Click on any link to be taken to the beginning of the first book of the Bible in which that person's name appears.
Worshipping the Golden Calf
Aaron: The son of Jochebed and Amran, he was the brother of Moses and Miriam. A gifted speaker, Aaron became Moses' spokesperson to the Jews as well as to the Pharaoh from whom he demanded release of the Jews from captivity. When the Pharaoh refused, Moses had Aaron call down three plagues. Aaron also became the first High Priest of Israel. However, during Moses' prolonged absence on Mount Sinai, Aaaron yielded to the demands of the people and had a golden calf built to worship. Like Moses, he did not enter the Promised Land.
Abraham About to Sacrifice Isaac
Abraham: Abraham was the son of Terah and brother of Nahor and Haran. A successful herdsman, Abraham was inspired by God to settle in Canaan where he became the patriarch of the Jewish people. When his wife, Sarah, could not become pregnant, Abraham took her handmaiden, Hagar, as his concubine and she bore him a son, Ishmael. In old age, Sarah miraculously gave birth to Isaac. To test Abraham's faith, God commanded him to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah. Just as Abraham was about to do so an angel of the Lord appeared and stopped him. A ram was sacrificed in Isaac's place. As Isaac grew up, Sarah insisted that Hagar and Ishmael be banished to assure her son's claim to the throne. After her death, Abraham married Keturah and they had several children, who eventually were sent away to the east, leaving Isaac as Abraham's sole heir.
Abel: The second son of Adam and Eve, he became a herdsman. Abel, a just and righteous man, was slain by his brother Cain in a fit of jealousy when God favored Abel's sacrificial offering while at the same time rejecting Cain's.
God Creates Adam
Adam: The first human being, Adam was formed by God out of the "dust of the ground". He and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden after they ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They had many children five of whom are known by name: sons Cain, Able and Seth are mentioned in the Book of Genesis ; and daughters Azura and Awan are identified in the Book of Jubilees.
Bathsheba: The wife of Uriah the Hittite, she was seduced by King David, who conspired to have her husband killed in battle so he could marry Bathsheba. When the prophet Nathan learned what had happened, he confronted David and the king repented; but the child conceived in sin died and David's house was cursed. David's oldest son, Amnon, was killed by his half-brother, Absalom, for raping his sister. Later, Absalom was killed in a failed rebellion against his father.Another brother, Adonijah, tried to usurp the throne, but Bathesheba and Nathan pursuaded David that Solomon was a more suitable heir. When Adonijah made a second attempt at the crown, he was put to death.
Cain: The first son of Adam and Eve, he became a farmer. Cain killed his brother, Abel, in a fit of jealousy when God rejected Cain's sacrificial offering while accepting Abel's. In punishment for his sin, Cain was condemned to wander the earth as a vagabond bearing a mark that God put on him. Eventually, Cain settled in the land of Nod where he established a city named after his son, Enoch.
Caiaphas: The high priest who urged the Sanhedrin to find Jesus guilty of blasphemy.
Daniel in the Lion's Den
Daniel: David's second son, as a youth, he was one of four noble jews captured and carried off to Babylon where he was trained as an advisor to the king's court and became renowned for his ability to interpret dreams. But his staunch faith and that of his Jewish companions drew criticism. Three of his friends were thrown into a furnace but emerged unscathed. Daniel was thrown into a lions' den but, miraculously, he was unharmed. At that point, the emperor decreed that Daniel's God should be revered. Later, Daniel influenced the emperor's decision to end the Jewish captivity.
David Slays Goliath
David: As a young shepherd, David was anointed by the prophet Samuel as the successor to King Saul. As Saul lay ill, David played soothing music for him. When his brothers fought the Philistines, David brought them food and in so doing learned about the giant Goliath, who had been taunting the Israelites for forty days. David killed Goliath with a stone from his sling shot and was made a commander in Saul's army. But after David won many battles, Saul began to fear him and plot his death. David fled into the wilderness. When Saul died, David became king over Judah and Israel. When he seduced Bathsheba and had her husband killed in battle, the Lord punished him. Upon his death, David's kingdom was torn by strife.
Esau Accepts a Bowl of Porridge from Jacob
Esau: One of the twin sons of Rebecca and Isaac, Esau was slightly older than his brother, Jacob, and thus the rightful heir to Isaac's throne (though Rebecca felt Esau was irresponsible). As their grandfather, Abraham lay dying, Jacob offered Esau a "mess of pottage" for his birth right and Esau agreed. Rebecca, fearing that Isaac would bless Esau as his heir, duped her husband into blessing Isaac instead. When Esau discovered their trickery, Rebecca helped Jacob escape to the land of her brother Laban. In Jacob's absence, Esau grew very wealthy and forgave his brother with whom he reconciled after many years.
