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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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A numerous offspring was regarded as a signal blessing, Psalm 127:3-5 , and childless wives sought various means to escape the reproach of barrenness, which was deprecated in the blessing given to a newly married couple, Ruth 4:11 . The pangs of childbirth, in their suddenness and sharpness, are often alluded to in Scripture. The apostle Paul speaks of them as fruits and evidences of the fall; but assures those who abide in faith, that, amid all the suffering that reminds them that woman was first in the transgression, Genesis 3:16 , they may yet look trustfully to God for acceptance and salvation, 1 Timothy 2:15 .

A newborn child was washed, rubbed with salt, and wrapped in swaddling clothes, Ezekiel 16:4 Luke 2:7-11 . On the eighth day he was circumcised and named. At his weaning a feast was often made, Genesis 21:34 . The nurse of a female child often attended her through life, Genesis 24:59 35:8 . Children were to be instructed with great diligence and care, Deuteronomy 6:20-23 . They were required to honor and obey their parents, and were subject to the father's control in all things, Genesis 22:21 Numbers 30:5 ; they were even liable to be sold into temporary bondage for his debts, Leviticus 25:39-41 2 Kings 4:1 Matthew 18:25 .

The first-born son received, besides other privileges, (see Genesis 21:8-21 25:1-6 49:1-27 Judges 11:1-7 . The daughters received no portion, except in cases provided for in Numbers 27:1-11 .

The term child or children, by a Hebrew idiom, is used to express a great variety of relations: the good are called children of God, of light, of the kingdom, etc.; the bad are named children of the devil, of wrath, of disobedience, etc. A strong man is called a son of strength; an impious man, a son of Belial; an arrow, the son of a bow, and a branch the son of a tree. The posterity of a man is his "sons," for many generations.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Children'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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