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Holman Bible Dictionary
Term used to describe a woman who is unable to give birth to children: Sarai (Genesis 11:30
), Rebekah (Genesis 25:21
), Rachel (Genesis 29:31
), Manoah's wife (Judges 13:2
), Hannah (1 Samuel 1:5
), and Elizabeth (Luke 1:7
). Also described as “solitary” (Job 3:7
), “desolate” (2 Samuel 13:20
; Isaiah 49:21
; Isaiah 54:1
), or “dead, deadness” (Romans 4:19
). Barrenness was considered a curse from God (Genesis 16:2
; Genesis 20:18
; 1 Samuel 1:5
), which explains Elizabeth's statement that God had taken away her “reproach among men”—that she was a sinner and cursed by God as evidenced by her barrenness (Luke 1:25
). The barrenness of Sarai, Rebekah, and Rachel (the mothers of the Israelite nation) is significant in that their ability to finally bare children is a sign of the grace and favor of God toward His elect people.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Barren, Barrenness'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/b/barren-barrenness.html. 1991.