ATS Bible DictionaryWoman
Is spoken of in Scripture as the beloved and honored companion and helpmeet, not the servant, of man, Genesis 2:23,24, created as the necessary completion of man, Genesis 3:16 1 1 Corinthians 11:3,8,9 14:34,35 1 Timothy 2:11-14, yet specially qualified for that sphere, and as necessary in it as man in his. Man and woman are indeed essentially one, the natural qualities of each so responding to those of the other as to lay the foundation of the most tender and abiding unity. The Bible thus raised the Jewish woman high above the woman of heathenism; and the Old Testament contains some of the finest portraitures of female character. But still greater is the contrast between the women of heathenism and those of Christianity: the former with mind and soul undeveloped, secluded, degraded, the mere toys and slaves of their husbands; the latter educated, refined, ennobled, cheering and blessing the world. Christianity forbids a man to have more than one wife, or to divorce her for any cause but one, Matthew 5:32 19:3-9; declares that bond and free, male and female, are all one in Christ, Galatians 3:28; and that in heaven they are no more given in marriage, but are as the angels of God, Matthew 22:33. If woman was first in the Fall, she was honored in the exclusive parentage of the Savior of mankind; and women were the truest friends of Christ while on earth. The primal curse falls with heaviest weight on woman; but the larger proportion of women in our churches may indicate that it was the purpose of God to make his grace to man "yet more abound" to her who was the first in sinning and suffering.
In the East, women have always lived in comparative seclusion, not appearing in public unless closely veiled, not mingling in general society, nor seen the men who visit their husbands and brothers, nor even taking their meals with the men of their own family. Their seclusion was less in the rural districts than in towns, and among the Jews than among most to her nations. They were chiefly engaged in domestic duties, Proverbs 31:1-31; among which were grinding flour, baking bread, making cloth, needle work, etc. The poor gleaned the remnants of the harvest; the daughters of he patriarchs joined in tending their fathers' flocks, Genesis 29:9 Exodus 2:16; and females of all classes were accustomed to draw water for family use, bearing it in earthen pitchers on their shoulders often for a considerable distance, Genesis 24:15-20 John 7:28.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaCUSHITE WOMAN; ETHIOPIAN WOMAN
kush'-it: In Numbers 12:1 Moses is condemned by his sister Miriam and his brother Aaron "because of the Cushite woman ha-'ishshah ha-kushith whom he had married"; and the narrator immediately adds by way of needed explanation, "for he had married a Cushite woman" ('ishshah khushith). Views regarding this person have been of two general classes:
(1) She is to be identified with Zipporah (Exodus 2:21 and elsewhere), Moses' Midianite wife, who is here called "the Gushite," either in scorn of her dark complexion (compare Jeremiah 13:23) and foreign origin (so most older exegetes), or as a consequence of an erroneous notion of the late age when this apocryphal addition, "because of the Cushite," etc., was inserted in the narrative (so Wellhansen).
(2) She is a woman whom Moses took to wife after the death of Zipporah, really a Cushite (Ethiopian) by race, whether the princess of Meroe of whom Josephus (Ant., II, x, 2) romances (so Targum of Jonathan), or one of the "mixed multitude" (Exodus 12:38; compare Numbers 11:4) that accompanied the Hebrews on their wanderings (so Ewald and most). Dillmann suggests a compromise between the two classes of views, namely, that this woman is a mere "variation in the saga" from the wife elsewhere represented as Midianite, yet because of this variation she was understood by the author as distinct from Zipporah. The implication of the passage, in any case, is clearly that this connection of Moses tended to injure his prestige in the eyes of race-proud Hebrews, and, equally, that in the author's opinion such a view of the matter was obnoxious to God.
J. Oscar Boyd
mid'-i-an-it-ish, (ha-midhyanith, "the Midianitess"): The designation given to the daughter of Zur, Cozbi, whom Zimri the son of Salu brought into the camp of Israel (Numbers 25:6-18). Both were of noble parentage (Numbers 25:14, 15). The majority of the people strongly resented this act of profanation (Numbers 25:6). A pestilence was raging in the camp, and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, in an outburst of zeal pursued the two delinquents and slew them by a spear-thrust through their bodies (Numbers 25:8). He obtained as a reward the immediate staying of the plague and the promise of perpetual priesthood to his family (Numbers 25:8, 13).
