Today is International Women’s Day and today we will celebrate the mighty women of the Bible and where you can walk in their footsteps on your next Christian Israel Tour!
Rachel is one of the old testament women of the Bible that we still look back on with honor. She was the beloved wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. When she passed away, somewhere around Bethlehem, Jacob buried her and built a pillar to honor her.
Today, Jews, Christians and Muslims still honor Rachel and there is a tomb near Bethlehem called “Rachel’s Tomb” where people have revered as the original place for generations.
While there are many virtuous women in the Bible, what makes Jesus’ genealogy interesting is that included in it are people most people wouldn’t want included in the family tree, including a prostitute named Rahab.
Rahab was a prostitute in the land of Canaan in Jericho. When Joshua sent spies into the city, Rahab protected them. Though Jericho was destroyed, Rahab and her family were spared and accepted into the Israeli people.
Before there was a Temple, there was a tabernacle where Jews would worship and in that tabernacle is where the Holy of Holies was. While the tent would move in history, one place it stood lasted for nearly 400 years. This place was known as Shiloh.
While there, a well known story took place, and that is the High Priest Eli lived there, tending to the tabernacle. When Elkanah, a regarded man, took his two wives, Hannah and Penninah to make sacrifices at the tabernacle, Hannah poured her heart out to the Lord for a child, as she had been barren. Eli heard this prayer, in which she vowed that if the Lord would give her a son, she would give him back to serve the Lord. Hannah was blessed with a son, which she dedicated to the service of the Lord and was given many children in return. That son was Samuel, who lived with Eli, and became a mighty prophet.
Today, you can walk in the same exact areas that Hannah did and read her prayer outside of where they believed the tabernacle stood in Shiloh. Many women send their prayers from around the world and visit in order to pray for a child of their own.
Mary, Mother of Jesus
Mary is of course one of the most revered women of the Bible. There are many places you can visit to be connected with the stories. You can visit The Church of Annunciation where many believe Gabriel visited Mary in Nazareth and told her she would have a son.
You can visit Cana, where Mary called upon her son to intercede on behalf of the wedding party that had run out of wine, so he turned the water into wine.
In Ein Karem, you can visit the Church of the Visitation where it commemorates Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth while they were both expecting and a fountain that some believe is where Mary drew water for her family.
One place that is not in the Bible, but worth a stop anyways is St. Anne’s Church in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is believed by some that this was built upon where Mary was born, to her mother Anne. While this has not bee substantiated in any way, the church is certainly worth a visit. It is one of the only Christian churches that has stood since the time of the Crusades. While a church was first built on the site in the 5th century, the present building has stood since around 1140 AD. It has the most amazing acoustics you can hear, and many groups stop to sing in the building.
The other Mary in Jesus’ life was Mary of Magdala. She was in Jesus’ inner circle of followers and according to the bible. No one knew where Magdala was exactly until the last twenty years. Now you can view two of the oldest synagogues known, including being where Jesus likely taught. This is also where Mary Magdala called home.
Anna the Prophetess
Luke 2:36-38 speaks of Jesus being presented at the Temple and an old prophetess, Anna, was there and she started professing about how He would be the redeemer of Israel and other wonderful things. She was known to rarely leave the Temple, but to stay fasting and praying relentlessly.
While the Temple was destroyed (as Jesus predicted) you can still visit the mount and be in the presence of a wonderful woman’s legacy.
We hope you enjoyed this overview of women of the Bible and where to visit that are connected with them. We hope you will contact Immanuel Tours to start planning your own biblical adventure!