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Manners & Customs: Children
Raising Children in Ancient Times

Caring for Infants CARE OF INFANT CHILD For years the Orientals of Bible lands have cared for an infant child much as it was done when JESUS was born. Instead of allowing the young baby the free use of its limbs, it is bound hand and foot by swaddling bands, and thus made into a helpless bundle like a mummy. At birth the child is washed and rubbed with salt, and then with its legs together, and its arms at its side, it is wound around tightly with linen or cotton bandages, four to five inches wide, and five to six yards long. The band is also placed under the chin and over the forehead.4 The prophet Ezekiel indicated that these same customs at a child's birth were practiced in his day. "And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all" (Ezekiel 16:4). And we are all familiar with the words of Luke, as to how they cared for the baby JESUS: "Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger" (Luke 2:12). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=403&cat_name=&subcat_name=Children

Child in Easton's Bible Dictionary This word has considerable latitude of meaning in Scripture. Thus Joseph is called a child at the time when he was probably about sixteen years of age (Gen. 37:3); and Benjamin is so called when he was above thirty years (44:20). Solomon called himself a little child when he came to the kingdom (1 Kings 3:7). The descendants of a man, however remote, are called his children; as, "the children of Edom," "the children of Moab," "the children of Israel." In the earliest times mothers did not wean their children till they were from thirty months to three years old; and the day on which they were weaned was kept as a festival day (Gen. 21:8; Ex. 2:7, 9; 1 Sam. 1:22-24; Matt. 21:16). At the age of five, children began to learn the arts and duties of life under the care of their fathers (Deut. 6:20-25; 11:19). To have a numerous family was regarded as a mark of divine favour (Gen. 11:30; 30:1; 1 Sam. 2:5; 2 Sam. 6:23; Ps. 127:3; 128:3). Figuratively the name is used for those who are ignorant or narrow-minded (Matt. 11:16; Luke 7:32; 1 Cor. 13:11). "When I was a child, I spake as a child." "Brethren, be not children in understanding" (1 Cor. 14:20). "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro" (Eph. 4:14). Children are also spoken of as representing simplicity and humility (Matt. 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15- 17). Believers are "children of light" (Luke 16:8; 1 Thess. 5:5) and "children of obedience" (1 Pet. 1:14).
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/C/Child/

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).
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/C/Children/