Goliath: The Philistine giant who taunted the Jewish forces twice a day for forty days, challenging them to send a champion to meet him a contest that would determine which side was victorious. Goliath was killed by David's sling shot.
Hagar: An Egyptiaan handmaid to Sarah, she became the concubine of Abraham and gave birth to Ishmael. She and her son were banned from the kingdom at the insistence of Sarah, who wanted to make sure that her son, Isaac, would be Abraham's sole heir. Ishmael, a gifted hunter, eventually ruled over twelve desert tribes.
Paul Defends Himself Before Herod Agrippa II
Herod Agrippa: A cunning politician and friend of Calligula and Cladius, he became the last king of the Jews. Herod Agrippa reunited all the Jewish territories, freed them from Roman rule and beautified Jerusalem. Some believed he was the messiah. He ordered the death of the apostle James the elder and cast Peter into prison. His son, Herod Agrippa II presided at Paul's trial.
Herod Antipas: One of Herod the Great's three sons, he ruled over Galilee and Perea.
Herod the great: A bloody tyrant, he reigned over Jerusalem for 37 years during which time he rebuilt Caesarea and Samaria and restored the temple of Jerusalem. When word of Jesus' birth reached him, he ordered the massacre of innocents. He died soon after, and His kingdom was divided among his three sons: Philip, Antipas and Archaelaus.
Isaac: The son of Abraham and Sarah, and the half brother Ishmael and his Egyptian mother Hagar. Isaac was designated as his father's heir and, at the insistence of Sarah, Ishmael and Hagar were banished. In a test of Abraham's faith, God told him to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah but as he prepared to do so and angel appeared and stopped him. Isaac married Rebekah, who bore him twin sons, Esau and Jacob.
Isaiah's Lips Are Anointed
Isaiah: In the final year of king Uzziah's reign, Isaiah had a vision in which an angel purified his lips with a fiery coal and God sent him as a prophet to His people. Isaiah prophesied for at least four decades, during which time the Assyrians conquered Israel and Syria. In the midst of that tumultuous period, Isaiah promised that God would send a savior called "Immanuel," which meant "God is with us." The Assyrian sieIge of Jerusalem was lifted when an outbreak of disease forced them to leave the region.
Ishmael:The son of Abraham and his concubine, Hagar. He and his mother were banished to the desert at Sarah's insistence after she witnessed Ishmael teasing her son, Isaac. Ishmael became very successful in his own right, ruling over twelve desert tribes.
Jacob Struggles with an Angel
Jacob (also known as Israel): The twin brother of Esau and the son of Isaac and Rebecca, he received his father's blessing, which was intended for his brother, and, as a result, incurred his brother's wrath. Jacob fled to the home of his uncle Laban. En route, he had a dream in which God revealed Israel's future. After working for his uncle for seven years, Jacob asked to marry his cousin Rachel; but his uncle duped him into marrying Leah, his eldest daughter. Jacob agreed to work for Laban for seven more years in order to marry Rachel. Leah bore him six sons and Rachel bore him two. He also had four sons by the handmaids who were presented to him by his wives. Eventually, Jacob returned to Canaan and reconciled with Esau. On the journey home, he was visited at night by an angel, who wrestled with him and gave him a new name: Israel. Some years later, one of his sons, Joseph, was sold by his jealous brothers to traders who took him to Egypt where he became a high ranking official. During a famine, Joseph met his brother again, forgave them and urged Jacob and his family to resettle in that country.
James, the Younger: One of the twelve apostles, he was the son of Alphaeus and Mary (one of the women who discovered Jesus' empty tomb).
James, the Elder: A fisherman, he was the son of Zebedee, the brother of John, one of Jesus' first apostles and part of His inner circle. James and John were called the "sons of Thunder" by Jesus, possibly because they were headstrong and impulsive. James the Elder was beheaded by order of Herod Agrippa II and the was the first apostle to be martyred.
James Writing His Epistle
James, the Epistle writer: Author of one of the earliest New Testament manuscripts, he became a martyr for the faith.
Jehu: The son of Jehoshapat, he reigned over the northern kingdom of Israel for 28 years during which time he killed a great number of people, especially pagan worshippers, including the entire royal family of Ahab.
Jeremiah: Preached in Jerusalem prior to and during the period when the Babylonians invaded, conquered and destroyed much of the city (including the temple), and deported many of the Jews thus fulfilling Jeremiah's warnings to the sinful people. Jeremiah also predicted that the scattered Jews would one day return to the Holy Land.
Jesse: The father of King David.
