“Is It Biblical for a Woman to Lead a Nation?”


In view of John McCain’s pick for Vice President [Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska]: Is it biblically sound for a women to be in charge of a nation? I feel very sound on the fact that the husband should lead the family and in a church structure a man should be in charge of the church. Can a woman lead on the national scale?

We are in total agreement with you that God’s plan is for men to lead in both the church and the family. But the Bible does not prohibit women from exercising leadership in civil governments. Note that the references to the Queen of Sheba and Queen Esther contain not even a hint of anything negative. It does seem to be understood that men will generally be the ones in authority, but there are no restrictions for systems and hierarchies outside the church and the family. So there’s nothing intrinsically wrong or evil about women ruling in civil matters.

The created order, before the fall, makes Adam and Eve co-regents and co-stewards of the earth:

Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Gen 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Gen 1:28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

God’s plan for the future is that believers who endure, both men and women, will reign with Christ (2 Tim. 2:12). So the idea of women reigning is biblical within a certain context.

I do feel compelled, however, to note the sadness of Isaiah 3:12 where women ruling over God’s people is a sign of judgment. However, the context is that of a theocracy, and that makes a difference. The United States is definitely not a theocracy, with our strong lines of demarcation between church and state!

Hope this helps!

Sue Bohlin

Shortly after this answer was posted, we received this email:

Re: Your article “Is it Biblical for a woman to lead a nation” — Why was Deborah never mentioned when she is a prominent figure all through Judges?

I addressed the issue of Deborah in the answer to email “Should Women Be Pastors?” here: www.probe.org/should-women-be-pastors/

By the way, there are 21 chapters in Judges, and Deborah’s story is in only two of them, chapters 4 and 5. She’s a major player to be sure, but not all through Judges.

Thanks for asking.

Sue Bohlin

Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker/writer and webmistress for Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 40 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Engage Blog. In addition to being a professional calligrapher, she is the wife of Probe's Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.

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