Hassophereth (also referred to as Sophereth) is the first woman writer whose name is mentioned in the Old Testament. The Hebrew meaning of the name Sophereth is “the female scribe,” and she may have been either one of a family of scribes, or the head of a guild of scribes. The name first appears in Ezra, one of the last four books of the Hebrew canon (the canon includes Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles). The Persian king Cyrus desired to have the Hebrews build a temple in Jerusalem. His desire paved the way for their departure from Babylonian exile, along with their families and slaves. The following E-Quote shows how Ezra chronicled the names in an ancient list.
A parallel passage that includes the name Sophereth appears in Nehemiah 7:57. Not much is known about the authorship of the old Testament, but some scholars assert that women contributed to the final shaping of the writings of at least some of the old Testament. This theory is based on the numerous instances of direct quotes by women and the fact that there were women writers in Babylon.