Jezebel: The wife of Ahab, a king of Israel, she worshipped Baal, a pagan God. After the prophet Elijah performed a miracle on Mt. Carmel and the pagan prophets were killed, Jezebel tried to kill Elijah, but he fled. When Jehu was anointed future king of Israel, he had Jezebel imprisoned, then thrown to the dogs, who tore her to pieces.
Job Restored to Prosperity
Job: A righteous man whose faith was sorely tested by Satan. Job lost his wealth, his children and his health in a series of tragedies that he could not understand and his friends could not explain. Yet, Job did not curse God. In the end, God rewarded Job's faithfulness by showering him with spiritual and material blessings.
John, the apostle: A fisherman, son of Zebedee and brother of James, he was one of the first apostles, part of Jesus' inner circle and the one entrusted with the guardianship of Jesus' mother, Mary. He is known as the "beloved disciple." John wrote one of the four Gospels and the Book of Revelation. He and his brother James were known as the "sons of thunder."
John Baptizes Jesus
John the Baptist: The son of Mary's cousin Elizabeth and Zechariah, he was an ascetic who came out of the desert to act as a forerunner of Jesus. John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. When he criticized the sinful lifestyle of Herod Antipas, John was imprisoned and eventually beheaded at the request of Herod's stepdaughter, Salome.
Jonah: A prophet sent by God to preach to the pagans in Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. At first, Jonah refused and fled God, but his ship encountered a storm in which he was thrown overboard and swallowed by a huge fish. Then the fish spat Jonah out on shore and he heeded God's command, preaching and saving 120,000 Ninevehites from God's wrath.
Joseph, the father of Jesus: The son of Jacob, he was a carpenter betrothed to Mary when he learned she was pregnant with the baby Jesus. Following a dream in which an angel appeared to him, Joseph married Mary. While in Bethlehem for a census, he learned in another dream that Herod was trying to find and kill Jesus. So he fled to with Mary and the infant to Egypt. After Herod's death, the family returned to Israel and settled in Nazareth.
Joseph Forgives His Brothers
Joseph, son of Jacob: The first born son of Jacob (Israel) and Rebecca, he was favored by his father, which made his half brother's jealous. They faked his death and sold him to a caravan of traders headed for Egypt. Once there, Joseph displayed a gift for interpreting dreams that impressed the Pharaoh. He said the Pharaoh's dreams foretold seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. He urged the Pharaoh to stockpile reserves for the coming famine and was put in charge of the program. When the famine hit Canaan, some of his brothers came to Egypt seeking aid. Joseph recognized them and forgave them. Then Jacob's entire family resettled in Egypt where it grew in great numbers until the exodus.
Joshua: Succeeded Moses as the leader of Israel and led his army into the promised land where he waged war for seven years against various tribes. Once he was victorious, Joshua divided his kingdom among the twelve tribes of Israel and made a covenant with the Israelites binding them to God.
Jude: Author of the 21st. book of the New Testament.
Judas Iscariot: An apostle who acted as the group's treasurer, and who used the funds for his own purposes; he betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. After Jesus' crucifixion, the guilt-stricken traitor hung himself.
Laban: The brother of Rebekah and the uncle of Jacob, Laban took Jacob into his home after Jacob had a falling out with his brother, Esau. Laban promised to wed his youngest daughter, Rachel, to Jacob in return for seven years labor, but duped him into marrying his older daughter, Leah. Jacob then agreed to work for Laban for seven more years in order to marry Rachel.
Lazarus: The brother of Martha and Mary, he was a good friend of Jesus and was brought back from the dead after being entombed for four days.
Levi: A tax collector, who became an apostle, he changed his name to Matthew and became one of the four Gospel writers.
Lot: The nephew of Abraham, he went with his uncle to Canaan where he settled in Sodom in the Jordan River Valley. When the Elamite king, Chedorlaomer, invaded Lot's land, he was captured; but Abraham came to his rescue and routed the enemy. Later, the sinfulness of Sodom led God to destroy the city with fire. As Lot and his wife fled the destruction, she disobeyed the angels who were leading them and looked back on Sodom whereupon she was turned into a pillar of salt.
Luke: The "beloved physician," he was a well -educated Greek, who traveled with Paul , wrote the book of acts and one of the Gospels.
Matthew, the Evangelist
Matthew: The son of Alpheus, he had been a wealthy tax collector in Capernaum before becoming one of the twelve apostles. He changed his name from Levi to Matthew as an outward sign of his total conversion. After Jesus' death and resurrection, Matthew preached in Judea for 15 years before spreading the Gospel to gentile nations. He is the author of one of the gospels.
Mark: The son of Mary, whose house was a meeting place for the early church, his full name was Mark John. He was a cousin of Barnabas and accompanied him and Paul on their first missionary journey as well as on other trips. It is believed that he traveled to Rome with Peter, based his Gospel on Peter's testimony and published it shortly after Peter died.
