5 Important Mothers in the Bible

Updated on May 16, 2020
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


The Bible is full of amazing mothers who set such good examples for us to follow. Many of the mothers in the Bible had struggles to deal with, but they showed great patience, strength, faith, and endurance. While all the mothers in the Bible are not listed in this article, here are a few of my favorite mothers who have inspired me.

Eve: Mother of All Living

Eve is listed first because she is the first mother in the Bible. Her story is in Genesis 2 and 3. She was also the first to have an encounter with Satan. She was tempted to disobey God's instructions and to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. After she and Adam sinned, God banished them out of the garden and gave them instructions to be fruitful and multiply.

Eve was the first mother to experience birth pains, and she was also the first mother to experience the joy of having a child. In fact, she gave birth to Cain, Abel, Seth, and other children. She is known as the "Mother of All Living."

Hagar: Mother Who Endured

Hagar was an Egyptian slave and a maidservant to Sarah, the wife of Abraham. People might wonder why Hagar is on my list, but Sarah is not. Sarah is a famous woman in the Bible who laughed when God told her she would have a baby in her old age. However, that is not what is keeping her off this list.

Hagar is on my list of favorite women because she endured the life she didn't choose. Her story is in two places in the Old Testament. It is in Genesis 16 and Genesis 21. She had probably been the best at her job in Egypt and for that, she was sent away to become Sarah's personal handmaid. She did everything she was told to do and never had anything to say in the matter. Sarah told her to sleep with Abraham to give them a son. Sarah mistreated Hagar when she was pregnant. When Hagar couldn't take it any longer, she ran away.

God told Hagar to return to her mistress and do the job she was given to do. Hagar obeyed and things did not get any better with Sarah. When Sarah had the son of promise, she began to mistreat Hagar even worse and accused Hagar's son Ishmael of picking on her son Isaac. Sarah ordered Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away. Abraham did as he was told and sent Hagar and Ishmael into the desert with only a piece of bread and a skin of water.

Hagar and Ishmael survived in the desert after they got lost and their puny ration ran out. God saved both of them by giving them a well in the desert. This proves that while a man will give us very little, God can supply a whole well of water in the most unlikely place.

Jochebed: Mother Who Saved Her Baby

Jochebed was a very creative mother known for saving her son at a time when Pharaoh had commanded that every Hebrew boy that was born to be thrown into the Nile. However, baby girls could live. Jochebed kept her baby boy as long as she could for three months so he wouldn't be drowned in the river. When she couldn't hide him any longer, she coated a papyrus basket with tar and pitch, placed the baby in it, and the basket was set in the reeds along the bank of the Nile.

Jochebed’s younger daughter, Miriam, watched to see what would happen as Pharaoh’s daughter went down to bathe. When Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby crying, she felt sorry for him.

Miriam tasked her if she would like her to get a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby. Therefore, the baby was returned, and Jochebed nursed her own baby. Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him as her son and named him Moses. His name means "drawn out of the water." The story of Moses' birth is found in Exodus 2:1-10.

Jochebed was determined to find a way to save her son, and God blessed her plan. Moses went on to free the Hebrew people from Egypt, leading them in the desert toward the promised land according to God’s plan.

Hannah: Mother Who Kept Her Promise

Hannah was one of two wives for Elkanah. Her story is told in 1 Samuel 1:2-2:21. Hannah was barren, but her husband loved her very much. Penninah the rival wife teased Hannah because she was the one giving Elkanah all the sons.

Every year Elkanah took his family to worship at Shiloh. Hannah was sad because the other wife had all the children and she had none. She refused to eat even though Elkanah gave her a double portion of meat. Hannah prayed so fervently for a son that her lips were moving but no sound came out. Eli the priest thought she was drunk. Hannah promised God if He gave her a male child she would dedicate him to the temple.

Hannah did have a son and she named him Samuel. When Samuel was old enough, she did just as she had promised. She took him to the house of the Lord and presented him to Eli.


Mary: Mother of Jesus

The story of Mary, the mother of Jesus is told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Mary was a young girl when the angel Gabriel appeared before her. He told not to be afraid, but she had found favor with God. He also told her that she would conceive and give birth to a son and he would be called Jesus. The angel continued by saying the baby would be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.

Mary did not understand what was happening because she had not known a man. However, she told the angel, "I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled" (Luke 1:26-38).

Unnamed Mothers

There are several unknown women in the Bible who set good examples for us.

Syrophoenician Woman

An unnamed Syrophoenician woman went to Jesus for help for her daughter who was demon-possessed. This Gentile woman's story is recorded in two places in the Bible. It is in Matthew 15:21-28 and in Mark 7:24-30. The woman exhibited great faith when she asked Jesus to help her dying child.

Widow of Nain

The miracle about the son of the widow of Nain is found in Luke 7:11-17. This mother's only child had died. Jesus saw the funeral procession and raised the young man from the dead. Then He handed the living child to the mother was had been grieving.

Mother With a Lot of Debt

There is a story in 2 Kings 4:1-7 about a mother was feared her two sons were going to be taken as slaves to pay off debts her husband left behind. The prophet Elisha asked her what she had in the house. She said she had a little oil. He told her to go to all her neighbors and get containers. She filled all the jars until the oil ran out. It was enough to sell to get money to pay off all her debts.

Your Own List

You may have your own list of favorite mothers in the Bible for various reasons. Feel free to share your list below in the comments section.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Really interesting.

    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      3 weeks ago from Roanoke

      Very good analogy of Biblical mothers. Happy Mothers Day.


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