#Me Too in the Bible:
Session Two – Nameless Women
· Cain’s Wife· Seth’s Daughters· Enosh’s Daughters· Cainan’s Daughters· Mahaleel’s Daughters· Jared’s Daughters· Enoch’s Daughters· Methuselah’s Daughters· Lamech’s Daughters· Daughters of Men· Noah’s Wife, Sons' Wives· Shem’s Daughters· Lot’s Wife· Lot’s Daughters· Potiphar’s Wife· Shaul’s Mother· Pharaoh’s Daughter· Daughters of Reuel· Daughters of Putiel· Wisehearted Women· Tabernacle Women· Priestly Daughters· Ethiopian Wife of Moses· Midian Women· Sisera’s Mother· Gideon’s Wives· Woman of Thebez· Gilead’s Wife· Jephthah’s Daughter· Ibzan’s Daughters· Manoah’s Wife· Micah’s Mother· Levite’s Concubine· Four Hundred Virgins of Jabesh-Gilead· Daughters of Elkanah· Tabernacle Women· Ichabod’s Mother· Female Water-Drawers· Musical Women· Abigail’s Five Damsels· Witch of Endor· Daughters of the Philistines· Mephibosheth’s Nurse· Woman of Tekoah· Ten Concubines of David· Wench of En-Rogel· Wise Woman of Abel· Solomon’s Wives and Concubines· Two Harlot Mothers· Mother of Hiram· Queen of Sheba· Wife of Hadad· Wife of Jeroboam· Widow of Zarephath· Mother of Elisha· Widow and Her Pot of Oil· Great Woman of Shunem· Wife of Naaman· Maid of Naaman’s Wife· Mothers Who Ate Their Sons· Sheshan’s Daughter· Jabez’s Mother· Shimei’s Daughters· Machir’s Wife· Heman’s Daughters· Artaxerxes' Queen· Shallum’s Daughters· Barzillai’s Daughters· Women of Mixed Marriages· Job’s Wife· Lemuel’s Mother· Zion’s Daughters· Virgins of Honor· Isaiah’s Wife· Jeremiah’s Mother· Zedekiah’s Daughters· Wicked Hebrew Wives· Women Who Wept for Tammuz· Ezekiel’s Wife· Belshazzar’s Mother
The Wife of Noah:
Genesis: 7:7 “And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.”
4:19 “Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. 22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.”
Midrash Genesis Rabbah 23:4: And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Na’amah. Rabbi Abba bar Kahana said: Na’amah was Noah’s wife. Why was she called Na’amah? Because all her deeds were pleasant (ne’imim). The Rabbis said this is a different Na’amah. Why was she called Na’amah? Because she beat on a drum to draw people to idol worship.
Rashi (on Gen. 4:22) comments, “she was Noah’s wife”
Zohar I:55: Moreover, when Cain had killed Abel, Adam separated from his wife and cohabitated with two female elementals, and from his intercourse with them was begotten a great and numerous progeny of demons and elementaries who at night time appear in attractive forms and thus give rise to offspring like unto themselves…
Said Rabbi Hiya: "What signify the words 'And the sister of Tubal Cain was Naamah' (gentleness), and wherefore was this name given her? Was it to indicate that she possessed the power of seducing both human and angelic beings?"
Said Rabbi Simeon: "She was the procreatrix of all the demons of Cainite origin, and she it is that along with Lilith afflicts infant children with epileptic diseases."
Said Rabbi Abba: "Seeing that demons and elementals are subject to death, wherefore do Naamah and Lilith continue to exist through the ages?"
Rabbi Simeon replied: "All demons and elementaries do indeed die, but Naamah and Lilith together with Agereth, daughter of Mahlath their offspring, abide in the world until the day that the Holy One will banish them from the world.
The Wife of Manoah (Sampson’s Mother):
Judges 13:2 A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. 3 The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. 4 Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. 5 You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”
6 Then the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. 7 But he said to me, ‘You will become pregnant and have a son. Now then, drink no wine or other fermented drink and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from the womb until the day of his death.’”
8 Then Manoah prayed to the Lord: “Pardon your servant, Lord. I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.”
9 God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman while she was out in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her. 10 The woman hurried to tell her husband, “He’s here! The man who appeared to me the other day!”
11 Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said, “Are you the man who talked to my wife?”
“I am,” he said. 12 So Manoah asked him, “When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule that governs the boy’s life and work?”
