It is important to not forget the women in the Bible. God is not sexist and though most stories in the Bible are about men, not all of them are. This is a list of some of the women in the Bible that we can learn great lessons from. In Jewish Genealogies men were accounted for primarily so that family lines could be traced backward in time in order to validate inheritance or land. However, Matthew takes a strange brake away from this tradition in his genealogy of Christ in Matthew chapter 1. Why is this? Was it to humble the Jews as they read the account of their Messiah’s family line? Was it to show that the Messianic line was one of human failure and God’s redemption? Or perhaps it was to remind them that even their messiah had gentiles in His lineage
Let’s look briefly at each of these amazing women and their inclusion in to the lineage of Christ.
Tamar: Genesis 38:6-30
Tamar was the daughter in law to Judah who had three sons – Er, Onan, and Shelah. Tamar married the 1st son Er who became so evil that the Lord killed him. So Judah then arranged for Tamar to marry the next son Onan. Now in Jewish culture this was called a leverite marriage, where if husband died the wife would marry a brother of her deceased husband. This was to carry along the family name of the deceased husband as well as inheritance. The child of this leverite marriage would be considered the child of the dead husband. Onan (who Tamar after Er died) refused to honor the tradition of the leverite marriage by avoiding making his wife pregnant, so the Lord killed him for his disobedience. Judah then makes a promise to marry Tamar to his third and youngest son Shelah but by the time he grew old enough to marry, Judah eventually forgets the promise he made for Tamar to marry Shelah.
So Tamar perhaps upset about not starting a family dressed up as a prostitute and positioned herself in a field where she knew Judah would be traveling . Judah did not know who the prostitute was because of the garments and disguise she wore so they committed adultery and had twins – Perez (first born) and Zerah.
Perez is David’s Great(x9) Grandfather.
Rahab: Joshua 2:1-24, 6:17-25
Rahab was a gentile prostitute in the city of Jericho at the time the Israelites passed through the area on their way to the Promised Land. Joshua sent two men to spy out the city and they happened to come to Rahabs house to stay the night. The King of Jericho heard of the news and sent his men to find the spies but because Rahab believed that the land was going to be given to the Jews by the Lord. Because she believed this she hid the spies in her attic and when the Kings men came by she said basically said “they were here, but they left out through the gate, if you go now you can catch them”.
As a reward for her service of protecting the spies the two spies promised that when they destroyed Jericho they would not harm her family if they were in her home. So they protected her and her family from the attack and they lived among the Israelites.
Rahab eventually married Salmon and gave birth to Boaz who was David’s Great Grandfather.
Ruth: Ruth 1:1-4:22
Ruth was a Moabite (gentile) woman who married one of Naomi’s sons who had died in Moab after Naomi and her family moved to Moab because of a famine. Once Naomi moved to Moab her husband and two married sons died. When things picked up in Israel Naomi went back home and Ruth would not leave her to return to her own parents. Ruth claimed allegiance to Naomi’s God and people, she wanted to follow her back to Israel.
Ruth being practically homeless finds herself gathering leftover wheat from Boaz’s field and he favors her. Boaz was a relative of Naomi’s dead husband and so buys the land that belonged to Naomi’s husband and also married Ruth.
Boaz and Ruth give birth to Obed who is Jesse’s father and David’s Grandfather.
Bathsheba: 2 Samuel 11:1-27
Bathsheba may have been a gentile because of her marriage to Uriah the Hittite (not a Jew). One day while David was strolling on his roof (not attending to the current battle which was customary) noticed a total babe and did not avert his eyes or mind. One thing led to another and they had sex, she got pregnant and righteous King David had a big problem on his hands. So David tries to get Uriah to sleep with his wife in order to make it look like it was his kid but Uriah does not go home while in town. So to cover up his sin with Bathsheba he has Uriah put on the front lines while the group retreats from him and lets him die. After Uriah died David took Bathsheba to be his wife. The son that they had died because of David’s sin and she later gave birth to Solomon. Bathsheba went through a lot and suffered a great deal because of David’s sin.
David and Bathsheba had Solomon who Joseph descended from and Nathan who Mary descended from.
Mary: Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-56
From what little the Bible reveals about Mary she appears to be a normal Jewish girl who was humble and obedient to God, she relied on His grace for her sins and his help for her hard times. Being in the position of premarital pregnancy as mary was must have been a very tough situation for her since they were stoned if found guilty of adultery. If it had not been for the angel explaining to Joseph that Mary was supernaturally impregnated by God he may have not believed her story, after all it’s not everyday that a Son of God is born of a virgin! Mary presents a great role model for us to learn from – she learned to submit her self to God’s will even when it did not make sense to her. No doubt raising the only sinless human with 4 other sinful brothers and sisters must have been an interesting challenge but she did it and as it seems was a single mother after Joseph mysteriously leaves the scene some time after Jesus’s young visit to Jerusalem. The opportunity to give birth to the savior of the world was given by the grace of God to Mary as a gift, she did not earn it and she did not deserve it but she received it and obeyed God.