Job’s wife is known predominantly for one statement from Job 2:9
Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!”
But her name … is unknown
Queen of Sheba came to test the profound wisdom of Solomon with hard questions. After he answered all her questions she said “7 How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 8 Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the Lord your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness.” (I Chronicles 9: 1-12)
But her name … is unknown
Pilate’s wife is known for telling him not to condemn Christ “Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.” (Matthew 27:19
But her name is unknown
Ezekiel’s wife, though dearly loved, is known for not being mourned as a sign to Israel. (Ezekiel 24:15-27)
an anonymous Scotch poet beautifully explained her purpose this way:
He needed me,
To be a sign for Him; my death to stand
A figure to my people of the things
Which He will do to them, except they turn
And seek His face. I am so content
To die for this. I could not speak for God
As thou hast done so well; but I can be
To God and for my people, and for thee
To aid in thy great work—a sign.
But in her life as Ezekiel’s “delight of his eyes” and in her death
Her name – is unknown
The influence of these women for truth – and against truth – is known worldwide
But their names remain – unknown
Yet they were each known by Job, Pilate, Solomon, and Ezekiel and by those in their circles of influence, their communities, and of course by God.
I wonder as I read of these known, but unknown women,
What is the rest of their stories?
Who was Job’s wife, really – was she in such desperate grief after losing all her children, their wealth and social standing, and physically her prominent husband as well? Were her friends as unsupportive as Job’s? Was her death wish explaining her own feelings and/or loss of faith? Did she regret being known for that one weak moment? What was she changed after all their tragedies and the replenishment?
Who was the amazing Queen of Sheba who traveled from “from the ends of the earth” (Matthew 121:42) to hear of Solomon’s God? How long did it take her to get there? And what did she do with her knowledge when she returned to her own Country? Matthew 12:42 says she “will rise at the judgment” because of that decision.
Who was Pilate’s wife really? She apparently had messages in dreams before because Pilate instantly took heed to her words. Had she followed Jesus or heard of Him? What happened to her afterward? How did that moment change her life?
Who was the woman that God spoke to Ezekiel of and referred to as the delight of your eyes? Was Ezekiel’s wife looked on that way because of physical beauty, or beauty in her spirit or both? How did she treat Ezekiel? How did her neighbors and family regard her? Was she really, as the poetess wrote, “so content to die” to make a statement for God to Israel?
And then I wonder about myself, and about many in my life who have prayed for me, and touched me or my family or other dear ones in remarkable and sometimes miraculous ways, yet remain nameless as well in their deeds.
In our fame-driven society the urge to leave a legacy with our name is strong, yet these and other unnamed women from the Bible inspire me to be, at least sometimes, a nameless woman. Not that I am not known— for I am known, as these women were, by husband, by family, by friends, and community, and most importantly, by The Most High God.
I am grateful for those who know me, and for those who inspire me to also be unknown – more importantly than named – as one who chose to take a stand or make godly decisions, to pray for other unknown women, and in some way, at least to some, be predominately known as a woman who followed after God.