13 The angel of the Lord answered, “Your wife must do all that I have told her.14 She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink nor eat anything unclean. She must do everything I have commanded her.”
I Chronicles 4:3 - These were the sons of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma and Idbash. Their sister was named Hazzelelponi.
Bava Batra 91a: Judge Ibzan had sixty children and held one hundred and twenty feasts when they married, but he did not invite Manoah and his wife to a single one of these celebrations. He reasoned: How will this barren mule repay me? This couple has no children, and they will never be able to invite me to their banquet. In the end, Manoah and his wife were blessed with a son, while all of Ibzan’s offspring died in his lifetime. This gave birth to the popular saying: “You begat sixty, of what benefit to you are the sixty. Try and beget one, who will be brighter than sixty.” That is, the only child of Manoah and his wife brought greater benefit than the sixty sons and daughters of Ibzan…
And Rav Ḥanan bar Rava says that Rav says: The mother of Abraham was called Amatlai bat Karnevo. The mother of Haman was called Amatlai bat Orevati. And your mnemonic, to ensure that the two are not confused for one another, is that a raven [orev] is impure, and in this manner, one remembers that Orevati is the grandmother of the impure Haman, while a sheep [kar] is pure, which indicates that Karnevo is the grandmother of the pure Abraham.
Rav Ḥanan bar Rava continues: The mother of David was named Natzvat bat Ada’el. The mother of Samson was named Tzelelponit, and his sister was called Nashyan. The Gemara asks: What is the practical difference as to what their names were? The Gemara answers: It is important with regard to an answer for heretics who inquire into the names of these women, which are not stated in the Bible. One can reply that there is a tradition handed down concerning their names.
The Widow of Zarepath:
1 Kings 17:17-24 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him 18 And she said to Elijah, "What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to be to bring my sin and remembrance and to cause the death of my son!... And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, "O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again". 22 And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived… Now by this I know that you are a man of God."
Pirke d’Rebbi Eliezer 33: Rabbi Simeon said: Owing to the power of charity the dead will be quickened in the future. Whence do we learn this? From Elijah the Tishbite. For he betook himself to Zarephath, and a woman (who was) a widow received him with great honor. She was the mother of Jonah, and they were eating and drinking his bread and oil; he, she, and her son, as it is said, "And she did eat, and he also" (1 Kings xvii. 15).
Batya Daughter of Pharaoh:
Exodus 2 Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
I Chronicles 4:17-18 One of Mered’s wives gave birth to Miriam,Shammai and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa. His wife from the tribe of Judah gave birth to Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Soko, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. These were the children of Pharaoh’s daughter Bithiah, whom Mered had married.
Megillah 13a Why is she, who we are told at the end of the verse was Pharaoh’s daughter Bithiah, referred to as Yehudiyya? Because she repudiated idol worship, as it is written: “And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself in the river” (Exodus 2:5), and Rabbi Yoḥanan said: She went down to wash and purify herself from the idols of her father’s house.
The Gemara understands that all the names referred to in the verse as children of Pharaoh’s daughter refer to Moses, as it will soon explain. The Gemara asks: Pharaoh’s daughter bore Moses? But didn’t she merely raise him? Rather, it is telling you that with regard to anyone who raises an orphan boy or girl in his house, the verse ascribes him credit as if he gave birth to him.
The Gemara explains how all the names in fact are referring to Moses: “Jered”; this is Moses, and why was he called Jered? Because manna came down [yarad] for the Jewish people in his days. He was also called “Gedor” because he fenced in [gadar] the breaches of the Jewish people. He was called “Heber” because he connected [ḥibber] the Jewish people to their Father in Heaven. He was called “Soco” because he was for the Jewish people like a shelter [sukka] and shield. He was called “Jekuthiel” because the Jewish people trusted in God [kivu laEl] in his days. Lastly, he was called “Zanoah” because he caused the iniquities of the Jewish people to be disregarded [hizniaḥ].
Midrash Exodus Rabbah 1:26: "And the child (Moses) grew" The daughter of Pharaoh would kiss and hug and adore him (Moses) as if he were her own son, and she would not take him out of the king’s palace. And because [Moses] was so beautiful, everyone yearned to see him… “And she called his name ‘Moshe’” – From here you can learn about the merit of those that perform acts of kindness. Even though Moses had many names, the only name that was set throughout the Torah, was the name that Bathyah daughter of Pharaoh called him. Even the Holy One Blessed is He did not call him by another name.