These women in the bible who made a difference impacted not only the nation of Israel but also eternal history. Some were queens, but most were humble and simple women who went unnoticed in a time of machismo and a retrograde culture.
They all played a key role in the spectacular biblical story. Each woman brought her unique character to influence the world, and for this, we still remember them centuries later.
1. Eve: first woman created by God
Topping this list of women in the bible who made a difference, there could be no other than Eve. Eve was the first woman, created by God to be the companion and helper of Adam, the first man. Everything was perfect in the Garden of Eden, but when Eve believed Satan’s lies, she influenced Adam to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, breaking God’s command.
Adam, however, also took responsibility because he had heard the command himself, directly from God. Eva’s lesson was expensive. God can be trusted, but Satan cannot. Every time we choose our own selfish desires over God’s, bad consequences will follow.
02. Sarah: mother of the Jewish nation
Sarah received an extraordinary honor from God. As Abraham’s wife, her offspring became the nation of Israel, which produced Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. But her impatience led her to influence Abraham to father a child with Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian slave, starting a conflict that continues today.
Finally, at age 90, Sarah gave birth to Isaac, through a miracle of God. This woman loved and nurtured Isaac, helping him become a great leader. From Sarah, we learn that God’s promises always come true, and her timing is always the best.
3. Rebekah: Isaac’s intervening wife
Rebekah was sterile, as her mother-in-law Sarah had been for many years. This woman married Isaac but was unable to give birth until Isaac prayed for her. When she gave birth to twins, Rebekah favored Jacob, the youngest, over Esau, the firstborn.
Through an elaborate trick, he helped influence the dying Isaac to give his blessing to Jacob instead of Esau. Like Sarah, his action led to division. Although she was a loyal wife and a loving mother, her favoritism created problems. Fortunately, God can take our mistakes and cause good to come from them.
04. Rachel: Jacob’s wife and Joseph’s mother
Rachel became Jacob’s wife, but only after her father Laban had tricked Jacob into marrying Rachel’s sister Leah first. Jacob favored Rachel because she was prettier. Rachel and Leah followed Sarah’s pattern, giving Jacob concubines.
In all, the four women had twelve boys and one girl. The sons became heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. Rachel’s son, Joseph had the greatest influence, saving Israel during a famine. The tribe of his youngest son, Benjamin, produced the Apostle Paul, the greatest missionary of old. The love between Rachel and Jacob serves as an example to married couples of God’s abiding blessings.
5. Read: Jacob’s wife through deception
Leah became the wife of the patriarch Jacob through a disgraceful trick. Jacob had worked seven years to win over Leah’s younger sister, Rachel. On the wedding night, her father Laban replaced Leah. Jacob discovered the deception the next morning. Jacob had to work 7 more years to have Rachel.
This woman, Lea, is part of this list of women in the bible who made a difference because she led a heartbreaking life trying to win Jacob’s love, but God gave this woman special thanks. His son Judah led the tribe that produced Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Leah is a symbol for people trying to earn God’s love, which is unconditional and free.
6. Jochebed: Mother of Moses
Jochebed, the mother of Moses, influenced history by giving what she treasured most to God’s will. When the Egyptians began killing the baby boys of Hebrew slaves, Jochebed put baby Moses in a waterproof basket and left him adrift in the Nile River.
Pharaoh’s daughter found him and adopted him as her own son. God arranged everything so that Jochebed could be the baby’s nurse.
Although Moses was raised Egyptian, God chose him to lead his people to freedom. Jochebed’s faith saved Moses to become the great prophet and lawgiver of Israel.
7. Deborah: influential judge
Another of the most influential women in the bible was Deborah. This woman played a unique role in the history of Israel. She served as the only judge in a lawless period before the country got its first king. In this male-dominated culture, he enlisted the help of a powerful warrior named Barak to defeat the oppressive General Sisera.
Deborah’s wisdom and faith in God inspired the people. Sisera was defeated and, ironically, killed by another woman, who drove a stake through her head while she slept. Finally, the king of Sisera was also destroyed. Thanks to Deborah’s leadership, Israel enjoyed peace for 40 years.