John A. Lees
The Hebrew zar, translated "stranger," meant primarily one "who turns aside," i.e. to visit another country; then a "sojourner," "stranger." The "strange woman" of Proverbs 2:16 is a technical term for "harlot"; compare Judges 11:1, 2, where "son of a strange (the Revised Version (British and American) "another") woman" (11:2, 'acher) is parallel to "the son of a harlot" (11:1).
See STRANGE WIFE.
woom'-an ('ishshah, "a woman" (feminine of 'ish, "a man"; gune, "a woman" "wife"):
I. IN THE CREATIVE PLAN
II. IN OLD TESTAMENT TIMES
1. Prominence of Women
2. Social Equality
3. Marriage Laws
5. Domestic Duties
6. Dress and Ornaments
7. Religious Devotion and Service
(1) in Idolatry and False Religion
(2) in Spiritual Religion
III. INTER-TESTAMENTAL ERA
IV. IN NEW TESTAMENT TIMES
1. Mary and Elisabeth
2. Jesus and Women
3. In the Early Church
4. Official Service
IV. LATER TIMES
1. Changes in Character and Condition
2. Notable Examples of Christian Womanhood
3. Woman in the 20th Century
The generic term "man" includes woman. In the narrative of the creation (Genesis 1:26, 27) Adam is a collective term for mankind. It may signify human being, male or female, or humanity entire. "God said, Let us make man.... and let them" (Genesis 1:26), the latter word "them" defining "man" in the former clause. So in Genesis 1:27, "in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them," "them" being synonymous with "him."
See also ADAM; ANTHROPOLOGY.
I. In the Creative Plan.
Whatever interpretation the latest scholarship may give to the story of woman's formation from the rib of man (Genesis 2:21-24), the passage indicates, most profoundly, the inseparable unity and fellowship of her life with his. Far more than being a mere assistant, "helper" (`ezer "help" "helper" Genesis 2:18), she is man's complement, essential to the perfection of his being. Without her he is not man in the generic fullness of that term. Priority of creation may indicate headship, but not, as theologians have so uniformly affirmed, superiority. Dependence indicates difference of function, not inferiority. Human values are estimated in terms of the mental and spiritual. Man and woman are endowed for equality, and are mutually interdependent. Physical strength and prowess cannot be rated in the same category with moral courage and the capacity to endure ill-treatment, sorrow and pain; and in these latter qualities woman has always proved herself the superior. Man's historic treatment of woman, due to his conceit, ignorance or moral perversion, has taken her inferiority for granted, and has thus necessitated it by her enslavement and degradation. The narrative of the Fall (Genesis 3) ascribes to woman supremacy of influence, for through her stronger personality man was led to disobedience of God's command. Her penalty for such ill-fated leadership was that her husband should "rule over" her (Genesis 3:16), not because of any inherent superiority on his part, but because of her loss of prestige and power through sin. In that act she forfeited the respect and confidence which entitled her to equality of influence in family affairs. Her recovery from the curse of subjection was to come through the afflictive suffering of maternity, for, as Paul puts it, "she shall be saved (from the penalty of her transgression) through her child-bearing" (1 Timothy 2:15).
Sin, both in man and woman, has been universally the cause of woman's degradation. All history must be interpreted in the light of man's consequent mistaken estimate of her endowments, worth and rightful place. The ancient Hebrews never entirely lost the light of their original revelation, and, more than any other oriental race, held woman in high esteem, honor and affection. Christianity completed the work of her restoration to equality of opportunity and place. Wherever its teachings and spirit prevail, she is made the loved companion, confidante and adviser of her husband.
