Isaiah

Who Is Isaiah’s Wife?

Mesu Andrews Featured Articles 14 Comments

IsaiahI attended my favorite annual conference—ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers)—at the end of September. It’s always fun to meet new-to-me authors—some published, some aspiring, and some so new to writing they’re not even aspiring yet!  

At one lunch discussion, I met a sweet gal named—Jerusha. Upon hearing her name, I squealed, “I’ve never met a Jerusha!! 

She looked rather startled. (I do that to people sometimes.) “You know who Jerusha is?” 

“Of course! She’s King Uzziah’s wife in the Bible.” 

This sweet girl smiled and confessed she’d stumped many Bible nerds with her name. I wouldn’t have known either unless I’d been studying Isaiah and the kings who reigned during his ministry. 

Silent Women of the Bible 

Here’s another woman I’ve read over at least a dozen times–Ahinoam. I knew one of David’s wives was Ahinoam, but did you know King Saul’s wife was also named Ahinoam?

And what about Job’s wife? Scripture doesn’t even name her. We only know her as the crotchety old gal that gripes at her suffering husband. The shepherd girl in Solomon’s Song of Songs is another one who gets no name. At least we know she was loved. 

Isaiah’s Wife 

Isaiah’s wife is another woman mentioned but given no name. The Bible does, however, give us a glimpse of this family’s life and the involvement they had in Isaiah’s ministry. 

“Then the Lord said to Isaiah, ‘Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field. Say to him, “Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid.”’” Isaiah 7:3–4 (emphasis added)  

We also know Isaiah’s wife was a prophetess and that another son—Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz—was born to her later in life: 

“Then I made love to the prophetess, and she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said to me, ‘Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.’” Isaiah 8:3 (emphasis added) 

Naming Isaiah’s Wife & Sons 

I ran into a little conundrum when I wrote Isaiah’s Daughter because I’d included Isaiah’s early years—including his betrothal, marriage, and birth of two sons—in a previous book (Love in a Broken Vessel). I couldn’t choose random names or ages for their sons in Isaiah’s Daughter because I knew some of you with great memories would catch me! 

So I went back to my research from Love in a Broken Vessel (the story of Gomer and Hosea) and tried to make names and dates match as closely as possible. Isaiah’s wife was Aya in LBV, so she remains Aya in Isaiah’s Daughter. However, because Isaiah and Aya had two sons early in their marriage, Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz is a third son, born to them in their “old” age. (Old age in Isaiah’s time was about 36-40 years old. How depressing is that?) I fictionalized the name of their second-born son, Kadmiel, which means: Presence of God. 

Who Is Aya? 

Every character in a novel should have an “arc” or a journey in the story. A noticeable moral, physical, or spiritual change from how they start in the beginning to who they become at the end. Because Aya is considered a minor character, her arc isn’t as pronounced as the main characters, but I hope you’ll notice a major change from the young girl you’ll see in the short story prelude to the strong and confident prophetess you meet in Isaiah’s Daughter.  

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Today’s Question: 

  • Who is one of your favorite “quiet women” of the Bible? Someone who is only mentioned once or maybe not even mentioned by name? 

Comments 14

  1. My favorite quiet women were two who were well-loved and brought back from the dead, Jairus’ daughter (her name isn’t mentioned) and Tabitha, also known as Dorcas. Jairus humbled himself to get Jesus to come heal his daughter, at a time when daughters were thought of as trading tools. When Tabitha died, two men sent for Peter because it was after Jesus’ resurrection. When he arrived, he didn’t find professional mourners but a room full of widows who showed Peter all the clothes that Tabitha had made for her.
    In both cases, love (God’s love and human love) brought them back from the dead. (And if you don’t mind, I’m using this as a blog topic — linking back here of course.)

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      I LOVE your thoughts on these two women, Angie! Especially the story of Tabitha (Dorcas)! One of my dear friend’s mothers was named Dorcas, and I always knew the name came from the NT, but I’d forgotten the significance of the story. Fantastic imagery of ministry to women.

  2. Pingback: Joy-Finders: Mesu Andrews - angela arndt

  3. My favorite quiet woman of the Bible has to be Jerusha! 😉 I like to speculate about her character and spiritual strength. She was the daughter of a spiritually solid priest, Zadok, and, despite her husband’s unfortunate downturn, raised a son (Jotham) who glorified and lived for God as an adult.

    Since I think I was the only Jerusha at ACFW this year, I think you must be talking about me in your little story! 😉 Thanks for the positive depiction. It’s fun to see myself rendered at the hands of a gifted writer!

    By the way, I wished after you left that I’d asked about your unusual name. I’d love to hear where it’s from!

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  4. I would love a novel about Hannah, Peninnah and Elkanah. What a crazy love triangle. I was reading 1 Samuel 1 and realized again how much Elkanah really loved Hannah.

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  5. Noah’s wife! I can only imagine what it was like to live in both words – before and after the flood, and the courage it took to follow God’s plan, yet alone, the boat ride!

    Blessings,
    Lynn

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      I’ve always been interested in Noah’s wife, too. I’ve just read a new book, FLOOD, that releases next month, and the author has done a great job on the story. It doesn’t necessarily focus on Noah’s wife, but we get a glimpse of what her life might have been like. VERY interesting. (I’ll review it in my 11-6-17 newsletter.) 😉

  6. Elizabeth – the mother of John the Baptist
    What a mentoring experience she must have had with Mary as well as the heartache of experiencing the death of Jesus and John.

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      I love thinking of Elizabeth as a mentor to Mary, an older woman, wiser in the world, yet experiencing everything about pregnancy and birth for the first time like her young cousin(?). They must have chattered like sparrows! And poor Zechariah couldn’t even tell them to hush! 😉

  7. Hello, I’ve recently started reading Biblical fiction and am very excited to come across your site. I can’t wait to start exploring your books! I’ve just signed up to your newsletter and can’t believe I’ve missed out on your first (few?) short stories for Isaiah’s Daughter. I was wondering if the past newsletters are available anywhere, as I would love to read these? The most recent newsletter I can find on this site is for January 2016. Many thanks, Estelle

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