Nameless Women of the Bible

by Lois Donahue

The last time we came together I gave you my attempted listing of women whose names appear in the Bible. Now it seems only fair that I should make a similar attempt on behalf of the ‘unnamed’ women of Scripture. While last month I listed the women alphabetically, that is obviously impossible this time — so, in line with what seems to have become, for better or worse, ‘trendy’ I will divide them into groups.

The first group is primarily made up of specific, in spite of being nameless, women with whom we are more apt to be familiar plus a few I thought might interest you. They are —


1. Cain’s wife and mother of Enoch. (Gen 4:17

2. Noah’s wife and daughters-in-law who joined him in the Ark. (Gn 7:7)

3. Lot’s wife whose curiosity overcame her obedience and she was turned into a pillar of salt. (Gn 19:15-26) (His two daughters, also mentioned, apparently left Sodom safely.)

4. Potiphar’s wife who tried to seduce Joseph and had him thrown in jail. (Gn 39:7-20)

5. Pharaoh’s daughter who found Moses, adopted and raised him. (Ex 2:1-10)

6. Woman who dropped a millstone on the head of an evil King and caused his death. (Jdgs 9:53-54 2 S 11:21)

7. Mother of the daughter whom Jephthah intentionally sacrificed because of a vow he had made. (Jdgs 11:30-40)

8. Wife of Manoah, mother of Samson. (Jdgs 13:2-24)

9. Samson’s Philistine wife. (Jdgs 14:2,8,15-17,20 !5:1-2,6)

10. The “medium” whom Saul consulted when he felt abandoned. (1 S 28:7-14)

11. A housewife who saved the lives of Ahimaaz and Jonathan by hiding them. (2 S 17:20)

12. Wise woman who saved her city by negotiating with attackers. (2 S 20:16-22)

13. Two “harlots” who each claimed to be the mother of the same child – the wisdom of Solomon discovered the real mother. (1 K 3:16-27)

14. The Queen of Sheba who had a mutual admiration relationship with Solomon. (1 K 10:1-13 2 Ch 9:1-9)

15. Mother of a son who died because of sins committed by his father. (1 K 14:1-17)

16. Poor widow who, thanks to Elisha, was miraculously saved from debt. (2 K 4:1-7)

17. Woman of influence who, with her husband, provided a place for Elisha to stay and whose son was brought back to life. (2 K 4:8-37)

18. Daughters of Job who were killed when a house collapsed. (Job 1:18-19)

19. Job’s wife who said to him: “Are you still holding to your innocence? Curse God and die.” (Job 2:9-10)

(From the New Testament)