Children in Naves Topical Bible In answer to prayer To Abraham Ge 15:2-5; with 21:1,2 Isaac Ge 25:21 Leah Ge 30:17-22 Rachel Ge 30:22-24 Hannah 1Sa 1:9-20 Zacharias Lu 1:13 -Treatment of, at birth Eze 16:4-6; Lu 2:7,12 -Circumcision of -See CIRCUMCISION -Dedicated to God in infancy Samson Jud 13:5,7 Samuel 1Sa 1:24-28 -Promised to the righteous De 7:12,14; Job 5:25; Ps 128:2,3,4,6 -Weaning of Ge 21:8; 1Sa 1:22; 1Ki 11:20; Ps 131:2; Isa 28:9 -Nurses for Ex 2:7-9; Ac 7:20; Ru 4:16; 2Sa 4:4; 2Ki 11:2 -Taught to walk Ho 11:3 -Tutors and governors for 2Ki 10:1; Ac 22:3; Ga 3:24; 4:1,2 -Bastard, excluded from the privileges of the congregation De 23:2; Heb 12:8 -Early piety of Samuel 1Sa 2:18; 3 Jeremiah Jer 1:5-7 John the Baptist Lu 1:15,80 -Jesus Lu 2:40,46,47,52 -Difference made between male and female, in Mosaic law Le 12 -Partiality of parents among Rebekah for Jacob Ge 27:6-17 Jacob for Joseph Ge 37:3,4 -Partiality among, forbidden De 21:15-17 -Love of, for parents Of Ruth Ru 1:16-18 Jesus Joh 19:26,27 -Sacrificed 2Ki 17:31; Eze 16:20,21 -Caused to pass through fire 2Ki 16:3; Jer 32:35; Eze 16:21 -Sold for debt 2Ki 4:1; Ne 5:5; Job 24:9; Mt 18:25 -Sold in marriage, law concerning Ex 21:7-11 -Instance of, Leah and Rachel Ge 29:15-30 -Edict to murder Of Pharaoh Ex 1:22 Of Jehu 2Ki 10:1-8 Of Herod Mt 2:16-18 -Eaten See CANNIBALISM -Share benefits of covenant privileges guaranteed to parents Ge 6:18; 12:7; 13:15; 17:7,8; 19:12; 21:13; 26:3- 5,24; Le 26:44,45; Isa 65:23; 1Co 7:14 -Bound by covenants of parents Ge 17:9-14 -Involved in guilt of parents Ex 20:5; 34:7; Le 20:5; 26:39-42; Nu 14:18,33; 1Ki 21:29; Job 21:19; Ps 37:28; Isa 14:20,21; 65:6,7; Jer 32:18; Da 6:24 -Not punished for parents' sake Jer 31:29,30; Eze 18:1-30 -Death of, as a judgment upon parents Firstborn of Egypt Ex 12:29 Sons of Eli 1Sa 3:13,14 Sons of Saul 1Sa 28:18,19 David's child by Uriah's wife 2Sa 12:14-19 Miracles in behalf of Raised from the dead by Elijah 1Ki 17:17-23 By Elisha 2Ki 4:17-36 By Jesus Mt 9:18,24-26; Mr 5:35-42; Lu 7:13-15; 8:49-56 Healing of Mt 15:28; 17:18; Mr 7:29,30; 9:23-27; Lu 8:42-56; 9:38-42; Joh 4:46-54 -Character of, known by conduct Pr 20:11 -Blessed by Jesus Mt 19:13-15; Mr 10:13-16; Lu 18:15,16 -Future state of Mt 18:10; 19:14 -Minors Ga 4:1,2 -Of ministers 1Ti 3:4; Tit 1:6 -Alienated, Ishmael, to gratify Sarah Ge 21:9-15 -Amusements of Job 21:11; Zec 8:5; 11:16,17; Lu 7:31,32 -Adopted -See ADOPTION -THE GIFT OF GOD Ge 4:1,25; 17:16,20; 28:3; 29:32-35; 30:2,6,17- 20,22-24; 33:5; Ru 4:13; Job 1:21; Ps 107:38,41; 113:9; 127:3 -GOD'S CARE OF Ex 22:22-24; De 10:18; 14:29; Job 29:12; Ps 10:14,18; 27:10; 68:5; 146:9; Jer 49:11; Ho 14:3; Mal 3:5 -A BLESSING Ge 5:29; 30:1; Ps 127:3-5; Pr 17:6; Isa 54:1; Jer 20:15 -COMMANDMENTS TO Ex 20:12; Le 19:3,32; De 5:16; Ps 119:9; 148:12,13; Pr 1:8,9; 3:1-3; 4:1-4,10,11,20-22; 5:1,2; 6:20-25; 8:32,33; 23:22,26; 27:11; Ec 12:1; La 3:27; Mt 15:4; 19:19; Mr 10:19; Lu 18:20; Eph 6:1-3; Col 3:20; 1Ti 4:12; 2Ti 2:22; Tit 2:6 See YOUNG MEN -COUNSEL OF PARENTS TO 1Ki 2:1-4; 1Ch 22:6-13; 28:9,10,20 See PARENTS -INSTRUCTION OF Ex 