Are your curious about who the mentionable mothers in the Bible were? What made these women stand out? What did they do or say that was worthy of being recorded?
I’ve been mulling over these questions and having a great time, discovering the mothers in the Bible. And what I’ve learned is that each of these mentionable women were complex, imperfect, beautiful, sinful, creative, selfish, generous, anxious, and faithful.
They were human, like you and me. Yet, each of these moms played an integral roll in history. We can enjoy their stories, but we can also learn a lot about God through each of their lives.
Let’s dive into this fascinating list of mentionable mothers in the Bible.
20+ Mentionable Mothers in the Bible
1. Eve: The Mother of all Living
Eve was the first woman made by God and first mother to ever give birth. Ever. While she experienced the joys of Eden, she walked with God, lived in harmony with His creations, and saw beauties that we will never see this side of heaven. (Genesis 2)
Unfortunately, her perfect life in Eden ended when she and her husband chose to disobey God and eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Because of their sin, Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden. And as part of her consequence, Eve struggled and felt immense pain in childbirth.
But this curse didn’t end with her. In childbirth, we are reminded to this day, that sin comes with consequences. And while Eve should be revered for her role in history as the ‘Mother of all living’ she should also be a cautionary tale for us to obey God above all other people (including sweet and smooth talkers).
2. Mothers in the Bible: Sarah
Let’s talk about the next mother in the Bible: Sarah. When you read about Abraham and Sarah in the book of Genesis you learn that God promised that their descendants would be more the the stars they could count. But Sarah couldn’t have children. She was barren. How was this promise to be fulfilled if she couldn’t even become a mother?
As she passed her childbearing years, she got impatient and told Abraham to have a child with her maiden, Hagar. But that was not God’s plan. Finally, when Sarah was in her nineties, God miraculously opened her womb. And after a lifetime of waiting, the promised son Isaac was born. (Isaac was the beginning of the line in which the Messiah would come!)
Sarah, like us at times, struggled to find her purpose and to have faith in the unseen. But God had a perfect plan for her life and used her inspite of her failings and unbelief. And God will work in us as well, in His perfect time and in His perfect ways. (Genesis 18)
3. Mothers in the Bible: Hagar
Now Hagar became a mother because Sarah (her mistress) told her to have a son with her husband Abraham. But as mentioned before, that was not God’s plan. (Genesis 16)
The unfortunate thing was that Hagar got caught in the middle of Sarah and Abraham’s impatience and as a result, experienced extreme pain, abuse, and rejection. She gave birth to her son, Ishmael, and was eventually sent away as an outcast, with her son to die in the wilderness. But God saw her. He heard her cries, sent her an angel, comforted her, and blessed her and her son.
As mothers we are sometimes found in unfortunate circumstances that are out of our control, but we can cry out to the God who saw Hagar and He will hear us and deliver us as well.
4. Mothers in the Bible: Rebekah
The next mother in the Bible that we are going to look at is Rebekah. This woman had deep faith and lots of conviction. We see this, when she left everything she knew to move to an unknown land to marry Isaac whom she hadn’t even met.
Early on, she struggled to have children. But God heard their prayers and gave them a set of dueling twins, Jacob and Esau.
Now Rebekah favored Jacob. So, she orchestrated an elaborate plan to get Jacob the first-born blessing (which rightfully belonged to Esau). This led to a host of family drama as well as questionable motherly behavior. (Genesis 25)
It seems like Rebekah was inserting herself where she shouldn’t be. But I’ll let you be the judge of that. Regardless, God used her gutsy act to put the blessing on Jacob who would eventually be renamed to Israel and become the father of a very great nation–God’s chosen people, the Israelites.
5. Mothers in the Bible: Leah
Remember Jacob? The one who would be renamed as Israel? Well he had two wives and Leah was the first. Their marriage was rocky from the start because Jacob thought he was marrying her sister but found out too late that it was not Rachel, but Leah instead. (I’m still not sure how that happened) (Genesis 29)
Anyway, the Bible talks about how the Lord saw that Leah was hated, and He had compassion. God blessed Leah and filled her life with babies who would need her, gaze into her eyes, and fill her days with Joy.
Sometimes our children are a source of joy in the middle of a whole lot of pain. And these precious gifts from God are His way of helping us get up each morning and make the most of the life He’s given us.
6. Mothers in the Bible: Rachel
Rachel was the loved one. She was the one who was sought after and the one that Jacob worked 14 years for! But while she felt loved, she was completely barren. (Genesis 29)
It also didn’t help that Leah, her sister, was giving Jacob all these healthy happy sons. Rachel became miserable and overcome with her desire to have kids.
