Hagar, Genesis 16– An enslaved woman from Egypt serves Abraham and Sarah. When harsh treatment drives away, God sees and hears her. And she names him The God Who Sees.
Huldah, 2 Kings 22– When young King Josiah orders repairs of the LORD’s temple, the high priest finds a scroll. As the scribe reads it, the king mourns. Then he sends a delegation to the prophet Huldah to hear from God.
Vashti, Esther 1 – King Ahasuerus “under the influence” orders that his wife Queen Vashti show off her beauty to the crowds—objectifying her. She refuses and is exiled. Her courage paves the way for Esther to become queen.
Mary of Bethany, John 11–12– While the disciples refuse to believe Jesus will die, Mary anoints his body for burial. When Judas challenges her actions, Jesus defends her worship.
Junia, Romans 16:7– The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Rome, “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was” (NIV). Andronicus and Junia are Paul’s committed coworkers in Christ who endure even prison for the gospel. There are two kinds of apostles—Jesus’s twelve disciples and those who are “sent ones” who proclaim the gospel. Junia, among the latter, is one of the first in a long line of church planters who risk their lives to spread the word.
You can read more about each of these women in Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized Women of the Bible, which received a five-star Christianity Today review and was named a FOREWORDIndie Awards finalist. All profits go to International Justice Mission, which benefits sexualized, vilified, and marginalized people around the world.