II. In Old Testament Times.
1. Prominence of Women:
Under the Hebrew system the position of woman was in marked contrast with her status in surrounding heathen nations. Her liberties were greater, her employments more varied and important, her social standing more respectful and commanding. The divine law given on Sinai (Exodus 20:12) required children to honor the mother equally with the father. A similar esteem was accorded her in patriarchal times. Sarah held a position of favor and authority in Abraham's household. Rebekah was not less influential than Isaac, and was evidently the stronger personality. The "beautiful" Rachel (Genesis 29:17) won from Jacob a love that accepted her as an equal in the companionship and counsels of family life. Many Hebrew women rose to eminence and national leadership. Miriam and Deborah were each a prophetess and a poetess. The former led bands of women in triumphant song and procession, celebrating the overthrow of enemies (Exodus 15:20); the latter, through her dominating personality and prophetic power, became the virtual judge of the nation and led armies to victory. Her military general, Barak, refused to advance against Sisera without her presence and commanding influence (Judges 4:8). Her ode of victory indicates the intellectual endowment and culture of her sex in that unsettled and formative era (Judges 5). No person in Israel surpassed Hannah, the mother of Samuel, in intelligence, beauty and fervor of religious devotion. Her spiritual exaltation and poetic gift found expression in one of the choicest specimens of early Hebrew lyric poetry (1 Samuel 2:1-10). Other women eminent as prophetesses were: Huldah, whose counsel was sought by high priest and king (2 Chronicles 34:22; compare 2 Kings 22:14); Noadiah (Nehemiah 6:14); Anna (Luke 2:36). The power to which woman could attain in Israel is illustrated in the career of the wicked, merciless, murderous, idolatrous Jezebel, self-styled prophetess (Revelation 2:20). Evidence of woman's eminence in the kingdoms of Judah and Israel is seen in the influence she exercised as queen mother (1 Kings 15:13) and queen (2 Kings 8:18); in the beautiful honor shown by King Solomon to his mother, Bath-sheba (1 Kings 2:19); in the filial devotion of the prophet Elisha (1 Kings 19:20); in the constant mention of the mother's name in the biographies of successive kings, making it evident that she was considered the important and determining factor in the life of her royal sons. Her teaching and authority were sufficiently eminent to find recognition in the proverbs of the nation: "the law of thy mother" (Proverbs 1:8; Proverbs 6:20) was not to be forsaken, while contempt for the same merited the curse of God (Proverbs 19:26; Proverbs 20:20; Proverbs 30:11, 17).
2. Social Equality:
Additional evidence of woman's social equality comes from the fact that men and women feasted together without restriction. Women shared in the sacred meals and great annual feasts (Deuteronomy 16:11, 14); in wedding festivities (John 2:1-3); in the fellowship of the family meal (John 12:3). They could appear, as Sarah did in the court of Egypt, unveiled (Genesis 12:11, 14). Rebekah (Genesis 24:16; compare 24:65), Rachel (Genesis 29:11), Hannah (1 Samuel 1:13) appeared in public and before suitors with uncovered faces. The secluding veil was introduced into Mohammedan and other oriental lands through the influence of the Koran. The custom was non-Jewish in origin, and the monuments make. It evident that it did not prevail, in early times, in Assyria and Egypt. Even Greece and Rome, at the time of their supreme culture, fell-far below the Hebrew conception of woman's preeminent worth. The greatest hellenic philosophers declared that it would radically disorganize the state for wives to claim equality with their husbands. Aristotle considered women inferior beings, intermediate between freemen and slaves. Socrates and Demosthenes held them in like depreciation. Plato advocated community of wives. Substantially the same views prevailed in Rome. Distinguished men, like Metullus and Care, advocated marriage only as a public duty. More honor was shown the courtesan than the wife. Chastity and modesty, the choice inheritance of Hebrew womanhood, were foreign to the Greek conception of morality, and disappeared from Rome when Greek culture and frivolity entered. The Greeks made the shameless Phryne the model of the goddess Aphrodite, and lifted their hands to public prostitutes when they prayed in their temples. Under pagan culture and heathen darkness woman was universally subject to inferior and degrading conditions. Every decline in her status in the Hebrew commonwealth was due to the incursion of foreign influence. The lapses of Hebrew morality, especially in the court of Solomon and of subsequent kings, occurred through the borrowing of idolatrous and heathen customs from surrounding nations (1 Kings 11:1-8).
