Five Biblical Heroines
Since Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973, more than 63 million children have been killed in the place where they should be safer than anywhere else – their mother’s womb.
That number exceeds the number of people killed by Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao in China and those slaughtered in Afghanistan and Ukraine…combined!
Planned Parenthood… what a great title. But did you know it’s founder, Margaret Sanger, was a philosopher of eugenics, the idea that you suppress the birth of different races in order to ‘purify’ the population at large? And that’s exactly what’s happened.
It’s no coincidence that most Planned Parenthood locations are in minority neighborhoods. It’s been a hidden racism since 1973 – and it’s a tragedy and a sin against God.
Not only that, but abortion completely deprives a baby of its first stated inalienable right… the right to life.
Back in ancient Egypt, there was a similar practice which we have recorded in the Bible. In Exodus 1, Pharoah instructed the midwives to kill any male babies born from Hebrew women. But in this terrible time, there were five heroines who changed history through one of the very first pro-life movements.
Their names were Shiphrah, Puah, Jochebed, Miriam, and Bithiah… and you’ve probably never heard of most of them. But in a time of infanticide, they stood for life, and they provide a great model for us today.
Shiphrah and Puah
These two incredible women were midwives who were ordered to kill the male children born from Hebrew mothers. But the Scripture tells they
“feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live”.Exodus 1:17
You see, faith gives us courage to stand for what is right… to fear God more than anything else and do what is right.
The next woman, Jochebed, was the mother of Aaron and Moses. And she did something extraordinary. Instead of throwing Moses into the Nile River as she was instructed, she hid him for three months while she nursed him.
Exodus 2:3 tells us what happened next…
But when she could no longer hide him, she got him a papyrus basket and covered it with tar and pitch. Then she put the child in it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile.Exodus 2:3
Miriam, the older sister of Moses, also had an important role to play in this story. After Jochebed placed baby Moses in the river, we’re told that Miriam
“stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him” (Exodus 2:4)Exodus 2:4
and she ensured he’d be found safely.
Now Miriam was just 10 or 12 years old at this time, but boy what a faith in God she had. Her next move was to go to Pharoah’s daughter after she found Moses and ask,
“Shall I go and call a woman for you who is nursing from the Hebrew women, so that she may nurse the child for you?”Exodus 2:7
Pharoah’s daughter agreed, and who do you think Miriam found to nurse the baby? The baby’s mother, Jochebed!
Finally, we have Bithiah the princess, daughter of Pharoah. She had no connection to baby Moses before finding him in the reeds of the Nile. Somehow, amidst her father’s infanticidal edict, she had learned of the sacredness of life, perhaps from the Hebrews and their God.
Because of Bithiah’s actions, Moses was able to grow up with the highest education, knowledgeable about politics, military strategy, and Egyptian culture. All of this no doubt played a role in his ability to speak skillfully with Pharoah many years later.
These five women had such courage, such faith in God, and such creative and critical thinking to save the life of the most important person to ever live between Adam and Jesus.
Victor Hugo tells the story of a vicious battle that took place over the course of four days. At the end of the battle, the captain and sergeant were leading a platoon of soldiers out of the battle. Suddenly, they saw something moving in the bushes, and go to find a mother holding two little children. They’d been hiding there for days during the battle.
The children were fearful, cold, and starving. So the sergeant gave them something to eat, a loaf of bread from his pack. The mother divided it into two pieces and gave one to each child and stepped back.
The sergeant looked over the captain and said, “Could it be that she’s not hungry?” To which the captain replied, “No, it’s because she’s a mother.”
That’s the kind of protective love these five women showed. And it’s the love we as a society – and as a church – must foster for children, born and unborn, in the world today.