This is a page to look up Bible characters if you are stuck on, “Who was that guy that built the ark?” or “I know the name Jonah but I can’t think what he did.”
By Holly Green
Adam and Eve– First man and woman. Lived in the Garden of Eden. Ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Driven out of garden.
Cain– First child of Adam and Eve. Tiller of the ground. Jealous of his brother, killed him.
Abel– Second child of Adam and Eve. Keeper of the flocks. Gave the better sacrifice. Killed by his brother. I keep them straight by saying that Cain killed Abel because he wasn’t able to keep Cain from killing him.
Noah-Built an ark the size of one and a half football fields. Took the animals in 2×2. He and his wife, his three sons, their wives were saved on the ark.
Abraham-First of three men to receive 3 promises-God would make his descendants a great nation, would give them a land flowing with milk and honey, a savior would come from his seed. His name changed from Abram. Told to pack his things and go to where God told him. Told to sacrifice his son, Isaac, but the angel stopped him at the last second. Called a “friend of God”.
Isaac-Second of three men who received the 3 promises from God. Had twin sons. Was tricked by Jacob into giving him the inheritance instead of Esau-who was supposed to receive it.
Jacob-Third of three men to receive the 3 promises from God. Was one of twins. Born last but came out holding his brother’s heel. Convinced his brother to give him the birthright for a bowl of porridge. Tricked Isaac and Esau into receiving the inheritance that was due to Esau because he was the first-born. Wrestled with an angel all night. Had the dream of the angels going up and down the ladder from earth to heaven. His name was changed to Israel. Had twelve sons whose descendants became the 12 tribes of Israel. Nation of Israel name after him.
Joseph-11th son born to Jacob-his favorite. Sold by his brothers into slavery. Taken to Egypt. Falsely accused and sent to prison by his master, Potiphar-captain of the guard. Interpreted dreams-even Pharaoh’s. Became the pharaoh’s right hand man. Stored grain during the time of plenty to have food for the upcoming famine. Forgave his brothers and saved them from the famine.
Moses-Hidden by his mother in a basket and set in the Nile River. Killed an Egyptian. Led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt after ten plagues. Led the Israelites through the wilderness to the Promised Land-Canaan. Received The Ten Commandments from God and the Law of Moses.
Aaron-Moses’ brother. Speaker for Moses to Pharaoh. His staff turned into a serpent and back. His staff was in the Ark of the Covenant. First high priest. Made sacrifices in the tabernacle for himself and the people. Made a golden calf for the people while Moses was receiving The Ten Commandments.
Joshua-Took Moses’ place as leader of the Israelites. Led the people into the Promised Land. Was one of the twelve spies, who spied out Canaan. Was one of two who said they could take Canaan. Led the Israelites around Jericho for seven days before it fell. Great military commander.
Samson-a judge Followed the Nazarite vow and did not cut his hair, which gave him incredible strength through God. Defeated Philistines. Loved Delilah and eventually told her the secret of his strength. The Philistines cut his hair and gauged out his eyes, making him a slave. Forced to push the wheel of the grinder in chains as a spectacle. With the help of a boy, he pushed the pillars down and killed 3,000 Philistines and himself.
Saul-First king of Israel, anointed by God. Stood head and shoulders above the people. Called for David to calm his nerves with the lyre or harp. Gave his daughter to David as a wife. Became jealous of David and chased him through the caves, trying to kill him. Jealous of David’s friendship with his son, Jonathan. Almost killed Jonathan with a spear. Mortally wounded in battle, asked his servant to kill him. He couldn’t, so Saul fell on his sword.
David-Second king of Israel. A shepherd. Anointed by Samuel-the last judge. Played the lyre and harp for Saul to calm his nerves. Killed Goliath with a stone and slingshot-hitting him in between the eyes. Freed his people from the Philistines. Great warrior. Called “a man after God’s own heart”. Committed adultery with Bathsheba, whom he saw bathing on the roof. Had her husband, Uriah, the Hittite, killed and married her after she told David she was pregnant. Wrote many Psalms.
