Having Children

DESIRE OF JEWISH WOMEN FOR CHILDREN THERE WAS AMONG the Jewish wives a universal longing for, and joy in, the giving birth to children. That longing was well expressed in the words of Rachel to Jacob, "Give me children, or else I die" (Genesis 30:1). the LORD had originally said to Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28). And the promise to Abraham was, "I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth" (Genesis 13:16). The law of GOD taught that children were a sign of GOD's blessing: "Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body" (Deuteronomy 28:4). The Psalmist pictured a man blessed of the LORD, and says of him, "Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house" (Psalm 128:3). Sterility in marriage was considered to be a divine visitation or curse. Hannah's barrenness was "because the LORD had shut up her womb" (I Samuel 1:6). To have a child after being a long time barren, as was the case of Elisabeth, meant that the LORD had taken away her reproach among men (Luke 1:25). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

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