3. Marriage Laws:
The Bible gives no sanction to dual or plural marriages. The narrative in Genesis 2:18-24 indicates that monogamy was the divine ideal for man. The moral decline of the generations antedating the Flood seems to have been due, chiefly; to the growing disregard of the sanctity of marriage. Lamech's taking of two wives (Genesis 4:19) is the first recorded infraction of the divine ideal. By Noah's time polygamy had degenerated into promiscuous inter-racial marriages of the most incestuous and illicit kind (Genesis 6:1-4; see SONS OF GOD). The subsequent record ascribes marital infidelity and corruption to sin, and affirms that the destruction of the race by the Flood and the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah were God's specific judgment on man's immorality. The dual marriages of the Patriarchs were due, chiefly, to the desire for children, and are not to be traced to divine consent or approval. The laws of Moses regarding chastity protected the sanctity of marriage (see MARRIAGE), and indicated a higher regard for woman than prevailed in Gentile or other Semitic races (Leviticus 18:6-20). They sought to safeguard her from the sensual abominations prevalent among the Egyptians and Canaanites (Leviticus 18). Kings were forbidden to "multiply wives" (Deuteronomy 17:17). Concubinage in Israel was an importation from heathenism.
Divorce was originally intended to protect the sanctity of wedlock by outlawing the offender and his moral offense. Its free extension to include any marital infelicity met the stern rebuke of Jesus, who declared that at the best it was a concession to human infirmity and hardness of heart, and should be granted only in case of adultery (Matthew 5:32).
Hebrew women were granted a freedom in choosing a husband not known elsewhere in the East (Genesis 24:58). Jewish tradition declares that a girl over 12 1/2 years of age had the right to give herself in marriage. Vows made by a daughter, while under age, could be annulled by the father (Numbers 30:3-5) or by the husband (Numbers 30:6-16). Whenever civil law made a concession to the customs of surrounding nations, as in granting the father power to sell a daughter into bondage, it sought to surround her with all possible protection (Deuteronomy 22:16).
The Mosaic Law prescribed that the father's estate, in case there were no sons, should pass to the daughters (Numbers 27:1-8). They were not permitted, however, to alienate the family inheritance by marrying outside their own tribe (Numbers 36:6-9). Such alien marriages were permissible only when the husband took the wife's family name (Nehemiah 7:63). Unmarried daughters, not provided for in the father's will, were to be cared for by the eldest son (Genesis 31:14, 15). The bride's dowry, at marriage, was intended as a substitute for her share in the family estate. In rabbinical law, a century or more before Christ, it took the form of a settlement upon the wife and was considered obligatory. Provision for woman under the ancient Mosaic Law was not inferior to her status under English law regarding landed estates.
5. Domestic Duties:
Among the Hebrews, woman administered the affairs of the home with a liberty and leadership unknown to other oriental peoples. Her domestic duties were more independent, varied and honorable. She was not the slave or menial of her husband. Her outdoor occupations were congenial, healthful, extensive. She often tended the flocks (Genesis 29:6 Exodus 2:16); spun the wool, and made the clothing of the family (Exodus 35:26 Proverbs 31:19 1 Samuel 2:19); contributed by her weaving and needlework to its income and support (Proverbs 31:14, 24), and to charity (Acts 9:39). Women ground the grain (Matthew 24:41); prepared the meals (Genesis 18:6 2 Samuel 13:8 John 12:2); invited and received guests (Judges 4:18 1 Samuel 25:18 2 Kings 4:8-10); drew water for household use (1 Samuel 9:11 John 4:7), for guests and even for their camels (Genesis 24:15-20). Hebrew women enjoyed a freedom that corresponds favorably with the larger liberties granted them in the Christian era.
