Questions & Answers – Women in the Bible

Female Judge in the Old Testament?

How could Deborah be a judge? I thought women were not allowed to have this position.

Non-Israelite Chosen by God

Why was Jael chosen to kill Sisera when she was not an Israelite? Who told her to kill Sisera?

Hospitality in Old Testament

I've been reading about the women in the book of Judges, and I have a question about Jael. I know that the killing of Sisera was a noble act, and probably even in accordance with God's plan. But does this fit with the idea of extending hospitality to strangers in the ancient world? She essentially offered hospitality and then killed her guest.

Syrophoenician Woman

In the story of the Syrophoenician woman, Jesus states, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." (Mark 7:24ff) I've heard people interpret this in several ways. What is your take on it?

Rape of Dinah

In the story of Dinah (Gen 34), Simeon and Levi slaughter an entire city because Shechem, the prince of the city, ostensibly raped their sister, Dinah. On his deathbed, Jacob rebuked his sons for this act. But in the book of Judith, the heroine lauds their actions. How can we reconcile these two views?


At the end of the story of Ruth, it appears that Naomi owns some land that Boaz is willing to sell for her. If she had this land all along, why didn't she sell it earlier and save herself a lot of trouble?

Mary Magdalene and Seven Demons

King James Version Mark 16:9 "...he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils." In J.B. Phillips the interpretation of the seven devils are seven evil spirits. Is there any record of or conjecture as to what these seven devils might be?

Rahab, the Harlot

Would you please tell me more about Rahab, the woman, who helps Joshua conquer Jericho?


What do we know about Hagar?


Rachel is willing to let Leah sleep with Jacob if she'll give her the mandrakes Reuben brings in from the field. The mandrakes must have been awfully important to Rachel. Why the fuss about the mandrakes?

The Woman Who Anointed Jesus

In Luke7:36-50, Luke mentions the account of a woman who washed Jesus feet while he was a dinner guest at the home of Simon the Pharisee. What more do we know about this woman? What is the context of the scene? What kind of oil might she have had in her box? What did she do after this?