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Four Aged Bible Women and Their Spiritual Legacies

MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor, has spent four decades empowering young and adult women to pursue positive, productive womanhood.

Four Aged Bible Women and Their Spiritual Legacies

Four Aged Bible Women and Their Spiritual Legacies

We can guess the age range of some Bible women by comparison with other individuals in their stories. For example:

  • We can deduce that Rebekah was an old woman, when she helped her son Jacob deceive his father; Isaac her husband was old (Genesis 27).
  • Miriam should have been an old woman when she sang and danced after crossing the Red Sea; she was older than her brother Moses (Exodus 15).

However, we know for certain that Sarah, Naomi, Elizabeth, and Anna were old, because that fact is stated in the text. Usually, there is a reason for stating one's aging status, and we will find that among their other assets, the one common reason their lives concern us is their significant legacy.

Record of The Women's Stories

Quotations in this article are from the New King James Version unless mentioned otherwise.

Woman's NameBible Texts


Genesis 17-18:1-15; 20:1-21; 23: 1,2,19: Hebrews 11:11; 1 Peter 3:6


Book of Ruth


Luke 1: 5-63


Luke 2: 36-38

Sarah: Spiritual Motherhood

Sarah obeyed Abraham and spoke to him respectfully. You became Sarah's daughters by not letting anything make you afraid to do good (1 Peter 3: 6 God's Word® Translation).

Sarah listens in on the promise.

Sarah listens in on the promise.

“Sarah is the only woman in Scripture whose age, death, and burial are mentioned [Genesis 23:1], probably to do honor to the venerable mother of the Hebrew people.” Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

She is also one of the two women mentioned in the Faith Hall of Fame (Hebrews 11:11). This was after she had been presumptuous in arranging for her maid Hagar to bear a child for her husband Abraham. She was helping God to fulfill His promise of making Abraham the Father of a great nation. The result was chaos, but God forgave her faithless bravery.

When at last, God blessed Sarah at age ninety with her own baby, her motherhood instinct took over. She aimed to protect the interest of her child Isaac, by ordering Hagar and her baby Ishmael to leave the household. All throughout the household drama, her loyalty toward her husband and her desire for his success remained intact.

Sarah’s greatest legacy is rooted in her commitment to family: her love and respect for Abraham, as well as her courage to pursue what she considers best for him. As wife to the Father of the Jewish Nation, she inherits his spiritual offspring and becomes Mother of a Nation. Her legacy is spiritual motherhood.

Naomi: Mentoring

[Ruth to Naomi] “Your people shall be my people,

And your God, my God” (Ruth 1: 16).

Naomi was not always the perfect woman of faith. When she suffered the loss of her husband and two sons (late husbands of Orpah and Ruth) her first attitude was not one to imitate, although it was one that human beings can understand:

“The hand of the Lord has gone out against me!” (Ruth 1:13)

"Naomi and Ruth." Naomi is too old (Ruth 1:11)

"Naomi and Ruth." Naomi is too old (Ruth 1:11)

She tried to discourage her former daughters-in-law from returning with her to her native country. She explained that she was too old to have children, whom they could not wait on, anyway. Orpah took Naomi’s advice and stayed. However, when Ruth insisted on following the old woman, her desire (stated in the key verse above) gave a glimpse into how great an influence the old woman had on her.

Naomi’s legacy is mentoring. Her temporary expressions of despair and doubt could not distract Ruth from the faith which she [Naomi] consistently demonstrated.

In Naomi’s homeland, she mentored Ruth in the Hebrew lifestyle and helped her find a new husband. Naomi assumed the roles of mother and grandmother to Ruth and her son Obed, who became an ancestor of Jesus Christ. What if every old woman became such a positive mentor to one younger woman?

Elizabeth: Faith

Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age . . . For with God nothing will be impossible. (Luke 1: 36, 37).

There were five other instances of healed barrenness recorded before Elizabeth’s. The women of favor were Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Manoah’s wife, and Hannah in the Old Testament. In the number six spot was Elizabeth, whose prayer was answered with an extraordinary blessing—the child who became John the Baptist, announcer to the world that Jesus, the seventh (symbol of completeness) miraculous birth was the Messiah.

Elizabeth and her husband devoted their lives to God. They were both from priestly families and hoped like other devout Jews that they would give birth to the promised Messiah. She may have feared that her barrenness excluded her and even exposed her to disgrace; but in God’s time, He delivered her unexpected surprise. Her baby was not the Messiah, but her rejoicing could not be any greater.

Elizabeth’s legacy is faith: believing in God, no matter the outcome. She accepted that He performs in perfect timing, and in our best interest. Her long-awaited son became the herald for the Messiah.

Anna: Devotion

This woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day (Luke 2: 37).

"Hannah and Simeon in the Temple." Anna recognizes the Messiah.