6. Dress and Ornaments:
That women were fond of decorations and display in ancient as in modern times is clear from the reproof administered by the prophet for their haughtiness and excessive ornamentation (Isaiah 3:16). He bids them "remove (the) veil, strip off the train," that they may be better able to "grind meal" and attend to the other womanly duties of the home (Isaiah 47:2). These prophetic reproofs do not necessarily indicate general conditions, but exceptional tendencies to extravagance and excess. The ordinary dress of women was modest and simple, consisting of loose flowing robes, similar to those worn by men, and still in vogue among Orientals, chiefly the mantle, shawl and veil (Ruth 3:15 Isaiah 3:22, 23). The veil, however, was not worn for seclusion, as among the Moslems. The extensive wardrobe and jewelry of Hebrew women is suggested by the catalogue given in Isaiah 3:18-24: anklets, cauls, crescents, pendants, bracelets, mufflers, headtires, ankle chains, sashes, perfume-boxes, amulets, rings, nose-jewels, festival robes, mantles, shawls, satchels, hand-mirrors, fine linen, turbans, veils. The elaborateness of this ornamentation throws light on the apostle Peter's counsel to Christian women not to make their adornment external, e.g. the braiding of the hair, the wearing of jewels of gold, the putting on of showy apparel, but rather the apparel of a meek and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:3, 4).
7. Religious Devotion and Service:
The reflections cast upon woman for her leadership in the first transgression (Genesis 3:6, 13, 16 2 Corinthians 11:3 1 Timothy 2:14) do not indicate her rightful and subsequent place in the religious life of mankind. As wife, mother, sister, she has been preeminently devout and spiritual. history records, however, sad and striking exceptions to this rule.
(1) In Idolatry and False Religion
Often woman's religious intensity found expression in idolatry and the gross cults of heathenism. That she everywhere participated freely in the religious rites and customs of her people is evident from the fact that women were often priestesses, and were often deified. The other Semitic religions had female deities corresponding to the goddesses of Greece and Rome. In the cult of Ishtar of Babylon, women were connected with the immoral rites of temple-worship. The women of heathen nations in the harem of Solomon (1 Kings 11:1) turned the heart of the wise king to unaccountable folly in the worship of the Sidonian goddess Ashtoreth, and of Chemosh and Molech, in turn the "abomination" of Moab and Ammon (1 Kings 11:5-8). The fatal speller Maacah morally blighted the reigns of her husband, son and grandson, until Asa the latter deposed her as queen and destroyed the obscene image of Asherah which she had set up (1 Kings 15:13). As "queen mother" (gebhirah, "leader") she was equivalent to the Turkish Sultana Valide.
Baal-worship was introduced into Israel by Jezebel (1 Kings 16:31, 32; 1 Kings 18:19 2 Kings 9:22), and into Judah by her daughter Athaliah (2 Chronicles 22:3; 2 Chronicles 24:7). The prominence of women in idolatry and in the abominations of foreign religions is indicated in the writings of the prophets (Jeremiah 7:18 Ezekiel 8:14). Their malign influence appeared in the sorceress and witch, condemned to death by the Mosaic Law (Exodus 22:18); yet continuing through the nation's entire history. Even kings consulted them (1 Samuel 28:7-14). The decline and overthrow of Judah and Israel must be attributed, in large measure, to the deleterious effect of wicked, worldly, idolatrous women upon their religious life.
(2) In Spiritual Religion
The bright side of Hebrew history is an inspiring contrast to this dark picture. Prior to the Christian era no more luminous names adorn the pages of history than those of the devout and eminent Hebrew women. Jochebed, the mother of Moses, left upon him a religious impress so vital and enduring as to safeguard him through youth and early manhood from the fascinating corruptions of Pharaoh's Egyptian court (Exodus 2:1-10 Hebrews 11:23-26). In Ruth, the converted Moabitess, the royal ancestress of David and of Jesus, we have an unrivaled example of filial piety, moral beauty and self-sacrificing religious devotion (Ruth 1:15-18). The prayers and piety of Hannah, taking effect in the spiritual power of her son Samuel, penetrated, purified and vitalized the religious life of the entire nation. Literature contains no finer tribute to the domestic virtues and spiritual qualities of woman than in the beautiful poem dedicated to his gifted mother by King Lemuel (Proverbs 31).