13:8-10,14-16; De 4:9,10; 6:6-9; 11:19,20; 31:12,13; Jos 8:35; Ps 34:11; 78:1-8; Pr 1:1,4; 22:6; Isa 28:9,10; Joe 1:3; Joh 21:15; Ac 22:3 For SOLOMON'S INSTRUCTION OF MEN AND CHILDREN See YOUNG MEN By TUTORS See TUTOR -FALSE INSTRUCTION OF Mr 7:9-13 -PRAYER IN BEHALF OF Ge 17:18; 2Sa 12:16; 1Ch 22:12; 29:19; Job 1:5 -PROMISES AND ASSURANCES TO Pr 3:1-10; 8:17,32; 23:15,16,24,25; 29:3; Isa 40:11; 54:13; Mt 18:4,5,10; 19:14,15; Mr 9:37; 10:13-16; Lu 9:48; 18:15,16; Ac 2:39; 1Jo 2:12,13 See YOUNG MEN -OF THE RIGHTEOUS, BLESSED OF GOD Ge 6:18; 7:1; 12:7; 13:15; 17:7,8; 19:12,15,16; 21:13; 26:3,4,24; Le 26:44,45; De 4:37; 10:15; 12:28; 1Ki 11:13; 15:4; 2Ki 8:19; Ps 37:26; 102:28; 103:17,18; 112:2,3; Pr 3:33; 11:21; 12:7; 13:22; 20:7; Isa 44:3-5; 65:23; Jer 32:39; Ac 2:39; 1Co 7:14 -CORRECTION OF Pr 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13,14; 29:15,17; Eph 6:4; Col 3:21 -PUNISHMENT OF Ex 21:15,17; Le 20:9; De 21:18-21; 27:16; Mt 15:4; Mr 7:10 -GOOD The Lord is with 1Sa 3:19 Know the Scriptures 2Ti 3:15 Their obedience to parents is well pleasing to God Col 3:20 Partake of the promises of God Ac 2:39 Shall be blessed Pr 3:1-4; Eph 6:2,3 Show love to parents Ge 46:29 Obey parents Ge 28:7; 47:30 Attend to parental teaching Pr 13:1 Take care of parents Ge 45:9-11; 47:12; Mt 15:5 Make their parents' hearts glad Pr 10:1; 23:24; 29:17 Honor the aged Job 32:6,7 Character of, illustrates conversion Mt 18:3 Illustrative of a teachable spirit Mt 18:4 -UNCLASSIFIED SCRIPTURES RELATING TO Ne 12:43; Ps 8:2; Pr 10:1; 13:1; 15:5,20; 28:7; Ec 4:13; Mal 1:6; Mt 21:15,16 -INSTANCES OF Shem and Japheth Ge 9:23 Isaac Ge 22:6-12 Esau Ge 28:6-9 Judah Ge 44:18-34 Joseph Ge 45:9-13; 46:29; 47:11,12; 48:12; 50:1-13 Moses Ex 15:2; 18:7 Jephthah's daughter Jud 11:36 Samson Jud 13:24 Ruth Ru 1:15-17 Samuel 1Sa 2:26; 3:10 Saul 1Sa 9:5 David 1Sa 22:3,4; Ps 71:5,17 Solomon 1Ki 2:19,20; 3:3-13 Abijah 1Ki 14:13 Obadiah 1Ki 18:12 Jehoshaphat 1Ki 22:43; 2Ch 17:3 The Israelitish maid, captive in Syria 2Ki 5:2-4 Jewish children 2Ch 20:13; Ne 8:3 Josiah 2Ch 34:1-3 Job Job 29:4 Elihu Job 32:4-7 Jeremiah Jer 1:5-7 Children in the temple Mt 21:15 John Lu 1:80 Jesus Lu 2:52 Timothy 2Ti 1:5; 3:15 -WICKED Ge 8:21; Ex 21:15,17; Nu 32:14; De 21:18-21; 27:16; Job 13:26; 19:18; 20:11; 30:1,12; Ps 144:7,8,11; Pr 7:7; 10:1; 13:1; 15:5,20; 17:2,21,25; 19:13,26; 20:20; 22:15; 23:22; 28:7,24; 30:11,17; Ec 11:9,10; Isa 3:5; Jer 3:25; 7:17,18; 32:30; Eze 22:7; Mic 7:6; Mr 7:10; 13:12; Ro 1:30; 2Ti 3:2 WICKED, INSTANCES OF Canaan Ge 9:25 Lot's daughters Ge 19:14,30-38 Ishmael Ge 21:9 Eli's sons 1Sa 2:12,22-25 Samuel's sons 1Sa 8:3 Absalom 2Sa 15 Adonijah 1Ki 1:5 Abijam 1Ki 15:3 Ahaziah 1Ki 22:52 Children at Beth-el 2Ki 2:23,24 Samaritans' descendants 2Ki 17:41 Adrammelech and Sharezer 2Ki 19:37; 2Ch 32:21 Amon 2Ki 21:21 Sennacherib's sons 2Ki 19:37 -WORSHIP, ATTEND DIVINE Jos 8:35; 2Ch 20:13; 31:16; Ezr 8:21; Ne 8:2,3; 12:43; Mt 21:15; Lu 2:46 -SYMBOLICAL OF THE REGENERATED Mt 18:2-6; Mr 9:36,37; 10:15; Lu 9:46-48 -FIGURATIVE 1Co 13:11; 14:20; 1Pe 2:2...
http://www.bible-history.com/naves/C/CHILDREN/

