How Well Do You Know the Women of the Old Testament?

Zoe Samuel

Image: PNN News and Ministry Network (www.ppsimmons.com)

About This Quiz

The Old Testament is full of colorful characters, and while it is heavily skewed toward giving us more information about the men than their counterparts, it does have some pretty badass ladies in it. There are women who overturn unjust inheritance laws to claim their equal share. There are women who take and hold thrones of mighty kingdoms, and who demand equal treatment from fellow rulers. There are women of integrity who refuse to allow poverty or even being a refugee to be grounds for compromising what they believe in. They're not all working with the good guys, though - there are also idolaters, evil prophets, con women, thieves, tricksters and all manner of female villains.

How well do you remember these women? Sure, you probably read some Bible stories as a child and you might have even attended church or Sunday school. Still, we all know that as kids, we spent most of that time passing notes to our friends and generally doing anything but actually listening. If we know the Bible well, it's probably because we chose to familiarize ourselves later on. So let's see whether you've done a good job getting good and knowledgeable about the Good Book!

Who is the wife of Boaz?

Ruth has her own book because she is a heroic figure who doesn't let being poor get in the way of pursuing her goals. She is known for her loyalty and integrity.

From which tree in Eden did Eve actually eat?

There are two trees in Eden - Knowledge and Life. Eve ate from the former which gives knowledge of good and evil, not from the latter which would give immortality.

How did Abigail help out David before he became king?

David was mad at Abigail's first husband Nabal, who had short-changed him. Abigail made him stop short of doing something rash while he was in a weak position fleeing from Saul.

Who was the second wife of Jacob?

Jacob worked seven years to earn the hand of Rachael, but her father tricked him into giving him his other daughter Leah instead, who was veiled. Jacob had to work another seven years to get Rachael's hand. This is the origin of a Jewish tradition whereby the groom must see the bride before the wedding and veil her himself - partly it symbolizes love and protection, but partly it's so he can check it's the right woman!

Which queen visited Solomon bearing gifts?

Sheba was probably in modern day Yemen and/or Ethiopia, on either side of the Red Sea. It was a powerful and prosperous land whose queen wanted to meet Solomon, whose wisdom and wealth she had heard about. They exchanged gifts and in some versions of the story, they had a child.

To whom was Bathsheba married before David?

David loved Bathsheba but she was married, so she left her husband for him. This was very taboo and the Biblical narrative frowns on it. However, their love produced their wise son Solomon, so it wasn't a sad story in the end.

Which is the only woman whose age is mentioned in the Bible?

The Bible says Sarah, wife of Abraham, lived to 127!

Who was the mother of the prophet Samuel?

She promised God that if she bore a child she would dedicate that child to the Lord.

Who is the parent of Ezekiel, the major prophet?

It's not clear if Buzi is a male or female parent, but it's believed she may be Ezekiel's mother. She is a Zadokite, probably from a priestly family.

Who is the wicked wife of Ahab?

Jezebel is famous for being very wicked. She was a Phoenician princess who married Ahab and introduced idolatry and sin to the kingdom.

Who was the wife of Jehoram, king of Judah?

As the daughter of Jezebel and Ahab, Athaliah was very wicked and corrupt!

Who is the only female judge of Israel?

Deborah was a great leader and a judge of Israel during the period of judges.

What was Joab planning to do to Abel-Bethmaach before a wise woman persuaded him not to?

Joab was a nephew of King David and had a vengeful streak. The wise woman of Abel-Bethmaach persuaded him to not destroy the whole city to punish one man.

How many wives did Solomon have?

Supposedly he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Still, it's likely this is authorial exaggeration.

Where did Ruth come from?

Ruth was a Moabite by birth but she adopted the people of her mother-in-law Naomi.

Who was the concubine of Abraham and mother of Ishmael?

Hagar was Sarah's handmaid meaning a servant and companion. Sarah was not fertile so Hagar and Abraham bore a child together. Fortunately Sarah was later fertile and so Abraham ended up with two sons.