Women, as well as men, took upon themselves the self-renouncing vow of the Nazirite (Numbers 6:2), and shared in offering sacrifices, as in the vow and sacrifice of Manoah's wife (Judges 13:13, 14); were granted theophanies, e.g. Hagar (Genesis 16:7; Genesis 21:17), Sarah (Genesis 18:9, 10), Manoah's wife (Judges 13:3-5, 9); were even permitted to "minister" at the door of the sanctuary (Exodus 38:8 1 Samuel 2:22); rendered conspicuous service in national religious songs and dances (Exodus 15:20 Judges 11:34 1 Samuel 18:6, 7); in the great choirs and choruses and processionals of the Temple (Psalm 68:25 Ezra 2:65 Nehemiah 7:67); in religious mourning (Jeremiah 9:17-20 Mark 5:38). They shared equally with men in the great religious feasts, as is indicated by the law requiring their attendance (Deuteronomy 12:18).
III. Inter-Testamental Era.
The women portrayed in the apocryphal literature of the Jews reveal all the varied characteristics of their sex so conspicuous in Old Testament history: devout piety, ardent patriotism, poetic fervor, political intrigue, worldly ambition, and sometimes a strange combination of these contradictory moral qualities. Whether fictitious, or rounded on fact, or historical, these portrayals are true to the feminine life of that era.
Anna is a beautiful example of wifely devotion. By her faith and hard toil she supported her husband, Tobit, after the loss of his property and in his blindness, until sight and prosperity were both restored (Tobit 1:9; 2:1-14).
Edna, wife of Raguel of Ecbatana and mother of Sarah, made her maternal love and piety conspicuous in the blessing bestowed on Tobias on the occasion of his marriage to her daughter, who had hitherto been cursed on the night of wedlock by the death of seven successive husbands (Tobit 7; 10:12).
Sarah, innocent of their death, which had been compassed by the evil spirit Asmodeus, at last had the reward of her faith in the joys of a happy marriage (Tobit 10:10; 14:13).
Judith, a rich young widow, celebrated in Hebrew lore as the savior of her nation, was devoutly and ardently patriotic. When Nebuchadnezzar sent his general Holofernes with an army of 132,000 men to subjugate the Jews, she felt called of God to be their deliverer. Visiting holofernes, she so captivated him with her beauty and gifts that he made a banquet in her honor. While he was excessively drunk with the wine of his own bounty, she beheaded him in his tent. The Assyrians, paralyzed by the loss of their leader, easily fell a prey to the armies of Israel. Judith celebrates her triumph in a song, akin in its triumphant joy, patriotic fervor and religious zeal, to the ancient songs of Miriam and Deborah (Judith 16:1-17).
Susanna typifies the ideal of womanly virtue. The daughter of righteous parents, well instructed in the sacred Law, the wife of a rich and honorable man, Joachim by name, she was richly blessed in position and person. Exceptionally modest, devout and withal very beautiful, she attracted the notice of two elders, who were also judges, and who took occasion frequently to visit Joachim's house. She spurned their advances and when falsely charged by them with the sin which she so successfully resisted, she escapes the judgment brought against her, by the subtle skill of Daniel. As a result, his fame and her innocence became widely known.
See SUSANNA, THE HISTORY OF.
Cleopatra, full of inherited intrigue, is influential in the counsels of kings. She married successively for political power; murdered her eldest son Seleucus, by Demetrius, and at last dies by the poison which she intended for her younger son, Antiochus VIII. Her fatal influence is a striking example of the perverted use of woman's power (1 Maccabees 10:58; Josephus, Ant, XIII, iv, 1; ix, 3).