Children in Smiths 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
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/C/Children/

Children in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE child, chil'-dren (ben, "son," yeledh, "child" na`ar, "lad"; teknon, paidion): The Hebrews regarded the presence of children in the family as a mark of Divine favor and greatly to be desired (Gen 15:2; 30:1; 1 Sam 1:11,20; Ps 127:3; Lk 1:7,28). The birth of a male child was especially a cause for rejoicing (Ps 128:3, Hebrew); more men, more defenders for the tribe. If there were no sons born to a household, that family or branch became lost. If the wife proved childless, other wife or wives might be added to the family (Gen 16 f). Further, each Jewish mother, at least in later times, hoped that her son might prove to be the Messiah. The custom of Levirate marriage, which was not limited to the Hebrew people, rested on the principle that if a man died childless his brother should marry his widow, the children of such union being considered as belonging to the brother whose name and line were thus preserved from extinction (Dt 25:5; Gen 38:26; Mt 22:24). Children were sometimes dedicated to God, even before their birth (1 Sam 1:11). Names often were significant: Moses (Ex 2:10); Samuel (1 Sam 1:20); Ichabod (1 Sam 4:21; compare Gen 30) (see PROPER NAMES). The firstborn son belonged to God (Nu 3:44 ff). The ceremony of redeeming the firstborn occurred on the thirtieth day. Friends of the family were invited to a feast, the rabbi also being present. The child was placed in the hands of the priest. The father carried some gold or silver in a cup or vessel. The priest asked the mother whether this was her firstborn, and, on being answered in the affirmative, claimed the child as Yahweh's. The father offered the redemption money, which was accepted in exchange for the child (compare 1 Pet 1:18). See FIRSTBORN. Other stages in the life of the child were celebrated with fitting ceremonies. In the fourth year, in Israel,on the second day of the Passover occurred the ceremony of the first cutting of the boy's hair, the friends sharing the privilege. Sometimes, as in the case of the wealthy, the weight of the child in currency was given as a donation to the poor. In common with the custom of other eastern peoples, male children were circumcised (Gen 17:12), the rite being performed on the eighth day. Early education was cared for in the home, the children growing up more or less with the mother (Prov 6:20; 31:1; 2 Tim 1:5; 3:14,15), and the girl continuing with her mother until her marriage. In wealthier families tutors were employed (1 Ch 27:32). Schools for children are first mentioned by Josephus (Ant., XV, x, 5). According to the Talmud the first school for children was established about 100 BC, but in the time of Jesus such schools were common. Children were taught to read and to write even in families of moderate means, these arts being widely diffused as early as 600 BC, if not earlier (Isa 8:1; 10:19). Great stress was laid on the Torah, i.e. the law of Moses. Boys were trained also in farming, the tending of cattle, and in the trades. The religious training of the boy began in his fourth year, as soon as he could speak distinctly. The religious life of the girl also began early. In later times at least children took part in the Sabbath and Passover festivals and boys attended synagogue and school regularly. Children were subject to the father (Neh 5:5 marks the extreme), who in turn was bound to protect them, though he himself had the power of life and death (Lev 18:21; 20:2 ff). Respect for and obedience to parents were stoutly upheld by public opinion (Ex 20:12; Dt 5:16; compare...
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/C/CHILD;+CHILDREN/

Children Scripture - 1 Chronicles 19:2 And David said, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father shewed kindness to me. And David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. So the servants of David came into the land of the children of Ammon to Hanun, to comfort him.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/1+Chronicles/19/

Children Scripture - 1 Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/1+Corinthians/7/

Children Scripture - Exodus 13:13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Exodus/13/

Children Scripture - Ezekiel 37:16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and [for] all the house of Israel his companions:
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Ezekiel/37/

Children Scripture - Genesis 32:32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not [of] the sinew which shrank, which [is] upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Genesis/32/

Children Scripture - Judges 11:29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over [unto] the children of Ammon.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Judges/11/

Children Scripture - Judges 3:12 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Judges/3/

Children Scripture - Leviticus 17:14 For [it is] the life of all flesh; the blood of it [is] for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh [is] the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Leviticus/17/

Children Scripture - Mark 9:37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Mark/9/

Children Scripture - Numbers 36:2 And they said, The LORD commanded my lord to give the land for an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel: and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother unto his daughters.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Numbers/36/

Children's Respect for Their Mother Position of the mother in relation to the children. Children in the East show nearly the same respect toward the mother as they do toward the father. The mother is believed to be entitled to honor and to have authority from GOD. Actually, the father and mother are looked at, as being the representatives of GOD in the matter of authority. They are considered as having this position no matter how poorly they fulfill their obligations. Hebrew children in general held their mothers in great respect, even when they became adults. This may be illustrated by the great influence exerted by queen mothers on the kings of Judah and Israel (I Kings 2:19; II Kings 11:1; 24:12, etc.). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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Children's Reverence for Their Father Reverence of the children for the father. Reverence of children for their parents, and especially the father, is well-nigh universal in the East down to modern times. Among the Arabs, it is very seldom that a son is heard of as being undutiful. It is quite customary for the child to greet the father in the morning by the kissing of his hand, and following this, to stand before him in an attitude of humility, ready to receive any order, or waiting for permission to depart. Following this, the child is often taken upon the lap of the father. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=1EVXxfqTEGA%3d&tabid=232&mid=762