8. Ruth: virtuous ancestor of Jesus
Ruth is one of the most named when it comes to the women in the bible who made a difference. She was a virtuous young widow, so upright in character that her love story is one of the favorite stories in the entire Bible. When her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi, returned to Israel from Moab after a famine, Ruth stayed with her.
Ruth vowed to follow Naomi and worship her God. Boaz, a kind landowner, exercised his right as a redeeming relative, married Ruth, and rescued both women from poverty. According to Matthew, Ruth was an ancestor of King David, whose descendant was Jesus Christ.
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9. Bathsheba: Mother of Solomon
Bathsheba had an adulterous affair with King David, and with God’s help, she turned it into a good thing. David slept with Bathsheba when her husband Uriah went off to war. When David learned that Bathsheba was pregnant, he arranged for her husband to be killed in battle.
Nathan the prophet confronted David, forcing him to confess his sin. Although the baby died, Bathsheba later gave birth to Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived. Bathsheba became a loving mother to Solomon and a loyal wife to David, showing that God can restore sinners who return to him.
10. Jezebel: vengeful queen of Israel
Jezebel has earned such a reputation for the evil that even today her name is used to describe a deceptive woman. As the wife of King Ahab, she persecuted God’s prophets, especially Elijah. His Baal worship and murderous schemes brought him divine wrath.
When God raised up a man named Jehu to destroy idolatry, Jezebel’s eunuchs threw her off a balcony, where she was trampled on by Jehu’s horse. Just as Elijah had predicted, his corpse was eaten by dogs. Jezebel misused her power, innocent people suffered, but God heard her prayers.
11. Esther: Influential Persian Queen
Esther saved the Jewish people from destruction, protecting the line of the future Savior, Jesus Christ. She was selected in a beauty contest, to become queen of the Persian king Xerxes. However, an evil court official, Haman, conspired to murder all Jews. Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, convinced her to approach the king and tell him the truth.
Things changed quickly when Haman was hanged on the gallows destined for Mordecai. The royal order was overturned, and Mordecai won Haman’s job.
Esther came out with courage, proving that God can save his people even when the odds seem impossible, making her one of the most outstanding women in the bible who made a difference.
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12. Mary: obedient mother of Jesus
When it comes to women in the bible who made a difference, Mary cannot be absent either. This woman was a moving example of total surrender to God’s will. An angel told her that she would become the mother of the Savior, through the Holy Spirit. Despite the potential embarrassment, she submitted and gave birth to Jesus.
She and Joseph were married, serving as parents of the Son of God. During her life, Mary suffered a lot, even seeing her son crucified on Calvary. But she also saw him risen from the dead. Mary is revered as a loving influence on Jesus, a devoted servant who honored God by saying “yes.”
13. Elizabeth: mother of John the Baptist
Elizabeth, a barren woman in the Bible, was singled out by God for a special honor. When God caused her to conceive at an old age, her son grew up to become John the Baptist, the powerful prophet who announced the coming of the Messiah.
Elizabeth’s story is very similar to Hannah’s, her faith is so strong. Through her firm belief in the goodness of God, she was able to play a role in God’s plan of salvation. Elizabeth teaches us that God can get into a desperate situation and change it in an instant.
14. Mary Magdalene: an unshakable disciple of Jesus
When you’ve heard of the women of the bible who made a difference, you’ve probably also heard of Mary Magdalene. A woman who remained faithful to Jesus even after his death.
Jesus had cast seven demons out of her, earning her love for life. Over the centuries, many unfounded stories have been made up about Mary Magdalene, from the rumor that she was a prostitute to that she was the wife of Jesus.
Only what the bible says about her is true. Mary stayed with Jesus during his crucifixion when all but the apostle John fled. She went to his grave to anoint his body. Jesus loved Mary Magdalene so much that she was the first person to appear after she rose from the dead.
All of these were women in the bible who made a difference not only then, but also today. But there was one very remarkable thing in all the stories of these women, and it was the intervention of God at all times. One of the most important teachings they transmitted to us was that with God we can achieve everything, and that disobedience can have serious consequences.