Genealogy Women Challenge: The Women

Have you ever looked closely at the genealogy of Jesus? Have you noticed the names of the women in that long list? There are only a few, but they are there.

While reading this, I stopped to ponder the lives of each of these women. After meditating and thinking on their “reputation” I was amazed, comforted, encouraged, and challenged.

As we approach Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ on this earth, I want to share with you my thoughts regarding these women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus.

I hope you'll gather with me the next couple of days over a cup of coffee to consider the encouragement and challenge that they have brought to my own heart even today.

Tamar: mother of Perez and Zerah; Her story begins in Genesis 38.

She was given as the wife to a man named Er. He was a wicked man in the sight of the Lord and so the Lord put him to death. That left it to Onan (Er’s brother) to fulfill the law and marry Tamar to have children for his deceased brother.

He also did wickedly in the sight of the Lord and so the Lord put him to death. There was a younger brother Shelah. Good old dad (Judah: one of Joseph‘s brothers) told Tamar that when Shelah grew up he would be a husband to her.

Time went by. It did not appear it was going to come to pass. So what did Tamar do?

She disguised herself as a prostitute and seduced her father in law while he was on a journey. She became pregnant by him… with twins. Thus, the names Perez and Zerah.

Rahab: mother of Boaz; Her story is found in Joshua 2.

Rahab did not only disguise herself as a prostitute to attempt to obtain what she felt was rightfully hers as Tamar did, she was a prostitute. It was her livelihood, her job, her way of life.

She lived in Jericho. She hid the Israelite spies. She believed.

Listen to what she says to the spies in verse 11: “For the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below." From the stories and accounts she was hearing in the city from the others of what this God was doing, she was apparently a believer.

Because of her protection of the spies and her request, her life and the lives of her family were spared. She ended up marrying an Israelite named Salmon because that is who is listed as the father of Boaz.

God put a prostitute into the lineage of Jesus?!?! Ah, but did you see her blind faith and change of heart?

Ruth: She has an entire book of the Bible devoted to her.

She is a woman whose husband died as well as her brother in law and father in law. She was living in her home country at the time of the loss. Her mother in law decided to return home to her country. She encouraged and gave permission to her daughter in law’s to stay on at “home” with their families.

Ruth, like Rahab, obviously had a heart tender towards the things of the Living God.

In Ruth 1:16 we read Ruth’s response to her mother in law as she is urging them to return to their homes. “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God”.

She longed for the things of the true God. If you’ve never read the story of Ruth, you really should as it is an amazing story of how Ruth met her mate, Boaz… whose mother was the formerly known prostitute Rahab.


WHAT? David had more than one wife! Surely any of them should have been included in the line of Jesus… but Bathsheba? Do you know the scandalous account that surrounds this name? II Samuel 11 records exactly what occurred.

In Matthew 1... the genealogy itself, we are even reminded of this account. It is brought to our attention once again. Matthew 1: 6: “David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife.”

Uriah was a soldier in the army of King David. While Uriah was off to war (where David probably should have been… with his men) David noticed Bathsheba bathing and called for her. Well, you can only imagine where this led to. Adultery and a pregnancy.

Now David knew he had to cover his actions. So he sent a message to have Uriah put on the front lines… to be killed… then he could marry Bathsheba. Unbelievable actions from a “man after God’s own heart”.

We later find the account of Nathan the prophet confronting David and David’s repentant change of heart. The first child, the child conceived in adultery, died at the age of 7 days old.

But next came Solomon… included in the line of Jesus. A man conceived from this type of family history allowed to precede the very line and name of Jesus?

The last woman we see listed in the line of Jesus is Mary, the mother of Jesus …

There they are, the women listed in the genealogy of Jesus as recorded in the book of Matthew chapter 1.

Stay tuned as I prepare to share with you the comfort, encouragement and challenge that these women have brought to my own heart.


  1. Whenever I think about these women I am reminded about how much God cares for us women and all our foibles. He knew we would need the comfort of knowing we were good enough, even if it was just in our own minds to combat our own doubts.

  2. Jesus came from a real family - warts and all! No silver spoon or Puritan family... just ordinary, real people. Thank you for the reminder. Can't wait for your next installment. Aloha *;)

  3. Have you ever read Francine River's Women of Grace series? (I think that's what it's called) Each book in the series is about one of these women you've mentioned. I really, really enjoyed it!


Thank you for taking a moment to stop and chat. I enjoy the presence of you!