"Hannah and Simeon in the Temple." Anna recognizes the Messiah.

After seven years of marriage, Anna (also called Hannah) became a widow. If she spent all eighty-four years of widowhood in constant devotion, as the text suggests, she reflected on other aspects of life besides the heartache and disappointment caused by her loss. There were other issues she engaged in with God.

She was always in attendance at the temple services. She made prayer and fasting part of her daily routine. Her life of constant devotion was probably difficult for wives and mothers to imitate, but she illustrated one way that widows and other lonely people can make their lives useful. No crying over the life she missed or the children she might have had; instead, she chose to consecrate her total self to service for God.

When the eight-day-old Jesus was presented in the Temple, the devout old man Simeon recognized him as the Christ Child; and right alongside him with an equal gift of discernment was Anna. “Woman as well as man was to utter reverent joy on this supreme occasion . . . for in the kingdom of Christ there is 'neither male nor female;' all distinction of sex is unknown.” - W. Clarkson

Anna's legacy is devotion. She gave the first female testimony of Jesus, the Christ. She demonstrated then and now, that sincere devotion brings the benefit of joy and fulfillment.

Questions & Answers

Question: Which men from the Bible left a legacy that we can borrow from?

Answer: Many male Bible characters left notable legacies. For starters, check out the link below to four men who left positive legacies in parenting. Jonadab left a legacy of influence; Manoah, the legacy of early childhood training; Jacob, the legacy of child empowerment among others; and Job, the legacies of intercession as well as of faithfulness under pressure. (

© 2016 Dora Weithers


Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 31, 2016:

Tamarajo, Anna's example is truly inspiring. Glad for the positive influence she is on all of us who desire to live a life of Christian surrender. Thanks for your comment.

Tamarajo on May 30, 2016:

Ms Dora, Lovely observations of four Biblical women as examples to us. Anna intrigues me the most. A woman widowed young who makes serving the Lord her mission for the remainder of her days. Her loyalty the the Lord is stunning!

God bless

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 14, 2016:

Rajan, I appreciate your encouraging comment. Glad to share these Bible stories.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 13, 2016:

These stories show that God accepts us as human beings with all our follies and times when we lose faith temporarily. He best knows the right time to give us what we should.

Very enlightening read. It is always a pleasure to get acquainted about Bible stories. Your writing style makes it so interesting.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 08, 2016:

De, thank God for the gift of choice. Thank you for your comment.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on April 08, 2016:

In this day of ludicrous politics, we must have something good and just to focus on. It sure isn't in this country right now.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 05, 2016:

Thank you, Theresa. I appreciate your prayerful encouragement and pray the same for you.

Theresa Jonathan from Maseru, Lesotho on April 05, 2016:

Happy birthday MsDora! May the Lord continue to enrich you with bravery in continuing Jesus Ministry! Keep it up!

manatita44 from london on April 04, 2016:

Thank you, Alun.

I really appreciate you for this; for your best wishes to Dora. I wish you God's continued Love. Let us pray for one another. Glory be!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 04, 2016:

Thank you, Alun. It is my birthday and I appreciate your wishes. Manitata is very kind for enlisting others to wish me well.

Thanks also for reading the article and comments and making your contribution.

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on April 04, 2016:

manatita44, I do not know if you will reply again to this thread as you indicate you may not, but I would like to add my thoughts by saying that having read these exchanges, I totally respect and admire the gentle way you conduct yourself in correspondence here. My best wishes to you. Alun

Also, if this your birthday Dora, as Manatita44 says, then my very best wishes to you too. I truly hope you have a good day, and a great year ahead.

charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on April 04, 2016:

i have made my comments to her EXCELLENT article, as they usually are.

saying this is not your hub is a copout to hide behind instead of dealing with the issue, which is what you always do. When you or anyone else transgress the scriptural truths and bring false doctrine into the mix with real scriptural truths they MUST BE CONFRONTED with their error no matter who wrote the article. This is supposed to be a Christian discussion an is no place to bring your false doctrines.

The scriptures make it clear--THERE IN ONLY TRUTH IN JESUS CHRIST and not in ANy false religion. you are deceived and trying to deceive others and must be confronted. Since you are trying to deceive in an open discussion, the place to confront and expose you is here.

Jesus shares His position with No man or false God.

manatita44 from london on April 04, 2016:

Thank you. How do you feel about this Hub? Dora's Hub?

"Four Old Bible Women Worthy of Imitation."

It is not my Hub, and we will stray if we are not careful. Or don't you care? In courtesy to Dora, Please forgive me if it's my last response. Much Love.

Note: Today is her birthday. You may want to wish her well.

charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on April 03, 2016:

m- and that is the problem with what is considered as "the christian church" today. Be sure you do not offend anyone, NEVER use harsh scriptures, "love" everyone. The problem is that Jesus said and did the opposite. Love is not the generic thing that you that use it as a mantra want us to believe.

