Hidden women of the Bible

Imagine a Bible quiz where you’re being asked to reel off the names of popular women in the Bible, either mentioned directly – like Sarah, Mary and Deborah, or indirectly – like Lot’s wife, the Shunamite woman and the woman with the issue of blood. With some years in church under your belt and some thinking, I’m sure you can come up with a much longer list under either sub-heading.

As I go through my One Year Bible reading plan, I have since come across women that were in a sense hidden because their accomplishments or stories do not get much air time in today’s church world. I’m sure there are many more whose stories are popular for only a season of their lives and not other seasons. An example is Bathsheba, also known as Uriah the Hittite’s wife, who committed adultery with King David but was also very instrumental in making sure Solomon became king in David’s stead before Dave passed on.

Although not an exhaustive list, I’ve listed just a few of these women below.  They were mentioned directly or indirectly. Some of them remove the excuses of us women not achieving much while some show the powers we women wield in birthing forth desires and dreams. Here we go:

  1. Sheerah – 1 Chronicles 7:24

She was the person I read of who inspired the title of this post. The mentioned verse says, “He had a daughter named Sheerah. She built the towns of Lower and Upper Beth-horon and Uzzen-sheerah.

 200133447-003 Image credit: Huffington Post

I mean, when you build towns you might as well name one of them after yourself. City of David, Solomon’s porch, anyone? I have no idea what ‘Uzzen Sheerah’ means? Any Jewish readers willing to interpret? Anyway, it reminds me of one of the great female architects of our time that passed on earlier this year, Dame Zaha Hadid. So woman of GOD, if thou must be an architect, civil engineer and build, by all means go ahead! Amen?!

Still unsure? See what I found in the first part of Nehemiah 3:12; “Shallum son of Hallohesh and his daughters repaired the next section (of the wall)” parenthesis mine.

 2. Daughters of Zelophehad – Numbers 27:1-11

Anyone that claims to be a christian and simultaneously claims that women shouldn’t have an inheritance from their parents needs to go and read this text. The five daughters of Zelophehad had no brothers from their parents and according to the laws at that time would have been deprived of their dad’s possessions on his passing on. Igbo men, I am speaking to and eye-balling you!!

 zelophehad Image credit: Chabad.org

But they boldly went and protested to Moses, Eleazar the priest, the princes and all the congregation; and Moses “brought their cause before the LORD.” And GOD ‘admitted’ they were right and those five women quintet-handedly changed the laws of the land. Maybe this was the start of the feminism campaign! Haha . . .

     3. Jehoshabeath – 2 Chronicles 22:10-11

This woman made sure the seed of David was not cut off by a mother’s weird revenge on the royal seed of the house of Judah after her son, King Ahaziah, was slain in Samaria. She took Joash, Ahaziah’s son and his nurse and escaped to the house of GOD. Joash was hid for six years and began to reign when he was seven years old (2 Chronicles 24:1).

 Jehoshabeath Image credit: WomenInTheScriptures

Had this woman not been swift to think and swift on her feet, LORD knows what might have become of David’s direct male lineage (at least the way I read it).

4. Huldah – 2 Chronicles 34:22-28

Huldah was a prophetess during the reign of Josiah, another young king of Israel (began reigning 8 years old) who brought the word of GOD to Josiah after Hilkiah the high priest discovered the book of the law of the LORD after many years of the children of Israel paying GOD no mind. The Word of GOD must have been scarce in those days, that the high priest had to go and look for her where she dwelt in a college.

 Huldah Image credit: Sweet Publishing

May we be women constantly connected to GOD irrespective of the darkness and evil that may prevail and surround in the cities and countries wherein we dwell.

 5. Phoebe – Romans 16:1-2

Paul the apostle had glowing things to say about this lady. He describes her as “a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: . . . a succourer (helper) of many and of myself also.” She also delivered the letter from Paul who was in Corinth to the Romans.

 Pheobe Image credit: MCWV 2012

In a world very keen on impressive titles, being called a servant might not be as telling as our flesh wants it to be. But even Jesus taught greatness comes from being a servant (Matthew 23:11), washing each other’s feet (John 13:14) and so on.

So if you are feeling like I feel sometimes that the things I do in GOD are not legendary or not on the world-stage, be reminded that you’re having an impact and before GOD you are not hidden. HE sees it all. You may not occupy many paragraphs and chapters recording your exploits but your one or two verses recorded tell a mighty story for those coming behind you.

To your looking to GOD for HIS “Well done, my good and faithful servant!!”, . . .

P.S.: You may have guessed that this list is from the recent texts from the Bible I read as part of my reading plan.

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10 thoughts on “Hidden women of the Bible

  1. Doesn’t it seem that the contribution of women in Scripture is down-played so that the rules that women can’t preach or teach or speak are kept intact? What’s so wrong with the revelation that Phoebe was called a deacon? That Junia was counted among the Apostles? Why is it wrong that Priscilla taught Apollos with the help of Aquila? Anna had a ministry in the temple – why can’t women? Lydia hosted a church in her house. Tabitha did so many good works that her death was a big blow to the community. Euodia and Syntche strived at Paul’s side for the cause of the gospel. These are just the ones we know about – how many more women didn’t get any recognition at all and yet served the Lord with everything they had?

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    • Hi Jamie,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment on this post. I have no specific answer and I’ve also wondered earlier today on the passage that supports women not preaching, which seems to contradict the very significant roles women played in the Bible.
      But I have a feeling that it’s possible the times in which the Bible was written had an effect. Having said that, thank GOD for the Holy Spirit and the role of women in the New Testament written for us and mentioned and the women standing up in today’s christian world. That the women in Bible times served the Lord is not unrecognised by Him, for He’s not unrighteous to forget our labor of love!
      I hope this encourages you somehow 🙂 GOD bless you James!!

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  2. Really lovely and inspiring post. Coincidental that earlier today I was listening to a message about women being the “helper” right for the man but not in a degrading way as it seems to have been interpreted a lot.
    Women seem to have a lot of responsibility in ministry than is pointed out often. If only women understand the depth of influence we can have on our world and channel this positively, how our world would be a better place to live in. I mean the one thing God recognised as not good in all of creation was a woman. So technically, with or without a man, women need to rise up to the task of impacting our world immensely.
    The role of these bible women is a good reminder and guide for any woman out there who feels she should just sit at the back and wait for directions from the man.

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