What are some bible verses about mothers

The mothers of the Bible

"Best of Bible" series

Motherhood is wonderful, but it can also be difficult. And becoming a mother is no longer a matter of course. It wasn't even in biblical times. So there are very different mothers in the Bible. In addition to well-known mothers like Sara and Maria, many more are described in the Bible in a wide variety of life situations.

The psalmist praises the “happy nannies”. The Bible does not hide the fact that not all mothers' fates are happy.

Eva - the first

If you take the Bible too literally, Eve is simply the first mother. Because as the very first woman in the world, all generations go back to her. As a result, neither her own mothers nor other mothers could give her advice when bringing up Cain and Abel. Eva's mother's soul must have been shaken by one of her sons killing the other. Then she got another straggler named Set.

Quote: "And Adam called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all who live there." (Genesis 3: 20-4: 2)

Sara - the late-giving birth

Genesis 11-12; 16-25

Have another child at the age of ninety? When three angels announced this to Sara, she had to laugh. But in fact: with her husband Abraham - at 99 years also not the youngest - she fathered a child, Isaac. The Catholic Church declared her saints because of her firm belief.

Quote: "Now that I am old, I should still cultivate love, and my Lord is also old!" (Genesis 17: 15-18; 18: 9-12: 21: 1-7)

Hagar - the single parent

Not every maid gets a job like this: When Sarah realized that she would not have children (see above), she sends her husband Abraham to the Egyptian maid Hagar. The 86-year-old impregnates her; he calls his son Ishmael. Contrary to expectations, Sara becomes pregnant 13 years later. She cannot stand the competitive situation and orders Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael into the desert. An angel protects the two on their journey.

Quote: "The angel of God called Hagar from heaven and said to her: Do not be afraid." (Genesis 16: 1-16; 21: 9-21)

Jochebed - the brave

What fear this mother must have endured! The Pharaoh had every newborn Hebrew baby killed. What to do? For three months she hides her son Moses from the thieves; then she makes a watertight basket, puts the baby in it and sets it out in the reeds on the bank of the Nile. Their plan works, Moses survives as an adopted child at the court of the Pharaoh and leads the people of Israel out of captivity.

Quote: "But when she could no longer hide it, she made a box of reed." (Exodus 2: 1-4; 6:20)

Gomer - the abused

A symbolic forced marriage with a divine blessing: the prophet Hosea receives an order from God to marry a temple prostitute; through this God wants to show that his people are wrong. Gomer's three children are given unusual, emblematic names. The Bible does not describe what later became of Gomer.

Quote: "Go and take a whore." (Hosea 1)

Bathsheba - the mourner

Should God really punish the unpopular behavior of parents with the death of a child? According to the Bible it is. Israel's King David kills the husband of his lover Bathsheba. A prophet named Nathan then announced to him that the son of David and Bathsheba was about to die. The boy, to whom the Bible doesn't even give a name, is only seven days old. Did Mother Bathsheba really help her husband's attempt at consolation?

Quotation: "And when David had comforted his wife Bathsheba, he went in and slept with her." (2 Samuel 11-12)

Maria - the untouched

The most prominent of all mothers, because she gave birth to Jesus, the Son of God. How this came about remains historically unclear, but it is a beautiful, deeply religious story. Mary sacrificed herself, did not let herself be discouraged by the sometimes harsh manner of her son and accompanied Jesus to the cross. Afterwards, Mary made sure that his teaching had consequences and successors in the early church in Jerusalem.

Quote: "And she gave birth to her first son and wrapped him in diapers and put him in a manger." (Luke 1-2)

Uwe Birnstein


For further reading:

Margot Käßmann: Mothers of the Bible, Freiburg (Brsg.) 2009.