Solomon-Third king of Israel. Asked for wisdom when God offered him a gift-wisest man who ever lived. Wealthiest king who ever lived. Had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Man of peace. Built the temple-a house for God to dwell in. Wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. His wives worshipped idols and turned his heart away from God.
Job-Satan approached God and proposed that if he took all of Job’s wealth, he would curse God and leave him and come follow Satan. God allowed Satan to take all of Job’s possessions and his kids the first time, sparing his body. The second time, Satan took Job’s health and covered his body with boils. Job’s three friends told him he had to have done something wrong. Job insisted he did nothing wrong and wanted his day in court with God. He got it but God did not tell him why those things happened to him-thus the age-old question-“Why do bad things happen to good people?” Throughout the whole trial, Job never sinned.
Daniel-Set up by three men who were jealous of him-to catch him praying to God when it was against the law. Thrown in a lion’s den but God sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths and protect him. Was chosen to work in the king’s court. Worked for Nebuchadnezzar. Ate vegetables and refused to eat the king’s food and drink his wine-after a week, Daniel looked healthier than the king’s other men. God told him some of the events to come in the future.
Jonah-Tried to hide from God when told to go to Ninevah and tell them their fate for disobedience. Was swallowed by a big fish, inside for three days until vomited out. Went to Ninevah and delivered God’s message.
Joseph and Mary-Jesus’ parents, Mary being a virgin when she gave birth to Him. Joseph was His earthly father and a carpenter with little money in Nazareth. Took Mary to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast but had to stay in Bethlehem when Mary went into labor. All the inns were full and they had to put Jesus in a manger. Mary was at the cross when Jesus was crucified and He asked John to take care of her after His death. She lived with John for the rest of her life.
Peter-One of the 12 apostles. Spontaneous, outspoken. Was a fisherman with his brother, Andrew. Told Andrew after Jesus called him and Andrew followed Him also. Rebuked Jesus once, to which he replied, “Get behind me, satan!” Went out to Jesus when he was walking on the water but started to sink when he became fearful, to which Jesus said, “Oh ye of little faith! Why did you doubt?” Told Jesus that he would go to death with Him and Jesus told him, “Before the rooster crows you will deny me three times,” and Peter did after His arrest. Preached the first sermon after Jesus ascended to heaven on the day of Pentecost after tongues of fire appeared over his and the other apostles heads and they began to speak in tongues. 3,000 souls were saved, some of them the very people who crucified Jesus. Wrote I and II Peter.
James and John-brothers and one of the 12 apostles, called “sons of thunder” by Jesus for their quick tempers. John was called “the apostle Jesus loved” and was the one who leaned his head against him at The Last Supper. John followed at a distance when Jesus was arrested and went to trial. Was at the cross when Jesus was crucified. Jesus asked him to take care of his mother after He died. Ran ahead of Peter and reached Jesus’ tomb first when the women came and told the apostles it was open and He was gone. James was the first apostle to be killed-killed by the sword. James may have written the book of James but some disagree and say it was Jesus’ brother, James who wrote it. John wrote the gospel of John and the book of Revelation.
Thomas-One of the 12 apostles. Called “doubting Thomas” because he would not believe that Jesus was raised from the dead until he put his hands in His wrists and feet and in Jesus’ side, declaring, “My Lord and my God!” Said, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How do we know the way?” Jesus replied, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” When Jesus went to Lazarus after he died, Thomas said, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.”
Judas-One of the 12 apostles. Betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver after the devil entered into him. Tried to give back the money and the men would not take it; therefore, Judas committed suicide. Was also in charge of the money bag of Jesus and the apostles, and stole from it often.
Paul-also called Saul, his name was changed after he became a Christian. Grew up a Jew and trained as a Pharisee, reaching a high rank. Persecuted Christians and dragged them out of their houses to prison and to their deaths. Saw a bright light on the road to Damascus, through which Jesus spoke to him. Was blind for three days, fasting and praying, and baptized becoming a Christian. Wrote most of the books in the New Testament. Was imprisoned and mistreated more than the other apostles. Called himself, “the least of the apostles”, and a “wretched man”.