Prefering a Baby Boy

PREFERENCE FOR BOY BABIES Among the Israel Arabs there is always a desire on the part of the mothers and fathers that the baby shall be a boy rather than a girl. A parting blessing often used by the Arabs is: May the blessings of Allah be upon thee, May your shadow never grow less, May all your children be boys and no girls.2 Boys are wanted because they tend to increase the size, wealth, and importance of the family group or clan. When they grow up and marry, they bring home with them their wives, and children of such unions perpetuate the father's house. If boys increase the house, girls are thought of as decreasing it. When they marry they usually go to live in the house of their husbands.3 This attitude among present-day Arabs, was also the attitude of the Hebrew people in Old and New Testament times. Except among the Christian Jews, there was an added reason why every Hebrew expectant woman wanted a boy. She always hoped that her son should be the Messiah. The Messianic promises of Holy Writ, no doubt, were often on the lips of Hebrew women. "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come" (Genesis 49:10). "There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel" (Numbers 24:17). These kept alive the hope of a coming Messiah, and caused the Hebrew mother to desire at each birth a boy baby, that perhaps she might be the mother of Shiloh. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

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