What do we know about Bible women? Research conclusion #1:
Bible women, especially those who speak, are surprisingly bold.
Traditionally, the view of Bible women has been they are subservient and passive—but that is like saying the earth is flat, or environmental disasters have nothing to do with climate change.
Shrinking violets they are not. Immoral or moral, most step up and say what they are thinking, what they need, or what they want. Most take fearless actions and accept daunting risks. Women in the Bible do not shuffle onto its pages; they stride across, with their heads held high and their hearts full of passion.
Example: Eve, right out of the box, does what God says not to do. Sarah, out of grief at her own infertility, sets Abraham up with Hagar so that a son of the covenant will be born. The Egyptian midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, risk their lives saving Hebrew babies. The woman of Bahurim hides two men in her well and then lies. Pharoah’s daughter saves Moses. The wise woman of Abel arranges to have a man beheaded to save her town. Even Job’s wife (“curse God and die!”) was fairly brazen.
In the New Testament, Mary agrees to bear God’s son (an action largely taken for granted by the rest of us, but a huge risk for her). Mary of Bethany pours extravagant oil on Jesus’ feet and wipes them with her hair—a clearly outrageous act. Mary Magdalene and the other women witness the crucifixion, and by being present, identify themselves with Jesus, the revolutionary. Sapphira lies, causing her death. The fortune-telling girl badgers Paul until he casts out her demon.
None of these women are passive. None are quiet. None are submissive, except to the will of God—and some don’t even make that cut.
There are a few exceptions to the “surprisingly bold” approach—but only a handful. The sisters at the well drawing water whom Moses protected weren’t doing particularly daring work, especially in a group of seven (although they did get harassed by local men). The mother of Jabez said that it hurt especially to bear her fourth son; not much bold about admitting that.
The vast majority of women of the Bible: bold, purposeful, focused. Let’s not forget.