Finally, God blessed her with Joseph and Benjamin. And since these boys were born in Jacob’s old age, he favored them, just like he had their mother.
Rachel shows us that God sees mothers in every circumstance. Loved or unloved. Barren or not. He hears prayers and sees our hurts. God cares for mothers.
6. Mothers in the Bible: Rachel
7. Mothers in the Bible: Jochebed
Who was Jochebed? Well, she was the mother of Moses. Remember the one who hid her baby in a basket in the river to prevent him from being killed by Pharaohs men? The one who risked it all to save her son, who would eventually, grew up to rescue God’s people from slavery in Egypt? That’s the one.
You can read about Jochebed in Exodus 2:1-10. The characteristics of Jochebed that stand out to me are her fear of God, fierce love for her son, and a whole lot of courage.
8. Unnamed Mother in Soloman’s Court
In 1 Kings 3:16-23 an interesting pair of quarreling women appear in Solomon’s court. They came to settle a dispute. And it was an ugly one. Apparently, both women and given birth to babies. One of the mothers rolled over on her child at night and it died. This women then proceeded to claim the other woman’s baby was her own (which obviously didn’t go over well the living baby’s mother.)
Hence, they ended up in Solomon’s court.
Suffice to say, Solomon was the wisest man in the world. He called both women together and said he would cut the baby in half and give each woman a piece of the child (slightly morbid, I know). But the lying woman agreed! However, the baby’s true mother said no. She wanted no harm to come to her child.
This woman, tho unnamed, is a picture of self-less love in the purest sense. She was willing to sacrifice everything, to do what was best for her child’s wellbeing. Solomon saw this, and knew that the baby belonged to her.
9. The Widow of Zaraphath
While we don’t know this mother’s name we know that God used her to play an important roll in helping Elijah. In fact, God asked her to give up her last grain of flour and remaining drops of oil to make him a meal. (1 Kings 17:8-15)
In faith, the widow of Zaraphath did as she was asked. And God blessed her with an abundance of flour and oil until it rained again and she could get what she needed to provide for her son.
10. Mothers in the Bible: Hannah
The next mother in the Bible is Hannah. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Hannah. I, like she, struggled for years with infertility. When the Bible talks about her weeping, praying, and begging God for a child. I know what that looks like. (1 Samuel 2)
Infertility is not new under the sun. But Hannah, took her deep desires and, with faith, went to God. Then, when God blessed her, she turned around and gave Samuel back to God. And God blessed Hannah with even more children.
The lesson in Hannah’s life? God see’s and hears your prayers for children. He answers these prayers, and blesses our faith (even if its tearful and messy).
If you are praying for children, keep at it mama, He hears you.
11. Mothers in the Bible: Bathsheba
Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah. That is, until King David had him killed in battle so he could steal Bathsheba for himself. (yikes!)
The first child they had together died as a consequence for David’s sin. But later on, Bathsheba gave birth to Solomon who would become the wisest man to ever walk the earth.
Bathsheba found herself in a rocky situation. And I can only imagine, a heart full of grief. With the loss of her husband and the loss of a baby that she carried for nine months? Who could blame her?
This mother of the Bible is one who persevered. She was knocked down, but she kept getting back up. She didn’t allow herself to quit. Rather, she worked with the life that was given to her and raised her kids the best she knew how.
12. King Hezekiah’s Mother
Never underestimate the power of a Godly mother! While there isn’t a ton of information about Abijah, King Hezekiah’s mother, we do know she raised a son who did what what right in the Lord’s sight. (2 Chron. 29:1)
Remember the line in William Wallace’s poem, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world?”
Do you want to make the world a better place? Are you wanting to influence the next generation? Do you want to leave a good legacy? If so, you’ve got to raise kids to want to do what is right in the Lord’s eyes.
13. Mothers in the Bible: Naomi
After moving away to a foreign land, Naomi lost her husband and both of her grown sons. Understandably, she wanted to change her name to Mara because it meant bitter. After loving and serving her family for years, she was all alone in the world. What could she do? (Ruth 1)
She decided to go home. But instead of leaving alone, Ruth, her daughter-in-law, insisted on coming. And from this moment on, God gave Naomi the daughter she never had. She became a mentor and mother to this young woman and eventually lead her to the man she would marry.