Circumcised on the 8th Day JEWISH RITES AND OFFERINGS AT BIRTH OF A CHILD Jewish boys were circumcised eight days after birth. The one who Circumcised the child spoke the following words: "Blessed be the LORD our GOD, who has sanctified us by His precepts, and given us circumcision." Then the father of the boy would go on with these words: "Who has sanctified us by His precepts, and has granted us to introduce our child into the covenant of Abraham our father." Because it was said that GOD changed the names of Abraham and Sarah, at the time He gave the covenant of circumcision, therefore they would name the boy on the day he was circumcised. After doing this they had a family meal.5 The rite of circumcision was the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant. GOD had said to Abraham, "This is my covenant, which ye shall keep between me and you, and thy seed after thee" (Genesis 17:10). JESUS was circumcised the eighth day after birth and he was named "JESUS" at that time (Luke 2:21). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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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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Naming Children NAMING OF CHILDREN The Arabs are fond of compounding the name of Allah into the name given their children. It was a very common custom for the Hebrews to include a name for GOD as a part of their children's names.
A few samples of such Hebrew names are here given together with their meanings: Abijah - "Whose father GOD is" Ahaziah - "Held by JEHOVAH" Azariah - "Helped by JEHOVAH" Obadiah - "Servant of JEHOVAH" Daniel - "GOD is my Judge" Elijah - "My GOD is JEHOVAH" Elkanah - "Whom GOD created" Ezekiel - "GOD will strengthen" Another custom was practiced by Jews in naming their sons. After the birth of the first son, the father and mother were known as the father of so-and-so, and the mother of so-and-so. And the son added the father's first name after his own. Thus JESUS spoke of Peter as, "Simon Barjona" (Matthew 16:17), which means, "Simon, son of Jona." The Arabs giving such a name today would simply omit the word "son" and call the child "Simon Jona." Sometimes Jews had double names in CHRIST's time. This was true of Thomas. John's Gospel refers to him as, "Thomas, which is called Didymus" (John 11:16). Both of these names mean "a twin." The name "Thomas" was Aramaic, and the name "Didymus" was Greek. When traveling in foreign countries, Jews often assumed a Greek, or Latin, or other name, which had a meaning similar to their own. Jewish names given to girls, were often taken from beautiful objects in nature, or pleasant graces of character were used. "Bible examples are Jemima (dove), Tabitha or Dorcas (gazelle), Rhoda (rose), Rachel (lamb), Salome (peace), Deborah (bee), Esther (star)." Naomi told the Bethlehem women, "Call me not Naomi, call me Marah." Our Bible margins give the meanings of these names thus: "Call me not, Pleasant, call me Bitter" (Ruth 1:20). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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Obedience to Parents Obedience to parents was demanded by the Mosaic Law, and a rebellious and disobedient child be punished by death (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). The Apostle Paul reiterated the injunction that children must obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1; Col. 3:20). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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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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Purification of the Mother After childbirth, the Jewish mother passed through a period of purification of seven days for a boy and fourteen days for a girl, and then she still remained at home thirty-three days for a boy, and sixty-six days for a girl. Then she was to go up to the Temple to make her childbirth offerings. If she was rich she would bring a lamb to be offered, but if she was poor then she was allowed to present two young pigeons or a pair of turtledoves (Luke 2:21; cf. Leviticus 12). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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Training Children DUTY OF PARENTS IN TRAINING OF CHILDREN It is quite clear from the Scriptures that the mother did most of the training of the children in their earlier years. The Book of Proverbs speaks of "The words of King Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him" (Proverbs 31:1). And concerning Timothy, Paul said, "From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures" (II Timothy 3:15). Earlier in the Epistle, Paul refers to the faith of Timothy's mother and grandmother (II Timothy 1:5). Young children then were taught by their mothers. The daughters, doubtless remained under the guidance and oversight of their mothers until their marriage. As the boys grew up, they were more and more taught by their fathers, although they would never get away from the mother's training altogether. Proverbs often refers to a father's instruction of his son. "My son, hear the instruction of thy father" (Proverbs 1:8). "My son, keep thy father's commandment" (Proverbs 6:20). Only in well-to-do families was instruction turned over to tutors. King Ahab had tutors for his many sons (II Kings 10:1, 5}. Schools for training boys were not in operation until comparatively a late date for Jewish youth in the land. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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