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Which prophet did not marry in the Bible?

Throughout the Bible, marriage is shown to be an important part of life for many of the prophets and other godly men. However, there are a few key prophets who remained unmarried during their ministries according to biblical accounts.


One of the most well-known unmarried prophets in the Bible is Jeremiah. Jeremiah was called by God at a young age to be a prophet to Judah before and during the Babylonian exile. There are several clues in the Book of Jeremiah that indicate Jeremiah likely remained unmarried:

  • Jeremiah 16:2 – God instructs Jeremiah not to take a wife or have children due to the coming destruction upon Judah.
  • Jeremiah 35:8 – Jeremiah obeys the command of God to abstain from marriage and reproduction.
  • Jeremiah 16:1-4 – Jeremiah is forbidden to take a wife and have children as a sign of the coming judgment.

There is no mention of Jeremiah having a wife or children anywhere in the book. This seems to confirm that Jeremiah obeyed God’s command to refrain from marriage during his prophetic ministry. Some scholars believe Jeremiah’s singleness allowed him to more fully focus on his mission from God during a very difficult time in Israel’s history.


Elijah is another prominent Old Testament prophet who appears to have remained unmarried. The following points show why it is likely Elijah did not marry:

  • There is no mention of a wife or family for Elijah anywhere in the Books of 1 Kings or 2 Kings, where his life and ministry are described.
  • Elijah lived an ascetic, solitary lifestyle during his ministry, traveling and prophesying on his own. This would have been unusual if he had family obligations.
  • Elijah performed miracles, prophesied, and criticized kings without concern for endangering a family’s safety and livelihood.
  • God sent Elijah to live alone during the later years of his ministry (1 Kings 17:2-6).

Based on these clues, it seems probable that Elijah was not married during the course of his ministry so he could be mobile and fully devoted to his prophetic calling.


Elisha was the protégé of Elijah who succeeded him as a prophet of God after Elijah was taken up to heaven. Like his mentor Elijah, Elisha does not appear to have married. Here is the biblical evidence:

  • No wife or children are mentioned for Elisha in the Books of 1 Kings and 2 Kings.
  • Elisha immediately abandoned his family and livelihood when called by Elijah, suggesting he did not have his own family obligations (1 Kings 19:19-21).
  • Elisha carried on Elijah’s lifestyle of traveling constantly to fulfill his prophetic duties.
  • Elisha performed miracles and delivered prophecies that could have endangered a family if he had one.

Based on the pattern established by his predecessor Elijah, it seems Elisha also devoted himself fully to the prophetic calling by remaining unmarried and childless.


Daniel was a Jewish prophet who rose to prominence in Babylon during the Jewish exile. Although he lived in Babylon for many decades serving in high government positions, there is no mention in the Book of Daniel of him having a wife or children:

  • No wife or offspring are mentioned when Daniel is taken to Babylon as a young man (Daniel 1:3-7).
  • Daniel becomes a high-ranking wise man in the royal court, but with no family mentioned (Daniel 2:46-49).
  • When Daniel faces persecution for his faith, only he is mentioned being thrown into the lions’ den with no concern shown for a family (Daniel 6:16-24).
  • Daniel refers to speaking with angels and receiving visions, but does not mention communicating any of this with a spouse (Daniel 7-12).

While there is no definitive statement that Daniel never married, the lack of any reference to a wife, children or family in the account of his long life and ministry in Babylon strongly suggests Daniel remained unmarried in order to fully dedicate himself to God’s calling on his life.


Huldah was a prophetess in the days of King Josiah. She gave authoritative prophecies and interpretations of God’s Word that influenced the course of Judah’s history. Although female prophets often were married (like Deborah and Isaiah’s wife), there are clues that Huldah may have been unmarried:

  • No husband is mentioned in the account of her prophecy to King Josiah and his officials (2 Kings 22:14-20).
  • She is simply called “Huldah the prophetess” with no reference to a husband or father’s name.
  • She lived in Jerusalem but did not seem to be confined to domestic duties.
  • She had access to speak immediately with the king and his council, unusual for a married woman.

While not definitive, the lack of reference to a husband, plus her independence and access to the king, suggests Huldah the prophetess may have been single during her ministry.

Possible Reasons for Remaining Unmarried

Why would God call some important biblical figures to remain unmarried? Here are a few possible reasons:

  • Focus – Remaining single allowed prophets like Jeremiah, Elijah and Daniel to focus completely on their calling from God.
  • Mobility – Without family obligations, prophets like Elijah and Elisha were able to travel freely wherever God sent them.
  • Persecution – As seen with Daniel, being single meant not bringing any family into danger faced for their ministry.
  • Symbolism – Jeremiah’s singleness illustrated Israel’s coming desolation and need for repentance.

Singleness enabled some prophets and prophetesses to be wholly dedicated to their divinely appointed tasks. Their lives modeled service to God above even the deep blessing of marriage and family.

Other Possibly Unmarried Prophets

There are a few other prophets who have less biblical evidence, but may have also remained unmarried due to not mentioning a spouse:

  • Isaiah – A wife is mentioned only once (Isaiah 8:3), but never children.
  • Amos – He is not mentioned as having a wife or family, though he did have a profession herding sheep.
  • John the Baptist – No wife or children are ever referenced for this wilderness prophet.

While it cannot be stated definitively, the silence regarding families for these prophets leaves open the possibility that they served God as single men.

Major Prophets Who Married

Although some significant prophets did not marry, many of the major biblical prophets did marry and have families. Here are some examples:

Prophet Wife Children
Moses Zipporah Gershom, Eliezer
Samuel Unnamed wife Joel, Abijah
Isaiah Prophetess (Isaiah 8:3) Sons mentioned (Isaiah 7:3; 8:3)
Hosea Gomer Jezreel, Lo-Ruhamah, Lo-Ammi
Ezekiel Unnamed wife Died during siege (Ezekiel 24:15-18)

Marriage and family was the norm for righteous men in the Bible, even among many prophets. Remaining unmarried was seen as an unusual exception for those called to a special ministry.

Jesus and the Apostle Paul – Single

In the New Testament, both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul were single during the course of their ministries:

  • Jesus never married, remaining celibate (see Mark 1:29-31; John 2:1-11 for implied singleness).
  • Paul encourages singleness for greater dedication to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:7-8, 32-35).
  • As apostles, Jesus and Paul give up family for sake of ministry (Matthew 19:29, 1 Corinthians 9:5).

Following the examples of Jeremiah, Elijah and Daniel, the singleness of Christ and Paul enabled greater devotion to spreading the gospel unhindered.


In summary, several key biblical prophets chose to remain unmarried, including Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel and Huldah. While less common than being married, their singleness removed distractions and freed them to carry out their prophetic ministries. Their examples forecasted the celibate lives of Jesus and Paul in the New Testament. Though most did marry, the calling of some to refrain from marriage served God’s purposes in miraculous ways.