Who was the first wife of the king Ahasueros?

Vashti was set aside when she refused to go along with Ahasueros' unreasonable demands, which he made thanks to his evil adviser Haman. Esther, the new wife, was an Israelite woman who was a little cleverer at manipulating her rather easily bamboozled husband.

What is Rachel's relationship to Bilhah, the mother of Dan and Naphtali?

Bilhah and Rachael's story is not the origin of the idea of a handmaid as proxy childbearer - that dubious honor belongs to Hagar and Sarah. A handmaid was a sort of servant and companion.

How did Achsah, daughter of Caleb, make sure her dowry was adequate?

Achsah was a great example of early leaning in. She was given land, but she knew it was worthless without water and so asked for - and received - more than one spring.

Who was the wife of the minor prophet Hosea?

Pretty much the only thing we know about Gomer is that she was either very promiscuous or a prostitute - but Hosea married her anyway and didn't have an issue with it.

What was the achievement of Hoglah, daughter of Zelophehad?

Inheritance laws excluded all girls, so the daughters of Zelophehad teamed up to defy the law and got it changed.

What was the relationship of Jemima to Job?

Jemima was a daughter of Job from his second family - the one he got after his first family were killed by Satan in an effort to prove that suffering would cause Job's faith to wobble.

Who was Abraham's wife after Sarah?

After Sarah's passing, Abraham married Keturah.

Who was the beloved wife of Rehoboam, son of Solomon?

Maacah was Rehoboam's wife and he loved her very much. Unfortunately he was not a very good king - but at least he was a decent husband!

Who was the sister of Moses and Aaron, who helped them bring about the Exodus?

Miriam is one of the heroes of the Exodus who helped keep up pressure on Pharaoh to let her people go and also organized the flight from Egypt.

How did God reward the Shunammite woman who showed hospitality to the prophet Elisha?

Her husband wanted to give Elisha a meal but the Shunammite woman insisted that they follow all the rules of hospitality.

What was the role of Rahab in the battle of Jericho?

Without Rahab, the wandering Hebrews might very well not have been able to enter the Promised Land to which they were returning following the Exodus. She was a sort of Trojan Horse for the good guys!

How did Shiphrah help save lives in Egypt?

Shiphrah was a midwife who lied to the Egyptians that the Hebrew women were giving birth quickly so she could not get there in time to kill the boys, as ordered by Pharaoh. This meant the boys could be hidden and their lives saved. This is one of the first recorded examples of civil disobedience. God rewarded Shiprah and other midwives like her with "houses" meaning not literal houses, but instead dynasties.

Why was the wife of Haman so evil?

Zeresh, the wife of Haman, was also a power-hungry and evil person who wanted to kill the Jews and also anyone who stood in her way.

What did Sheerah achieve?

Sheerah is mentioned in Chronicles where she founded Lower and Upper Beth-horon, and Uzzen-sheerah, which bore her name.

Who was the second wife of King David?

Ahinoam was David's wife and mother of the crown prince, though her son did not become king.

How did Judith help destroy the Assyrians?

Judith is from an apocryphal book. She helps deceive the evil Assyrian general Holofernes by promising him information on the Israelites then waits until he is drunk and cuts his head off, resulting in the Israelites winning the fight.

How did Jehosheba ensure the ascension of Jehoash?

Jehosheba was the aunt of the heir to the throne, Jehoash. When Athaliah ordered the massacre of all competing claimants on the throne, Jehosheba hid her infant nephew in the Temple for six years in order to save his life.

How did Manoah help her overly emotional husband?

Manoah was the mother of Samson. After the Lord appeared to her and her husband to tell them they would conceive a son after being infertile before, Manoah was able to reassure her husband, who thought that seeing the Lord would mean death: if God meant death, she said, they would have died. Fortunately she was able to calm her husband.

How did Moses meet his wife Zipporah?

Moses met Jethro when he was in the desert after leaving the palace having realized he was a Hebrew and being exiled.

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