IV. In New Testament Times.
1. Mary and Elisabeth:
A new era dawned for woman with the advent of Christianity. The honor conferred upon Mary, as mother of Jesus, lifted her from her "low estate," made after generations call her blessed (Luke 1:48), and carried its benediction to the women of all subsequent times. Luke's narrative of the tivity (Luke 1; Luke 2) has thrown about motherhood the halo of a new sanctity, given mankind a more exalted conception of woman's character and mission, and made the world's literature the vehicle of the same lofty reverence and regard. The two dispensations were brought together in the persons of Elisabeth and Mary: the former the mother of John the Baptist, the last of the old order of prophets; the latter the mother of the long-expected Messiah. Both are illustrious examples of Spirit-guided and Spirit-filled womanhood. The story of Mary's intellectual gifts, spiritual exaltation, purity and beauty of character, and her training of her divine child, has been an inestimable contribution to woman's world-wide emancipation, and to the uplift and ennoblement of family life. To her poetic inspiration, spiritual fervor and exalted thankfulness as expectant mother of the Messiah, the church universal is indebted for its earliest and most majestic hymn, the Magnificat. In her the religious teachings, prophetic hopes, and noblest ideals of her race were epitomized. Jesus' reverence for woman and the new respect for her begotten by his teaching were well grounded, on their human side, in the qualities of his own mother. The fact that he himself was born of woman has been cited to her praise in the ecumenical creeds of Christendom.
2. Jesus and Women:
From the first, women were responsive to his teachings and devoted to his person. The sisters of Lazarus, Mary and Martha, made their home at Bethany, his dearest earthly refuge and resting-place. Women of all ranks in society found in him a benefactor and friend, before unknown in all the history of their sex. They accompanied him, with the Twelve, in his preaching tours from city to city, some, like Mary Magdalene, grateful because healed of their moral infirmities (Luke 8:2); others, like Joanna the wife of Chuzas, and Susanna, to minister to his needs (Luke 8:3). Even those who were ostracized by society were recognized by him, on the basis of immortal values, and restored to a womanhood of virtue and Christian devotion (Luke 7:37-50). Mothers had occasion to rejoice in his blessing their children (Mark 10:13-16); and in his raising their dead (Luke 7:12-15). Women followed him on his last journey from Galilee to Jerusalem; ministered to Him on the way to Calvary (Matthew 27:55, 56); witnessed his crucifixion (Luke 23:49); accompanied his body to the sepulcher (Matthew 27:61 Luke 23:55); prepared spices and ointments for his burial (Luke 23:56); were first at the tomb on the morning of his resurrection (Matthew 28:1 Mark 16:1 Luke 24:1 John 20:1); and were the first to whom the risen Lord appeared (Matthew 28:9 Mark 16:9 John 20:14). Among those thus faithful and favored were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, Salome (Matthew 27:56), Joanna and other unnamed women (Luke 24:10). Women had the honor of being the first to announce the fact of the resurrection to the chosen disciples (Luke 24:9, 10, 22). They, including the mother of Jesus, were among the 120 who continued in prayer in the upper room and received the Pentecostal enduement (Acts 1:14); they were among the first Christian converts (Acts 8:12); suffered equally with men in the early persecutions of the church (Acts 9:2). The Jewish enemies of the new faith sought their aid and influence in the persecutions raised against Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:50); while women of equal rank among the Greeks became ardent and intelligent believers (Acts 17:12). The fidelity of women to Jesus during his three years' ministry, and at the cross and sepulcher, typifies their spiritual devotion in the activities and enterprises of the church of the 20th century.
3. In the Early Church:
Women were prominent, from the first, in the activities of the early church. Their faith and prayers helped to make Pentecost possible (Acts 1:14).
Read Complete Article...
See CUSHITE WOMAN.
