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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Maid

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MAID.—The English words ‘maid,’ ‘maiden’ represent three Greek words: κοράσιον (Matthew 9:24 f. Authorized Version ‘maid,’ Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘damsel’); ἡ παῖς (Luke 8:51 Authorized Version and Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘maiden’; Luke 8:54 Authorized Version ‘maid,’ Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘maiden’); and παιδίσκη (Matthew 26:69, John 18:17 Authorized Version ‘damsel,’ Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘maid’; Mark 14:66; Mark 14:69, Luke 22:56 Authorized Version and Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘maid’; Luke 12:45 Authorized Version ‘maidens,’ Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘maidservants’). The first two clearly signify ‘young girl,’ answering to the Aramaic talîtha (cf. Mark 5:41 and Luke 8:54 : for a discussion of the Aramaic form see art. Talitha cumi). Talîtha seems to have been frequently employed in the sense of ‘young woman.’ In the Targums it is used of Dinah, Miriam, and Esther. It and its Greek equivalents have almost that meaning as applied to the daughter of Jairus. κοράσιον seems to have lost its diminutive force in later Greek and to have been no longer employed as a familiar term, but to have been virtually equivalent to κόρη, παιδίσκη, the feminine of παιδίσκος, originally a diminutive of παῖς, meant in the first instance ‘girl’ and then ‘domestic female servant’ or ‘slave.’ It has the latter meaning in the Gospels. In some passages in the LXX Septuagint (Exodus 20:10, Leviticus 25:44 etc.) it represents ’âmâh (cf. art. Handmaid). It seems to have been used especially of a doorkeeper (Gospels, Acts 12:13, Lysias cited by Wetstein). That it often referred to a slave, not a hired servant, is evident from the passages quoted by Wetstein from the grammarians, and seems to be implied in the contrast between παιδίσκης and ἐλευθέρας in Galatians 4:22.

Literature.—Wetstein on Matthew 26:69; Levy, Chaldäisches Wörterbuch, i. 303b; Swete on Mark 14:66,

W. Taylor Smith.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Maid'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/m/maid.html. 1906-1918.

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