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Women of the Bible


Genesis 1-3

Lesson audio

Genesis One

Gen 1:26-28 NASB Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." (27) God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (28) God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

There are a few simple things I would point out. This baseline Scripture shows no evidence of any rule by Adam over Eve. As we shall see later, this is because there is no sin. So, in the sinless state, we see this:

  • Note the plural “Our.” This is an indication of the Trinity – and a clear statement that all the persons of God were involved in the creation of man and woman.
  • Indeed, you may also note the “image.” Mankind is made in the image of God. Whatever that means. One thing is sure: later, mankind would be offered the opportunity to become children of God.
  • And – in this sinless state – Adam and Eve (note the plural in vs. 26) are given dominion. (After the Fall, it’s stewardship.)
Genesis Two

Gen 2:21-24 NASB So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. (22) The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. (23) The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." (24) For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

We have much to say about the submission of wives to their husbands, but it must be said in the context of the entire Bible. We might here see:

  • “flesh of my flesh” – there is an intrinsic equality to man and woman. We are made of the same stuff.
  • “For this reason” – marriage is given so that the man leaves the home of his youth and sets up his own household. Every marriage is, in a sense, a re-enactment of the creation of Eve. Roughly speaking, marriage is not two planets in mutual orbit; it’s two people making a great team.[1]
  • Paul takes this further; he tells us that mere sexual union makes the two one flesh.[2] This is a point which is overdue for preaching.
Fundamental intentions

At this point, we can make some statements which seem to be justified as portraying the marriage relationship:

  • There is no fundamental difference between the sexes[3] – at least as concerns spiritual, eternal things. Sex is simply a role assigned to each of us; the objective is to know what that role requires and deliver it.
  • The oneness of the church is proclaimed in the oneness of marriage.[4] When the lordship of Christ over the church is proclaimed, the lordship of the husband is also proclaimed.
  • The revelation of the Fatherhood of God implies that the children of God are co-equal in His eyes.

Thus we see things today. But as yet this takes no account of the original sin – and Eve’s part in it.

In the Garden

Eve’s seduction of Adam

In Genesis Three, we see the original version of “serial seduction.” Satan entices Eve, she entices Adam. There is a troubling conclusion there for the feminist; it implies that Satan knew which of the two would be less resistant. The woman is Satan’s back door approach to the man. (Think of Samson and Delilah).

More than that, notice the approach itself. Satan’s approach:

  • First, he twists the words of God, to make them appear like He no longer meant what He said. (Do you really need another reason to study the Scripture?)
  • Next, he portrays the evil as enlightening. Wouldn’t you really rather be one of the in crowd, suave and sophisticated?

So Eve eats; misery loves company and she has Adam do likewise. Sure enough, Satan was right: they now know good from evil. The hard way.

The penalty: death and…

Both Adam and Eve were warned that eating that fruit would be the death of them. But to that penalty God now adds something specific for each sex. For Eve:

  • Her desire will be her dominion. She’s the one who’s going to be attached to him, not the other way around. It’s still true today. How many times have you seen a Christian woman make a terrible choice of a husband? How often do you see the man make such a choice?
  • Great pain in childbirth.
  • BUT – she is also promised the eventual conqueror of sin. It is a prophecy, in retrospect, of the virgin birth.
New Testament view

So how does this all sort out in the New Testament?

1Ti 2:9-15 NASB Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, (10) but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. (11) A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. (12) But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. (13) For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. (14) And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (15) But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

Please note that Paul’s words here are in the context of public instruction. This is not “just cultural.” (It would be very convenient for Christian feminists if so, but read what he said.) There is clearly a difference between men and women here; Paul ties it back to Adam and Eve. That difference is in authority; the result of which is shown in what Paul prescribes and proscribes:

  • Women are to receive instruction quietly. We may therefore conclude that a woman is to learn (receive instruction) just as the men are. There is no sense of “keep her ignorant” in this. But there is a sense that she is to receive her instruction in submission.
  • Women are not permitted to exercise authority over men. Again, please note that this is in the context of instruction.
  • Women are to receive such instruction in “entire submissiveness.” There is a sense here of quiet, gentle humility which has been lost in the modern American church.

Which brings us, therefore, to the question of authority and submission as it applies today.

Authority and Submission in Marriage


The subject can indeed be amplified upon, but there are a few points which I would make as background understanding of authority in the kingdom of God.

  • First, it is not the same as authority in the world. In the kingdom, authority must aim for perfection, not “good enough.”
  • Authority is given to man primarily to deal with the effects of sin.[5] We have policemen because there are criminals.
  • Authority in the kingdom is defined by the responsibility given. For example, as a teacher I control the debate in the classroom; I, and no one else, for I have been given the responsibility of teaching.

So what, then, are the husband’s responsibilities?

The husband’s responsibilities

The husband’s authority is given by his responsibilities. Here’s a list:

  • He is to have sex with her, not depriving her of it.[6]
  • He is to live with her in an understanding way, noting that she is the weaker sex – and honoring her as a fellow-heir of the kingdom.[7]
  • He is to love her, and not become embittered with her.[8]
  • He is responsible for her sanctification.[9] In other words, he is to be the spiritual leader in the home.
  • They are to do all this while acknowledging the authority of Christ over the husband.[10]

So I put the question to the women: would you deny your husband the submission necessary to do these things?

The model of leadership

The husband should know that his model for leadership in the marriage comes from Christ Himself. He did not come to be served, but to serve.[11] Eve is noted primarily for her role in the Original Sin, but the one born of woman came to end that. The husband’s authority is given because there is sin in the world; the day will come when that authority will no longer be needed. The Seed of Eve has seen to that.

[1] As such, marriage is the building block of society. Which is why the enemies of Christ want it abolished.

[2] 1st Corinthians 6:15-20

[3] See Matthew 22:23-32

[4] Galatians 3:28

[5] 1st Corinthians 7:1-5. Note that the authority in this instance is mutual authority.

[6] 1st Corinthians 7:1-5

[7] 1st Peter 3:7

[8] Colossians 3:19

[9] Ephesians 5:22-33

[10] 1st Corinthians 11:3

[11] Matthew 20:28

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