Who Was Eunice?
Eunice may have been mentioned only briefly, but we learn a lot from the few words written in Scripture about her. She was a devoted mother and daughter. She dedicated time and effort to educate her son about Scripture and live according to God’s will. Eunice was a strong woman of faith, not deterred by obstacles.
“Eunice” is a Greek name that means “conquering well.” The name gives the impression of a “good victory” or “happy victory” and derives from the name of the Greek goddess of victory, “Nike.” This kind of strength and determination was important as a Christian when Eunice and her family lived in Lystra.
Timothy, Eunice, and her mother, Lois, lived in Lystra, a city in the interior of Lycaonia, or Asia Minor, that also included the towns of Derbe and Iconium. Paul passed through the region on multiple occasions preaching and teaching. A Jewess, Eunice, would have been familiar with Scripture, possibly making her open to hearing the gospel's truth as Paul preached. Many believe that Eunice and Lois converted to Christianity during Paul’s first visit to Lystra. Later, Timothy came to accept the gospel either through Eunice or during a subsequent visit by Paul.
Eunice would have been an outcast, looked down on by the Jewish community. As we learn from the book of Acts, Eunice was married to a Greek man never named in Scripture. We cannot know for sure, but her husband probably did not convert to Judaism, and we don’t know if he ever became a Christian. What we do know is that despite what people may have thought about her, Eunice remained faithful to God and His Word.
As a Christian, Eunice likely experienced persecution as well. Paul writes to Timothy, reminding him of the treatment he endured in Lystra. “You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it” (2 Timothy 3:11 NLT). Timothy would have witnessed enduring perseverance in his mother, who probably experienced harsh treatment because of her faith, just as Paul did.
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