Content type

Zillah: Bible

The unusual appearance of Zillah and two associated females in the male genealogies of Genesis 1–10 may be linked to the special role of the children of Zillah and of her co-wife.

Women with Hand-Drums, Dancing: Bible

The scene of Miriam with her chorus of women drummers and dancers is echoed in several other instances in which song, dance, and drums appear in connection with women musicians.

Women of Solomon: Bible

Solomon, third king of Israel (reigned c. 968–928 b.c.e.), is said to have had a harem that included seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines (1 Kgs 11:3).

Woman Wisdom: Bible

Notable in Proverbs and the Wisdom of Solomon (and to a lesser degree in Job and Sirach) is the personification of the concept of wisdom as a woman (here referred to as Woman Wisdom to distinguish the personified figure from the more general use of the term).

Wise Woman of Tekoa: Bible

Tekoa—a Judean hill country village ten miles south of Jerusalem—was home to one of two women designated as “wise,” both appearing in 2 Samuel.

Wise Woman of Abel Beth-Maacah: Bible

The second of two “wise women” portrayed in 2 Samuel lived in a fortified city in northern Israel. More straightforwardly than the story of the wise woman of Tekoa (2 Samuel 14), this narrative depicts what must have been typical leadership activities of a woman in this accepted position against the larger political tensions of David’s reign.

Wife of Job: Apocrypha

In the Biblical narrative, the role played by Job’s wife is limited to a short and penetrating conversation with her husband. The apocryphal Divrei Iyov, however, devotes a great deal of attention to this character.

Wife of Job: Bible

In the well-known biblical story dealing with the problem of undeserved suffering, Job loses his children, his possessions, and his health. Job’s nameless wife turns up after the final blow, after Job has been struck with boils. The attention to Job’s suffering usually ignores the fact that she too, after all, is a victim of these divine tests in addition to being pained by exposure to his afflictions (19:17).

Wife of Job: Midrash and Aggadah

Job 2:9 relates that after all the disasters that befell Job and his family, his wife tells him that he should curse God for all that had happened to them. His wife’s counsel, which perhaps manifested her feelings of pity and compassion, only increases Job’s anguish at this nadir in his life, and makes it difficult for him to withstand this test. The wife is the subject of a moral critique by the A type of non-halakhic literary activitiy of the Rabbis for interpreting non-legal material according to special principles of interpretation (hermeneutical rules).midrash for the counsel that she gave her husband.

Wife of Lot: Bible

When the large cities of the plain of Jordan are destroyed because of their people’s lack of discernment of good and bad, Lot’s wife looks back and turns into a pillar of salt.

Widow of Zarephath: Bible

Narratives about the ninth-century b.c.e. prophet Elijah are found in 1 Kings 17–19 and 21 and in 2 Kings 1–2. Like his successor, Elisha, he is depicted as having many of the attributes of Israel’s later prophetic figures, One of these characteristics—concern for the oppressed and socially marginalized—is revealed in the story of the widow of Zarephath.

Widow of Zarephath: Midrash and Aggadah

The A type of non-halakhic literary activitiy of the Rabbis for interpreting non-legal material according to special principles of interpretation (hermeneutical rules).midrash explains why Elijah stopped the rains and how it happened that he was commanded to go to the home of the woman in Zarephath.

Two Prostitutes: Bible

Immediately after he requests that God grant him “an understanding mind to govern your people” (1 Kgs 3:9), King Solomon (reigned c. 968–928 b.c.e.) is confronted by two prostitutes and their enigmatic case.

Timna, concubine of Eliphaz: Midrash and Aggadah

Timna was the sister of Lotan, one of Esau’s chiefs, and therefore the daughter of royalty. The Rabbis relate that she sought to convert and join Abraham’s household.

Susanna: Apocrypha

Although readers will respond to and remember most vividly Susanna and her predicament, the story’s conclusion emphasizes Daniel’s emergence as a young figure of wisdom. Susanna presents a further challenge to contemporary readers. On the one hand, Susanna’s resistance to rape and adherence to the Mosaic law is laudable. On the other hand, Susanna’s understanding of her dilemma unfortunately supports the problematic notion that victims are somehow themselves guilty.

Sotah, Tractate

The Mishnaic Tractate Sotah, which appears in the Order of Women (Nashim), between Tractates Nazir and Gittin, deals mainly with the trial by ordeal undergone in the Temple by a sotah, a woman whose husband suspected her of adultery.


Sotah (beginning in Talmudic literature) is the term for a woman suspected of adultery, who must undergo an ordeal that will establish her guilt or innocence.

Shunammite: Bible

The “great woman of Shunem” appears twice in the narratives about the ninth-century b.c.e. prophet Elisha. Her title suggests wealth, but also, as the story unfolds, independence of mind and faith.

Shua's daughter: Midrash and Aggadah

The Rabbis viewed Judah’s marriage to the daughter of Shua as a decline, which Gen. 38:1 records: “Judah left [va-yered, literally, went down from] his brothers.” He married the daughter of an idolater, and thereby betrayed the way of Israel (= Jacob), who had been careful not to marry the daughters of the land (Tanhuma [ed. Buber], Vayeshev 9).

Shelomith 1: Bible

Daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan and wife of an Egyptian, Shelomith is the only woman mentioned by name in the Book of Leviticus. She appears in the narrative about her son, a man who pronounces the name of God in blasphemy during a fight with another Israelite man.

Shelomith 1: Midrash and Aggadah

The Rabbis maintain that the phenomenon during the Egyptian servitude of Israelite women being married to Egyptians was rare, and the specific mention of the forging of such a bond with Shelomith teaches how exceptional this instance was.

Shelomith 2: Bible

Shelomith was the daughter of Zerubbabel, a governor (c. 520–510 b.c.e.) of the postexilic province of Yehud. She is the only woman mentioned among the descendants of David in 1 Chronicles.

Serah, daughter of Asher: Midrash and Aggadah

There are a plethora of midrashic traditions about Serah daughter of Asher, and thus the faceless Biblical character becomes a fascinating personality. Her history is intertwined with the story of the migration to Egypt and enslavement, and also with redemption and the return to Erez Israel.

Samaritan Sect

The status of Samaritan women today seems to be dominated by four factors: the dearth of women in the community, the desire of the community to avoid diluting its traditions, genetic problems deriving from inbreeding, and the rules pertaining to ritual purity.

Rizpah: Bible

The daughter of Aiah, Rizpah is the concubine of Saul, the first king of Israel (reigned c. 1025–1005 b.c.e.).

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