Bible study on women

I did a Bible word search this week just looking for verses with the words “woman” or “women” in them. I excluded the ones speaking about particular women or the ones with detailed instructions from the OT ceremonial law except for a couple where I felt the principle still carried over today. I was looking primary for general instruction to or descriptions of women in Scripture. Here is what I found, with little commentary:

  • Made in response to man’s loneliness (Gen. 2:18, I Corinthians 11:9)
  • Made a help meet or fit for man (Gen. 2:18 )
  • Made from rib of man (Gen. 2:22-23)
  • Affected by the Fall in the realm of marriage and childbirth (Gen. 3:16)
  • Offered unto the Lord with a willing heart (Ex 35:29)
  • Under authority of father or husband when making vows (Numbers 30)
  • Not to dress like man (Deut, 22:5)
  • Required, along with men, children, and strangers, to assemble to hear the Word of God, to learn, to fear Him, to observe His commands (Deuteronomy 31:12 and many other places)
  • Women in Jesus’ life ministered to Him (Matthew 27:55-56, Mark 15:40-41), ministered unto Jesus of their substance (Luke 8:1-3), worshipped (Matthew 26:7-13, Mark 14:3-9, Luke 7:36-50), lamented His crucifixion (Luke 23:27-28), watched at the cross (Matthew 27:55-56, Mark 15:40-41, Luke 23:49), followed afterward to see where He was buried and went home to prepare spices (Luke 23:55-56), came to the tomb Sunday morning (Matthew 28:1-10, Luke 24:1-11), continued ” with one accord in prayer and supplication” with the disciples and Mary after He arose (Acts 1:13-14)
  • Head of woman is the man (I Corinthians 11:3)
  • Prays and prophesies in church with head covered (I Corinthians 11:5)
  • Long hair is her glory and covering (I Corinthians 11:15)
  • There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. (II Corinthians 7:24)
  • Adorned with modesty, shamfacedness, sobriety, good works more than jewelry, elaborate hairstyles, etc. (I Timothy 2:9-10)
  • In the church is to learn in silence and not teach men or usurp authority over men (I Timothy 2:11-12; I Corinthians 14:34-35)
  • Good works: “Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.” (I Timothy 5:10)
  • Younger women encouraged to “marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” (I Timothy 5:14)
  • Instructions to aged women: “that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” (Titus 2:2-5)
  • Subject to husbands (I Peter 3:1, Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18 )
  • To reverence husband (Ephesians 5:33)
  • To have chaste conversation coupled with fear (I Peter 3:2) which will win lost husband more than words
  • To be adorned with the “ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (I Peter 3:3-6)

Negative descriptions of women

  • The strange woman: flatters with her words (Proverbs 6:24; 7:5, 21), forsakes the guide of her youth (parents?), forgets her covenant with God, her house and paths lead to death (Proverbs 2:16-19); her lips as a honeycomb, mouth smoother than oil, end bitter as wormword, sharper than two-edged sword, her feet go down to death, her steps take hold on hell; her ways are moveable – can’t know them; results in mourning when flesh and body are consumed; hunts for the precious life (Proverbs 6:26) wear attire of a harlot (Proverbs 7:10), is subtil of heart (Proverbs 7:10) loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house (Proverbs 7:11-12), impudent (Proverbs 7:13), fair of speech (Proverbs 7:21), wounds, slays, leads to death and hell (Proverbs 7:26-27); a narrow pit, lies in wait as for a prey, and increases the transgressors among men (Proverbs 23:27-28; 22:14); wisdom and discretion deliver from her (Proverbs 2:1-11; 5:1-2; 7:1-5); God’s commands will keep from her (Proverbs 6:20-24), also “evil woman” (Proverbs 6:24), “whorish woman” (Proverbs 6:26) “adultress” (Proverbs 6:26); (Ecclesiastes 7:26).
  • Outlandish women caused Solomon to sin (Nehemiah 13:26)
  • The adulterous woman claims to have done no wrong (Proverbs 30:20)
  • The foolish woman: clamorous, simple, knows nothing, lures men (Proverbs 9:13-18); plucks down her house (Proverbs 14:1; Job 2:10)
  • The discretionless woman is like a gold jewel in a pig’s snout (Proverbs 11:22)
  • A brawling woman (Proverbs 21:9; 25:24)
  • A contentious and angry woman (Proverbs 21:19), like a continual dropping (Proverbs 27:15-16)
  • An odious woman (Proverbs 30:23)
  • Careless (Isaiah 32:9-12)
  • Idle, wandering from house to house, tattlers, busybodies (I Timothy 5:13)
  • Silly women (II Timothy 3:6)

Positive descriptions of women:

  • Willing-hearted” to give (Exodus 35:22)
  • Honorable women (Psalm 45:9)
  • Wise-hearted” to spin fiber for the tabernacle (Exodus 35:26-27)
  • A gracious woman retains honour (Proverbs 11:16)
  • A virtuous woman crowns her husband (Proverbs 12:4), more valuable than rubies, trustworthy, does husband good, works willingly with her hands, brings food from afar, rises early, serves others, diligent, knowledgeable about fields and quality merchandise, industrious, helps the poor and needy, provides for her family, provides ahead of need, attentive to her clothing, strong, honorable, wise, kind, appreciated, God-fearing (Proverbs 31:10-31).
  • A wise woman builds her house (Proverbs 14:1)

Single Women:

With so much instruction to wives and mothers, what about single women whom God has not directed to or provided for marriage? Besides the general character instruction, the Bible says:

There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. (II Corinthians 7:24.)

All Christian life is to be a life of service, but the unmarried can serve the Lord “without distraction” (I Corinthians 7:35).

Some examples:

Anna (Luke 2:36-38 )
Mary and Martha
Lydia (Acts 16: 14-15)
Dorcas (Acts 9:36-42)

6 thoughts on “Bible study on women

  1. Oh dear… I certainly was expecting some commentary at the end! Since my Monday night study is on Ruth and Esther right now, I was very curious as to where you were going with this…

  2. I wasn’t really going anywhere with it — just wanted to do the word study. I like doing that kind of thing and then making lists and pondering over them for a while.

    Whole books could probably be made on this subject or any one of these topics — and probably have!!

  3. This is excellent! You’ve done some serious Bible study here. Thanks for sharing these wonderful verses. Personally, I’m glad God made me a woman. Sounds like you are too. :~D

  4. Pingback: Blog year in review: « Stray Thoughts

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