- Religion and Philosophy
Fascinating Women From The Bible
Eve, the First Woman
According to the creation story God realized how Adam was lonely and therefore set out to create a helper for him. As such God put Adam to sleep, removed one of his ribs and proceeded to make the first woman, Eve. God then told them everything in the Garden of Eden was theirs to use except for the Tree of Knowledge and its fruits.
Things took a horrible twist when a serpent tricked Eve into eating the fruit of knowledge who then convinced Adam to take a bite. Later when God realized what they had done and asked Adam about it he responded by saying “The woman, whom thou gavest me to be my companion, gave me of the tree, and I did eat”. What a coward! Adam you did not have to eat it, no one forced you!
Anyway God did not buy that excuse either and nor should you, and so He cursed them and their descendants. So ever since many males categorically insist that were it not for the first woman we would still be drinking grape wine, eating grapes and prancing around naked in the Garden of Eden.
Mary, the Mother of Christ
There is no revered woman in the bible than Mary, the mother of Jesus. She consistently appears throughout the New Testament. She is first mentioned in Mathew 1:16 where is she is described as the wife of Joseph and mother to Christ.
What is so fascinating about Mary is how she got pregnant. Forget the little biology you know about how a baby is born and look to the Bible. Well according to Luke 1:26-35 angel Gabriel appeared to Mary who was at the time a virgin, and told her she was going to bear the world’s savior.
She also plays a role in the one event throughout the Bible which shows Jesus as an adolescent boy.
Additionally, Mary is also a revered figure in the religion of Islam. Mary is the only woman mentioned by name in the entire Quran and is mentioned more times in the Quran than in the New Testament. In fact the Chapter 19 of the Quran is named after her and is mostly about her life.
Mary Magdalene, the Faithful Follower
After Mary, the mother of Christ, Mary Magdalene is perhaps the most important woman in the Bible. We first come across her in the Bible when she is purged of seven demons that had possessed her and later on we see her washing Jesus’s feet with her hair.
However over the centuries her image has been tarnished as she has been called a prostitute, a celibate nun, a wife of Jesus and even viewed as a mystic creature. The confusion over who Mary Magdalene really was dates back to an early all-male Christian Church which was sexist, materialistic and where power struggles amongst clergy was the order of the day.
Despite all the myths and clichés about Mary Magdalene she is the one person who was present in all of Jesus’s important moments. Mary Magdalene was a faithful follower of Jesus supported Jesus during his crucifixion by the Romans even when some of his male disciples ditched him. She was the first to discover the empty tomb and also the first to witness the resurrection of Christ.
Delilah, the Temptress
Delilah is perhaps of one of the very first female undercover agents. The story of Samson and Delilah is the typical story of boy sees girl, boy acquires girl, girl betrays boy, the end. Samson was basically the modern-day typical superhero only his supernatural powers were God given and not as a result of a freakish spider bite. He used his powers to basically combat his enemies, mostly the Philistines and performing heroic feats such as slaying a lion.
When Samson first meets Delilah he instantly falls for her. Once the Philistine lords discover this they ask Delilah to find the secret of Samson’s strength and promise to give her eleven hundred pieces of silver from each of them.
Delilah asks him the secret to his powers and he lies about it three times. Finally Delilah pleads with him and Samson reveals his secret, where he says that his powers lie in the seven locks of hair on his head. Delilah waits until he’s sleeping and calls a barber who then shaves his head and he loses his strength upon which he is captured by the Philistines.
Sarah, the Stunning Golden Girl
Sarah was the wife of Abraham and was extremely beautiful if we are to believe scriptures from the Bible. According to the Bible Sarah and Abraham were about to take a trip to Egypt and knowing how beautiful his wife was he was afraid that the Egyptians would kill him and take her. So he came up with a plan to say that his wife was his sister.
But the plan sought of backfired when the Pharaoh took her in as his wife for some time. The most fascinating thing about Sarah is that at the time of these events she was 65 years old! So how do we know the age of Sarah? Well Genesis 12:4 tells us that Abraham was 75 years old at the time of the trip while Genesis 17:17 tell us that Sarah was 10 years younger than Abraham.
Considering that the Pharaoh had a harem of exotic beautiful you women it’s hard to imagine that a 65 year old might have captured the heart of the Pharaoh. And what’s even worse is that the same thing happened with the King of Gerar, Abim’elech.
