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Meet the Prophetesses

Detail from 'Ruth Declares her Loyalty to Naomi,' by Pieter Lastman c. 1614The Imahot -- the Jewish matriarchs -- and other prominent holy women make up the Prophetesses of the Hebrew Bible.

Wives and mothers, most of them, the joy and sorrow of their lives call out to modern readers. We'll meet each of them individually in future postings.

The twelve Prophetesses of the Old Testament are:
  • Eve, the matriarch of all living (aka Ava, Chava, Chavva, Chavvah, Eve of Elda, Havva, Hawah, Nin-Khawa, חַוָּה)
  • Sarai, daughter of Haran (aka Sarah, Sara, שָׂרָה ,שָׂרָי)
  • Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel (aka Rebecca, Rivka, Rivkah, Rivqah, רִבְקָה)
  • Leah, daughter of Laban (aka Lea, Le'ah, לֵאָה)
  • Rachel, her sister (aka Rahel, רָחֵל)
  • Miriam, sister of Moses and daughter of Amram (aka Miryam, מִרְיָם)
  • Deborah, judge and wife of Lapidoth (aka Devorah, דְבוֹרָה)
  • Hannah, judge and wife of Elkanah (aka Chana, Channah, חַנָּה)
  • Ruth the Moabite, possibly a daughter of King Eglon (aka Rut, רוּת)
  • Abigail, wife of Nabal and David (aka Avigail, Avigayil, אֲבִיגָיִל)
  • Huldah, daughter of Shallum (aka Chuldah, חוּלְדָה)
  • Esther, daughter of Abihail (aka Amestris, Ester, Hadassah, אֶסְתֵר)

Image: Detail from 'Ruth Declares her Loyalty to Naomi,' by Pieter Lastman c. 1614


Anonymous said…
I love this site. Your research is awesome!
Dan and Tammy said…
Why is Eve considered a prophetess? What did you find in your research?
lauramaery said…
I appreciate the feedback, so thanks!

Eve is honored as a prophetess by our liberal application of the term because 1) she is the Mother of All Living, and 2) because she stands as a Type of Mary, or as a messianic forerunner. There are religious traditions that honor her and respect her for those reasons, and because she taught her children about reverencing G-d.