Mary And Martha: Two sisters whose brothers was Lazarus. They were good friends of Jesus.
Mary Magdalene: Freed of demons by Jesus, she became an ardent follower, remaining by His side during the crucifixion. She discovered Jesus' empty tomb and was the first person to see the risen Lord.
Miriam: The daughter of Amram and Jochebed, she was the sister of Moses and Aaron. When the baby Joseph was set adrift in a river to avoid being one of the male Jewish infants killed under an edict from the Pharaoh, Miriam followed along the river bank until the Pharaoh's daughter found the baby. Then Miriam offered to find a wet nurse for the infant, none other than his own mother.Miriam's husband, Hur, helped hold up Moses' weary arm as he raised up the rod of God during their victorious battle against the forces of Amalek.
Moses: Adopted by an Egyptian princess, as a young man Moses fled that country after killing an overseer who had beaten a Jewish slave. While living in the desert, Moses married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, a Midiante priest, who bore him two sons. At age 80, God appeared to him i a burning bush and told him to lead his people out of bondage. When the pharaoh refused to free the Jews, ten plagues
Noah: Son of Lamech, he was a righteous man who survived the great flood which God sent to punish the wickedness of humankind. Warned by God of the impending flood, Noah built an ark big enough for his family and at least one pair of each kind of bird, animal and reptile. After 150 days, the flood waters receded and the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
Paul Writing His Epistles
Paul: Formerly known as Saul, he was a Pharisee and zealot who persecuted the christians until he had a vision on the road to Damascus that led to his immediate conversion. He began evangelizing far and wide and wrote thirteen New Testament letters to churches or people whom he knew. Tradition has it bthat he was beheaded by order of Nero.
Peter: Also known as Simon, he was a fisherman, one of the first apostles and leader of the early church. He performed a number of miracles, wrote two epistles and influenced Mark's writing of his gospel. Peter traveled to Antioch, and possibly Corinth before going to Rome where he was martyred.
Pontius Pilate: The fifth Roman procurator of Judea, he reigned over the Jews for ten pivotal years when Jesus was brought before him to be judged. Though Pilate did not believe Jesus was guilty, he acquiesced to the cries of the crowd and had Jesus scourged and crucified. He ordered a sign posted on the crucifix that read "King of the Jews."
Rachel: Laban's youngest daughter and the cousin of Jacob. When Jacob asked to marry Rachel, Laban duped him into marrying his eldest daughter, Leah. Jacob agreed to work for Laban for seven years in order to marry Rachel. Leah bore Jaob six sons but Rachel had difficulty conceiving so she offered her handmaid Bilhah to Jacob and the maid bore him two sons, Dan and Naphtali. Later, Rachel gave birth to Joseph and Benjamin. She died while giving birth to Benjamin.
Rebecca: The wife of Isaac (Abraham's son), and the mother of twin brothers, Jacob and Esau, she was a beautiful woman. Rebecca favored isaac whereas her husband favored Esau. So Rebecca tricked her husband into giving to Jacob a blessing intended for Esau. On learning this, Esau vowed to kill his brother and Jacob had to flee to his mother's family in Haran.
Samson on the Treadmill
Samson: A member of the tribe of Dan, Samson was incredibly strong, capable of killing a lion with his bare hands and killing 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. He fell under the spell of Delilah, a Philistine women, who discovered the secret of his strength was his long hair, which had never been cut. While Samson slept, his hair was cut off; he lost his strength; and the Philistines subdued him, gouged out his eyes and put him to work on a treadmill grinding grain. During a celebration, the Philistines displayed Samson between two pillars of a large temple. By this point, his hair had grown back and he prayed for the strength to pull down the pillars that supported the temple. His prayer was answered and he gave his life in order to destroy the temple.
Sarah: The wife of Abraham, formerly known as Sarai, she was the mother of Isaac.
Solomon: The son of David and Bathsheba, he was crowned king of Israel, instead of his older brother, Adonijah, thanks to the efforts of his mother, the prophet Nathan and others. He ascended the throne when David was old and infirm and asked the Lord for the wisdom to lead His people. God was so impressed that he granted Solomon wisdom, riches and honor. He reigned during a 40-year period of great prosperity in which he built the temple, a number of cities and a fleet of ships. Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs and Proverbs are attributed to Solomon. However, he took many foreign wives who turned Solomon away from God. As a result, God punished Solomon by taking most of the kingdom away from his son and heir, Rehoboam
Stephen: One of the first deacons of the church and a martyr, Stephen was falsely accused of spreading blasphemy and stoned to death as Saul (now known as Paul) stood watching.
Thaddeus: One of the twelve apostles, he was most likely the same man who was known as Judas, the son of James.