Love as used in scripture is VERY SPECIFIC, in fact there are more than 25 different kinds of love in scripture.

Scripture is clear that the most important love is SAYING AND DOING WHAT IS NEEDED WHETHER IT IS WELCOME OR NOT.

The truest form of Christian love can be found in Pauls charge to Timothy. 2 Tim 4:1-5 4 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Sorry but what teach as christian love has no place in Christianity and because so many "churches preach the same foolishness is the reason the worln is such a mess. Pleasing MAN is not part of the plan, pleasing God is the plan.

manatita44 from london on April 03, 2016:

Forgive me, my Brother Celafoe. First this is Dora's Hub and I generally, as a matter of principle, like to keep it wholesome. She's a great friend and a wonderful Christian.

Secondly, I am a student of Peace and one who enjoys having 'beginners mind.' I'm an ant, trying to climb a mountain, so what do I know of who is in Christ and who isn't? I respond to examples ...the Heart as I feel it. In that sense it is safer to say 'good' than anything else.

I ask you lovingly to remember that this is MsDora's Hub. I try to be a child of Love ... a servant. This is repeated in all my 300 plus Hubs and on Q's and A's. What do I know of debate, discussion? I would rather feel Compassion in my Heart, than speak of it; taste the mango than speak of its contents. We are all different. Much Love.

charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on April 03, 2016:

mantita- why do you say those men were "good men" which is contrary to scripture. which says there is no such thing unless they are "in Christ" and we know for a fact that some of these men were not.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 03, 2016:

Alun, thank you for sharing. Although we are not on the same page concerning our belief in God, we are on the same page with our respect for women. I appreciate and admire you for reading and commenting.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 03, 2016:

Swalia, the story of Jesus is very significant to Bible believers, as are so many lessons from the lives of other characters and events. Glad you liked the stories of these women.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 03, 2016:

Thank, Manatita. Your input is always so enlightening.

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on April 03, 2016:

As I think you know Dora, I'm not a believer in God, so you may be surprised to find me reading this and posting a comment here. But nonetheless I can find great interest in the stories and lives of people who lived long ago, including Biblical characters, and I can also recognise the value of learning from the examples of such people.

And particularly women. The stereotypical view is that women were very much subjugated in past times - stereotypical, but largely true - and it follows that any woman who became a figure of importance and respect must have had a strong personality or possessed stand-out qualities. In the case of virtuous women, that makes them people to learn from.

For followers of the Bible, but possibly for all others too, stories of women like this can provide inspiration and examples to model one's behaviour upon.

Shaloo Walia from India on April 03, 2016:

I know almost next to none about Bible (except for just the brief life history of Jesus). This hub was quite interesting and I came to know about many new things. Thanks for sharing!

manatita44 from london on April 02, 2016:

Actually this reminds me of royalty and hierachy. So in that sense, perhaps you were. Many of them including Victoria, were truly great Souls. Prestige and glamour does not always hide the beauty of the Heart. Lincoln, Jefferson, Gorbachev, Mandela ... were all Heads of State and yet very good men. Much Love.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 02, 2016:

Good to hear from you, Manatita. Thanks for the books, authored by you and others. Occasionally, I hear Christian preachers as well making reference to some of the authors. They are so insightful.

Sometimes, I call myself an Elizabethan; that old woman is a phenomenon; she gives hope to all the aging and aged.

manatita44 from london on April 02, 2016:

I like how you end and kudos to you for giving praise to women. It has been a hard struggle and within the church it still is, but times are getting better.

"Elizabeth’s legacy is her acceptance that God performs in perfect timing, and in our best interest. This is truth worth believing." -Ms Dora

The Highest message to me and my spiritual Teacher, is what the Saviour Christ has taught us. " Thy Will be done." Elizabeth's spirit demonstrates this awesome Truth. It's in my book and You have it, I believe.

Glance at brother Laurance's from time to time or Sadhu Sundar Singh's At The Feet of The Master. Both on Amazon. I gave you also The Imitation of Christ, no? Much Love.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 01, 2016:

Yes, Devika. I like to study and to share the Bible. Glad that you are learning from my articles.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 01, 2016:

Thanks, Theresa. Glad you approve. I receive the blessing and pray the same for you.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 01, 2016:

Hi MsDora you certainly have a great mind of the bible. I learned a lot from you concerning the bible and enjoyed reading. Thank you.