Esther, the Heroine
The story of Esther began with the banishment of Queen Vashti for disobeying the Persian king, Ahasuerus. Following the banishment, the king decided to hold a beauty pageant only this one was packed with young beautiful virgins so that he could pick a new queen
Esther, a Jew, was eventually chosen amongst the many young virgins. The book goes on to tell us how entranced the king was with the young Queen though he did not know that she was a Jew. Having the king on your side does not hurt at all as it was this that saved Mordecai, a secret relative of hers, who had refused to bow to a high court official, Haman. And because of this Haman hated him and all of the Jews and began to plot on how to destroy all Jews. With the help of Esther, Mordecai was not only saved but also rewarded for his past good actions.
She also managed to save the Jews from the hands of Haman who had sent letters ordering the execution of the Jewish population of Persia. After this debacle a special festival called Purim was introduced.
Jezebel, the Horrid Queen
Queen Jezebel was married to King Ahab and for centuries Jezebel has been painted as a prostitute. The truth is that she was never unfaithful to King Ahab if anything she was fiercely loyal to him. The rumors probably stem from her evil deeds.
Her evil nature is shown when she orders the prophets of Yahweh to be killed. At the time there were two main competing religions; Yahweh and Baal, and Jezebel was extremely devoted to the agricultural gods Baal and Anat. While Ahab tried to steer clear of the two religions his wife got the upper hand resulting in the death of Yahweh prophets.
She also aided and abetted in the killing of Naboth, an innocent vineyard owner. When King Ahab became depressed over Naboth’s refusal to sell the vineyard, Jezebel planted false evidence against Naboth. This led to Naboth being stoned to death and Ahab taking over the vineyard.
In the end Jezebel experienced a gruesome death where she was thrown out of the window by her own servants, where her corpse was trampled on by horses and her flesh eaten by stray dogs.
Judith, the Bad Ass
Judith was the biblical femme fatale owing to her unique combination of beauty, intelligence and cunning character. Before Judith became the bad ass we all love she was the wife of Manasses, a wealthy man in the city of Bethulia. Unfortunately the guy died and she became the wealthiest widow in Bethulia.
After three years and six months of being a widow and watching the town’s elders screw up she finally confronts them and comes up with a secret plan to destroy their enemies. She makes herself beautiful and leaves during the night so that she can seduce the enemy’s army general, Holofernes.
Holofernes was no match for the witty Judith and falls into the trap. The daring babe then gets the general wasted and waits for him to fall asleep and hacks off his head while the general is in a drunken stupor. And then she takes the head back to Bethulia and hangs it on the outer walls of the town. Once the enemy troops realize what has happened they panic and become easy prey for the town’s troops.
Hagar, the Slave Girl
Hagar was an Egyptian slave of Sarah. It was not unheard for barren women to offer surrogates upon which the child would become symbolically theirs. Hagar is the first surrogate mother that we come across in the Bible. Since Sarah at the time was thought to be barren she offered Hagar to Abraham so that she could bear a child for Sarah.
Once Hagar manages to get pregnant Sarah became jealous and the two women became more estranged. Owing to the mistreatment of Hagar by Sarah she escaped. While on the run she almost made it to Egypt but became exhausted and stopped at a spring and an angel appeared to her telling her to go back home and the child that she was bearing would become an important figure.
Fast forward fourteen years later and the two were still rivals. The balance of power was shifted when Sarah gave birth to a son, Isaac. The birth of Isaac changed everything and Sarah began to see Hagar’s son as a threat, which led to Hagar and her son being expelled from the tribe and into the open desert.
Priscilla,One of the Founding Members of the Early Church
Priscilla may be one of the most ignored pioneers of the early church founders of the Christian religion as she has somewhat been completely forgotten in the annals of Christian history. She comes out as a strong minded individual, highly devoted to her religion, and love for God and Jesus Christ and a loyal friend and wife.
Priscilla was obviously the dominant partner in the marriage between her and her husband, Aquila, as every time her name is placed first before her husband’s name. Priscilla is mentioned in five points of the New Testament. The first is where Priscilla and Aquila are first introduced when they sailed together with Paul
The second is where Priscilla is seen as giving instructions to an influential scholar, Apollo. The third reference is where Priscilla and Aquila are saluted by Paul for helping share the gospel is seen returning home from a trip to Rome. She also proves to be a loyal friend as Paul bids farewell to Priscilla and her husband as he faces death.