Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History

Naves Topical Bible Dictionary

children Summary and Overview

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children in Smith's Bible Dictionary

The blessing of offspring, but especially of the male sex, is highly valued among all eastern nations, while a the absence is regarded as one of the severest punishments. #Ge 16:2; De 7:14; 1Sa 1:6; 2Sa 6:23; 2Ki 4:14; Isa 47:9; Jer 20:15; Ps 127:3,5| As soon as the child was born it was washed in a bath, rubbed with salt and wrapped in swaddling clothes. #Eze 16:4; Job 38:9; Lu 2:7| On the 8th day the rite of circumcision, in the case of a boy, was performed and a name given. At the end of a certain time (forty days if a son and twice as long if a daughter) the mother offered sacrifice for her cleansing. #Le 12:1-8; Lu 2:22| The period of nursing appears to have been sometimes prolonged to three years. #Isa 49:15| 2 Macc. 7:27. The time of weaning was an occasion of rejoicing. #Ge 21:8| Both boys and girls in their early years were under the care of the women. #Pr 31:1| Afterwards the boys were taken by the father under his charge. Daughters usually remained in the women's apartments till marriage. #Le 21:9; Nu 12:14; 1Sa 9:11| The authority of parents, especially of the father, over children was very great, as was also the reverence enjoined by the law to be paid to parents. The inheritance was divided equally between all the sons except the eldest, who received a double portion. #Ge 25:31; 49:3; De 21:17; Jud 11:2,7; 1Ch 5:1,2| Daughters had by right no portion in the inheritance; but if a man had no son, his inheritance passed to his daughters, who were forbidden to marry out of the father's tribe. #Nu 27:1,8; 36:2,8|

children in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

CHIL'DREN . The term is used in A.V. where "sons" would better represent the Hebrew or Greek; as, "the children of Abraham," "the children of Israel," "the children of God." It was regarded among the Jews as not only a misfortune, but even a disgrace, if a married woman was barren. The more sons a man had, the more was he esteemed. The inheritance of the father was divided equally among all the sons, except the eldest, who received a double portion. The daughters got nothing unless there was no son, in which case they shared equally the property, and were forbidden to marry out of their father's tribe. Num 27:7-12; Num 35:2, 1 Kgs 15:8. Wills were needless, and therefore unknown. The authority of the parent was very great, and children are commanded to reverence their parents. The law allowed children to be sold into bondage in payment of the parents' debts. Lev 25:39-41. We find allusions to the practical working of this law in 2 Kgs 4:1 and Matt 18:25. Child-birth in Eastern countries is usually, although not always, comparatively easy. Gen 35:17; Gen 38:27; Ex 1:19; 1 Sam 4:19-20. The newborn Hebrew child was washed, rubbed with salt, and wrapped in swaddling clothes, Luke 2:7; circumcised on the eighth day, when the name was given. Child-birth rendered the woman ceremonially unclean for 40 days in the case of a son, and 80 in the case of a daughter. At the conclusion of the period she offered for her cleansing the sacrifices the Law prescribed. Lev 12. Women nursed their own children in most cases, and did not wean them until the lapse of 30 months, or even 3 years. The weaning was made a festive occasion. This custom was very old. Gen 21:8. Daughters remained under the care of the mother until the period of marriage, but boys passed in their fifth year under the training of the father. See Education.

children in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Ben, "son;" bath, "daughter;" both from baanah, to build. Regarded as consecrated to God, in the same covenant relation as the parents; therefore sons on the eighth day were circumcised (Genesis 17:12). Hence, flowed parents' responsibility to rear children in the way of the Lord (Genesis 18:19; Deuteronomy 6:7; Deuteronomy 11:19); also children's responsibility to obey parents, as a preparatory discipline for the higher relationship to God. At five years of age, the boy passed under the father's training. At 12 he became "son of (i.e. subject to) the law," and was advanced to a fuller instruction in it. Smiting, or even cursing, a parent was punishable with death (Exodus 21:15; Exodus 21:17); also contumacy (Deuteronomy 21:18-21; compare Deuteronomy 27:16). The child might be sold to bondage until the Jubilee year for a parent's debt (2 Kings 4:1; Nehemiah 5:5). Children were often nursed until they were three years old. They were carried on the mother's hip or shoulder (Isaiah 49:22; Isaiah 66:12). Governors or tutors watched them in nonage (Numbers 11:12; 2 Kings 10:1; 2 Kings 10:5; Isaiah 49:23; Galatians 3:24, paidagoogos, the guardian slave who led the child to school). The mother's example and authority were weighty over sons and daughters alike (Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 15:20), even with a royal son (1 Kings 2:19). Daughters had no right of inheritance; but if a man had no son the daughters received the inheritance, but they must marry inside their own tribe. Metaphorically: CHILDREN OF LIGHT (Luke 16:8; Luk 1 Thessalonians 6:5), of obedience (1 Peter 1:14, "as children of obedience" Greek), of this world, of Belial, of wisdom (Matthew 11:19), of faith. (See BELIAL.) As children resemble their parent, so those in whom these several qualities, good or bad, predominate, are children of them severally (2 Samuel 23:6). So Barnabas is termed "son of consolation," expressing his predominant grace (Acts 4:36); John and James "sons of thunder," characterized by fiery zeal (Mark 3:17). So "sons of might," "daughters of sons" (compare Isaiah 5:1, "a very fruitful hill," Hebrew: "the horn (i.e. peak) of the son of oil,") "children of the bridechamber" (Matthew 9:15), the heavenly Bridgegroom's best men (friends) who go and fetch the bride, the apostles and evangelists who seek to bring sinners to Jesus and to heaven (Matthew 25).