Theresa Jonathan from Maseru, Lesotho on April 01, 2016:

Wonderful and well researched Article! You are blessed!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 01, 2016:

Revoke, welcome to HubPages. Thanks for your comment, and I'm looking forward to some articles from you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 01, 2016:

Thanks, Faith. There's so much to learn from the Bible characters when we study them. Thanks for your encouraging comment.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 01, 2016:

Flourish, I love Bible study, especially when I can make relevant application to contemporary situations. Makes me happy that you enjoy this. Thanks for following.

revokedrift on March 31, 2016:

Thats fabulous

Faith Reaper from southern USA on March 31, 2016:

Hi MsDora,

We can all surely learn so much from these SHeroes of the Bible! Wonderful hub to highlight women we should imitate.

Another wonderful read.

God bless

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 31, 2016:

You have such a mastery of the Bible. A very enriching hub, MsDora.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 31, 2016:

Rich, your Proverbs 31 confirmation is encouraging to me. Thanks for reading. I appreciate you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 31, 2016:

Denise, you're so good at conclusions. Your comment makes a good ending to the article.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 31, 2016:

Elle, thanks for your kind comment. Happy to learn and share.

Rich Kelley from Terra firma on March 31, 2016:

A reading of Proverbs 31 confirms and adds to all you have said here thanks for the article.


Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on March 31, 2016:

These women are definitely pillars of inspiration to us in our day. Their faith, courage, and tenacity tell us that even in their less than desirable state, they were true to their God! If we, in only a small portion, emulate them, we will be greatly blessed!

elle64 from Scandinavia on March 31, 2016:

You always Come back and write informative yet entertaining hubs

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 31, 2016:

Word, the significance of Bible women surely benefits both men and women nowadays. Thanks for the Thumbs Up!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 31, 2016:

JG, Thanks for your sweet encouragement. Jesus raised the significance of women, even though some want to ignore it. God loves equally.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 31, 2016:

Thanks, Bill. There is the temptation to preach, so thanks for encouraging me not to do so. People can apply the truths as they are impressed by God.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on March 31, 2016:

Very good reminder of how women were significant in the old Bible days and now a days. Thank you Dora. Thumbs up!

jgshorebird on March 31, 2016:

I have read my morning sermon. And if memory serves -- you have touched upon it here -- the seemingly second class-ness of women in the Bible is an often discussed topic among historians. The 1611 KJV 1 COR 11:7 says "For a man in deede ought not to couer his head, forasmuch as hee is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man." I'd say too many "men" edited the words...

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2016:

I love the lessons here, Dora, delivered by you with a quiet lecture, no preaching, just truths. :)

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 30, 2016:

Charlie, I am encouraged by your approval of my article. Respect for husbands is one issue for which women these days need to be reminded. Thank you for reading and offering your feedback.

charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on March 30, 2016:

These are all women to whom great honor is due. All young women should read the story of each of them before the reach marriage age.

Excellent article. I especially appreciate the way you mention the respecting of the husband, few articles ever mention that. But is so important because women are specifically told to respect their husbands. Men are specifically told the love their wives. and both are told to show each other genuine affection.

Men are given instruction to love, women the instruction to respect, which are not their natural responses.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 30, 2016:

Jackie, my title was wrong; it said six instead of four women so I thought best to delete. Thanks for coming back. I agree with you about Sarah. Not even she could tell the outcome, but even the mistakes she made came from loyalty to her husband. That is the admirable part of her life.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 30, 2016:

Ron, what a beautiful last statement. Thanks for your input.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 30, 2016:

Thanks, Lori. There are many more, but I guess the aging ones have my focus right now.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 30, 2016:

Frank, glad to share. God bless you, too!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 30, 2016:

Thanks Bill, for your affirmation. Women were significant in Jesus' ministry; and look God even brought the Savior into the world through a woman participating with Him. Yes, the list goes on.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on March 30, 2016:

Great article Dora, I came to read it (yesterday was it?) and it was gone! Glad you got it to stick this time. I truly love the Sarah story when she laughed at God, guess that shows us God doesn't always mind our sense of humor. Little did we know either the end of the story of her handmaiden and her son....


Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on March 30, 2016:

What a well constructed and interesting hub, MsDora. And inspirational as well. It's your commitment, not the clock, that determines your usefulness.

Lori Colbo from United States on March 30, 2016:

Outstanding. You communicate so simply and eloquently. All those women are to be imitated and commended.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on March 30, 2016:

I too have learned a great deal from this magnificent hub MsDora.. bless you...

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on March 30, 2016:

I like your first statement - "Given the insignificance with which women were treated in Bible times, there is something significant about each one that is mentioned." The culture may have placed insignificance on women, but God never did. There was Ruth, Esther, Deborah, and of course Mary. Mary Magdalene was the first to see the risen Lord. The list goes on.Thanks for your well researched and informative article.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 30, 2016:

Thanks, Eric. Learning and enjoying are among my writing goals. You encourage me.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 30, 2016:

Really cool I learned a lot and enjoyed this very much. You are a great writer.