Full Circle Catholic Faith Community

Vital Biblical Women

Shiphrah and Puah (Exodus 1:15-17)  The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah,  “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 

Miriam (Exodus 15:20) is first identified as a prophet after the resounding defeat of Pharaoh’s army at the Sea of Reeds: "Then the prophet Miriam,..took a tambourine in her hand and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing.”

Deborah (Judges 1-31) As prophet and judge, Deborah advised her people, planned a military strategy against the Canaanites, appointed a general and then led the victorious battle. Men in leadership would seek her counsel.

Ruth (Ruth 1:16) Ruth shows her devotion to her mother-in-law by saying she will follow her wherever.  Because of this faithfulness, she is rewarded by marrying a rich eligible bachelor named Boaz.  She bears a son named Obed, and thus became the great-grandmother of Israel’s great king, David.

Huldah (2 Kings 22:8-13, 23:1-3) the prophet, made history as a seventh century woman and contemporary of Jeremiah.  She was one of the few women or men literally labelled a prophet, was consulted by King Josiah, the reformer. When an old scroll was found in the temple by the priest, Hilkiah, the king ordered his servants to get Huldah’s counsel.  The royal delegation took the scroll not to Jeremiah but to Huldah, who verified the authenticity of the scroll and, as a prophet, spoke God’s warnings to the king. 

Esther (Esther 1-10) a great heroine in a time of oppression appeals to God for strength. The King loves her above all women and finds favor with her because of her beauty and intelligence.  She wisely asks the King to save her people from annihilation while risking her very life.  

Judith (Judith 8:2-8, 13:18, 19 20) a heroine who jeopardizes her life for her people and is praised for her asceticism and physical beauty.  Judith’s initiative, determination and great courage in saving her people area to be commended. 

The mother of the Maccabee brothers (2 Maccabees 7:20) Scripture pays tribute to their mother, who encouraged their bravery.   The mother’s valor is recognized in the Bible as "most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance.” 

Mary (Luke 1:26-38, 39-45) The mother of Jesus who was visited by an angel who asks her to become such.  She agreed to God’s will.  Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth and offers a prayer of praise to God.  She remains part of Jesus’ life but was most present at his crucifixion, death and after his resurrection.

Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:2, John 20:17) is one of Jesus disciples who provided for Jesus out of her resources. She was the first to see the resurrected Jesus where he commissioned her to “Go to my brothers instead and tell them.”  She is known as the apostle to the apostles.  

Phoebe: (Romans 16:1-2) Paul writes, “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deaconess of the church of Cenchrae.  Please welcome her in the Lord, as saints should.” 

Susanna and Joanna (Luke 8:1-3) provided for Jesus’ ministry out of their own resources. It was rare for women to have their own money but it is clear that, although they were married, they supported Jesus and were considered his disciples. 

Canaanite Woman (Matthew 15:21-28) Asked Jesus to heal her daughter.  He refuses and says that he only came to save the Jews.  She reminds him that even the Gentiles are worthy of being saved.  Jesus affirms her and said her request was granted.  Her daughter was healed at that very moment. 

Samaritan Woman at the Well (John 4:7-28) Asked Jesus questions and was told everything she ever did.  She then back to her town to tell everyone that she had met the Messiah, the first evangelist.