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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Child Birth

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In oriental countries child birth is not an event of much difficulty; and mothers at such a season were originally the only assistants of their daughters, as any farther aid was deemed unnecessary, Exodus 1:19 . In cases of more than ordinary difficulty, those matrons who had acquired some celebrity for skill and expertness on occasions of this kind, were invited in; and in this way there eventually rose into notice that class of women denominated midwives. The child was no sooner born, that it was washed in a bath, rubbed with salt, and wrapped in swaddling clothes, החתל , Ezekiel 16:4 . It was the custom at a very ancient period, for the father, while music in the mean while was heard to sound, to clasp the new born child to his bosom, and by this ceremony was understood to declare it to be his own, Genesis 50:23 ; Job 3:12 ; Psalms 22:11 . This practice was imitated by those wives who adopted the children of their maids, Genesis 16:2 ; Genesis 30:3-5 . The birth day of a son, especially, was made a festival, and on each successive year was celebrated with renewed demonstrations of festivity and joy, Genesis 40:20 ; Job 1:4 ; Matthew 14:6 . The messenger, who brought the news of the birth of a son, was received with joy, and rewarded with presents, Job 3:3 ; Jeremiah 20:15 . This is the case at the present day in Persia.


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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Child Birth'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/wtd/c/child-birth.html. 1831-2.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, August 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20
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