbaz.
Isaiah 8:3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz.
Jael (“a wild mountain goat”)
Jael was a brave but treacherous woman. In the war between the Canaanites and Israelites, she proved her bravery and loyalty to God’s people by giving false comfort to Sisera, the Canaanite. Her hospitality towards Sisera gave him a false sense of security and he willingly went to her tent where she gave him milk to drink. He felt safe and fell asleep in her tent. While Sisera was sleeping, Jael took a large nail and drove it into his temple, killing him. Thus, Jael become a heroine of the Israelites.
Judges 4:18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle. 19 And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. 20 Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and enquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No.
21 Then Jael Heber’s wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. 22 And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples. 23 So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel.
Jehoshabeath / Jehosheba (“Jehovah has sworn”)
Jehoshabeath was the daughter of Jehoram/Joram and the granddaughter of Jehoshaphat. She was a brave, resourceful, and courageous woman that helped conceal Joash from Athaliah for six years.
2 Kings 11:2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.
2 Chronicles 22:11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not.
Joanna (“Jehovah has graciously given”)
Joanna was one of the women that was healed by and later ministered to Jesus and his disciples. She was among the fourteen women who went to the tomb to embalm Jesus’ body and later told the apostles that Christ had risen.
Luke 8:1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, 2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, 3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.
Luke 24:9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
Jochebed (“whose glory is Jehovah”)
Jochebed had two sons, Aaron and Moses, and one daughter, Miriam. Jochebed’s son Aaron, became the founder of the Hebrew priesthood. It was Jochebed who hid her son Moses from Pharaoh by placing him in a watertight cradle and placing it in the Nile River where Pharaoh’s daughter. Pharaoh’s daughter hired a Hebrew woman to nurse the infant and that woman was Jochebed, Moses own mother.
Exodus 6: 20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.
Numbers 26:59 And the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister.
Julia was a Christian woman at Rome whom Paul saluted in his Epistle.
Romans 16:15 Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them.