Adults need mothers too and Naomi took Ruth under her wing and guided her daughter through a rough time in both of their lives. You may be older and think that your mothering journey is over, but it may not be…
14. Mothers in the Bible: Ruth
Ruth, left all she knew to be joined with her mother-in-law, Naomi. In faith, Ruth took on a new people, a new God, and new loyalty. For this, the Lord blessed her. (Ruth 1)
Through an amazing love story that you can in the book of Ruth, this woman married Boaz and together they had a son named Obed, who was the future father of Jesse, who was the father of King David! (Ruth 4)
Do you think the faith you have today, can affect your future? I think Ruth was a mentionable woman in the Bible because of this very reason!
15. Mothers in the Bible: The Proverbs 31 Woman
I have to include this the Proverbs 31 Woman in this list. Although, she is more of a portrait of who we should be rather than a person who was. (There is no clear evidence who painted this perfect picture of a mother, but it is speculated that Bathsheba wrote it for Solomon.)
Regardless, this example of a godly wife and mother is somewhat of a goal that we can strive for. When we’ve lost our sense of purpose or productivity, or we need to find ways to bring our family closer together, we can go to the book of Proverbs 31 and be re-engerized and re-inspired.
Making note, that this Proverbs 31 Mother was praised in the gates for her good character, productivity, planning, wisdom, graciousness, and compassion. All areas that we can work to do better in.
16. Mothers in the Bible: Elizabeth
In Elizabeth’s old age she became pregnant with a son. She was Mary’s (Jesus’s mother) older cousin.
Elizabeth was chosen for an important mothering role. Her baby would grow up to be the forerunner of Jesus. Meaning, he would come before Jesus and tell others about Him. And He would eventually be called John the Baptist.
Elizabeth believed in the promise and that God chose her for a specific calling to raise her son.
Sometimes we wonder why we have the kids we have, or if we are the right mother for the job. But God doesn’t make mistakes. You were chosen as your kid’s’ mother for a specific and divine purpose. Ask God to give you wisdom as you make choices on how to raise them.
17. Mary: Mother of Jesus
Now for the chosen mother of Jesus. Mary was young and apprehensive yet completely obedient to God. There are so many things we can speculate about this young mother in the Bible, but the facts remain. She was well-favored and chosen by God.
And did you know that Jesus wasn’t Mary’s only child? It’s true, she went on to have more, and I bet they had some of the best bedtime stories ever told! Between visiting angels and bumpy donkey rides, to holding the Savior of the World, Mary’s motherhood journey was one to be remembered.
18. Mothers in the Bible: Rufus’s Mother
Little is known about Rufus’s mother but Paul mentions her in Romans 16:13, “Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.“
While very little was said about this women, we do know that she was like a mother to Paul. What does that mean? Did she cook him meals? Offer encouragement? Show concern? We don’t know.
However, this woman beautifully demonstrated that being a mother is more than giving birth or caring only for your own children. The nurturing gifts of motherhood can be shared within your church and community as well.
19. The Widow of Nain: The Forgotten One
If you are not careful you might overlook this next mother in the Bible. In Luke 7:11-13 there is brief account of Jesus interrupting a burial procession.
Choked with grief, a widow follows her dead son’s body being carried out of the city gates. Her husband is gone and now only son. Imagine the grief. Not only was she heart-broken but this death would also impact her future and financial well-being too.
Jesus sees this woman and has compassion. In a moment and with a miracle, Jesus tells this unnamed woman’s son to get up. And he does!
Psalm 34:18 tells us that, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
20. Mothers in the Bible: Lois & Eunice
Do you remember Timothy in the new Testament? The one Paul mentored and took under his wing in ministry? Well, this young man came from a legacy of women of faith.
Lois and Eunice were Timothy’s mom and grandmother. While, we don’t know what they looked like, or how their home was decorated, we do know that they both had a sincere faith that they passed onto Timothy.
What will you be remembered for? Will it be for your sincere faith? Or for the godly kids you raised? Will you be a mentionable mother?
Moms of the Bible Q & A
1. What are some examples of bad mothers in the Bible?
Three of the most notorious bad mothers in the Bible were Herodias, Jezebel, and Athaliah.
2. What are the qualities of a Godly mother?
A godly mother fears God, asks for wisdom, reads God’s word, prays for her children, trusts in God, encourages others, works hard, serves willingly, and teaches her kids.
3. What mothers are mentioned in Genesis?
The main mothers mentioned in Genesis are: Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, and Rachel.
4. Who is the first mother mentioned in the Bible?
The first mother mentioned in the Bible is Eve. (Genesis 2)
2. How should we treat our mothers?
The Bible says that we should honor our father and mother. (Ephesians 6)