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Was "taken out of man" (Genesis 2:23
), and therefore the man has the preeminence. "The head of the woman is the man;" but yet honour is to be shown to the wife, "as unto the weaker vessel" (1 Corinthians 11:3
, 8, 9; 1 Peter 3:7
). Several women are mentioned in Scripture as having been endowed with prophetic gifts, as Miriam (Exodus 15:20
), Deborah (Judges 4:4
, 5), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14
), Noadiah (Nehemiah 6:14
), Anna (Luke 2:36
, 37), and the daughters of Philip the evangelist (Acts 21:8
, 9). Women are forbidden to teach publicly (1 Corinthians 14:34
, 35; 1 Timothy 2:11
, 12). Among the Hebrews it devolved upon women to prepare the meals for the household (Genesis 18:6
; 2 Samuel 13:8
), to attend to the work of spinning (Exodus 35:26
; Proverbs 31:19
), and making clothes (1 Samuel 2:19
; Proverbs 31:21
), to bring water from the well (Genesis 24:15
; 1 Samuel 9:11
), and to care for the flocks (Genesis 29:6
; Exodus 2:16
The word "woman," as used in Matthew 15:28, John 2:4 and 20:13, 15, implies tenderness and courtesy and not disrespect. Only where revelation is known has woman her due place of honour assigned to her.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
) An adult female person; a grown-up female person, as distinguished from a man or a child; sometimes, any female person.
2. (n.) The female part of the human race; womankind.
3. (n.) A female attendant or servant.
4. (v. t.) To act the part of a woman in; -- with indefinite it.
5. (v. t.) To make effeminate or womanish.
6. (v. t.) To furnish with, or unite to, a woman.
Strong's Hebrew802. ishshah -- woman, wife, female...
<< 801, 802. ishshah. 803 >>. woman
, wife, female. Transliteration: ishshah
Phonetic Spelling: (ish-shaw') Short Definition: wife. Word ... /hebrew/802.htm - 6k
1340. Bath-shua -- perhaps "daughter of opulence," an Israelite ...
... perhaps "daughter of opulence," an Israelite woman, also a Canaanite woman.
Transliteration: Bath-shua Phonetic Spelling: (bath-shoo'-ah) Short Definition: ...
/hebrew/1340.htm - 6k
2454. chokmoth -- wisdom, every wise woman
... chokmoth. 2455 >>. wisdom, every wise woman. Transliteration: chokmoth Phonetic
Spelling: (khok-moth') Short Definition: wisdom. ... wisdom, every wise woman ...
/hebrew/2454.htm - 5k
2332. Chavvah -- "life," the first woman
... << 2331b, 2332. Chavvah. 2333 >>. "life," the first woman. Transliteration:
Chavvah Phonetic Spelling: (khav-vaw') Short Definition: Eve. ...
/hebrew/2332.htm - 6k
672. Ephrath -- an Israelite woman, also the name of several ...
... an Israelite woman, also the name of several places in Palestine. Transliteration:
Ephrath or Ephrathah Phonetic Spelling: (ef-rawth') Short Definition: Ephrath ...
/hebrew/672.htm - 6k
3571. Kushith -- a Cushite woman
... << 3570, 3571. Kushith. 3572 >>. a Cushite woman. Transliteration: Kushith Phonetic
Spelling: (koo-sheeth') Short Definition: Cushite. ... a Cushite woman. ...
/hebrew/3571.htm - 6k
1332. Bithyah -- "daughter (ie worshiper) of Yah," an Eg. woman
... woman. Transliteration: Bithyah Phonetic Spelling: (bith-yaw') Short Definition:
Bithia. ... woman NASB Word Usage Bithia (1). Bithiah. ...
/hebrew/1332.htm - 6k
1199. Baara -- an Israelite woman
... Baara. 1200 >>. an Israelite woman. Transliteration: Baara Phonetic Spelling:
(bah-ar-aw') Short Definition: Baara. ... woman NASB Word Usage Baara (1). Baara. ...
/hebrew/1199.htm - 6k
6870. Tseruyah -- an Israelite woman
... Tseruyah. 6871 >>. an Israelite woman. Transliteration: Tseruyah Phonetic Spelling:
(tser-oo-yaw') Short Definition: Zeruiah. ... woman NASB Word Usage Zeruiah (26). ...
/hebrew/6870.htm - 6k
2321. Chodesh -- an Israelite woman
... Chodesh. 2322 >>. an Israelite woman. Transliteration: Chodesh Phonetic Spelling:
(kho'-desh) Short Definition: Hodesh. ... woman NASB Word Usage Hodesh (1). Hodesh. ...
/hebrew/2321.htm - 6k