Manners & Customs: Barrenness
Women being barren in the ancient Biblical world
Barren in Easton's Bible Dictionary
For a woman to be barren was accounted a severe punishment
the Jews (Gen. 16:2; 30:1-23; 1 Sam. 1:6, 27; Isa.
Luke 1:25). Instances of barrenness are noticed (Gen.
25:21; 29:31; Judg. 13:2, 3; Luke 1:7, 36).
Barren Scripture - 1 Samuel 2:5
[They that were] full have hired out themselves for bread; and
[they that were] hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born
seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.
Barren Scripture - 2 Kings 2:19
And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee,
the situation of this city [is] pleasant, as my lord seeth:
but the water [is] naught, and the ground barren.
Barren Scripture - Galatians 4:27
For it is written, Rejoice, [thou] barren that bearest not;
break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the
desolate hath many more children than she which hath an
Barren Scripture - Isaiah 54:1
Sing, O barren, thou [that] didst not bear; break forth into
singing, and cry aloud, thou [that] didst not travail with
child: for more [are] the children of the desolate than the
children of the married wife, saith the LORD.
Barren Scripture - Luke 23:29
For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say,
Blessed [are] the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and
the paps which never gave suck.
Barren Scripture - 2 Kings 2:21
And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the
salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed
these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or
Barren Scripture - Genesis 25:21
And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she [was]
barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his
Barren Scripture - Joel 2:20
But I will remove far off from you the northern [army], and
will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face
toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost
sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall
come up, because he hath done great things.
Barren Scripture - Judges 13:3
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said
unto her, Behold now, thou [art] barren, and bearest not: but
thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.
Barren Scripture - Psalms 113:9
He maketh the barren woman to keep house, [and to be] a joyful
mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.
Barrenness in Naves Topical Bible
(Sterility of women)
Ge 30:22,23; 1Sa 1:6,7; 2:1-11; Isa 4:1; Lu 1:25
-Miraculously removed, instances of
-Sent as a judgment
Barrenness in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
bar'-en, bar'-en-nes tsiyah; melehah; shakhol; `aqar;
(1) Of land that bears no crop, either (a) because it is
naturally poor and sterile: tsiyah "dry" (Joel 2:20),
melechah, "salt" (Job 39:6 the King James Version), shakhol,
"miscarrying" (2 Ki 2:19,21), or (b) because it is, under
God's curse, turned into a melechah or salt desert, for the
wickedness of the people that dwell therein (Ps 107:34 the
King James Version; compare Gen 3:17,18).
(2) Of females that bear no issue: `aqar: Sarah (Gen 11:30);
Rebekah (Gen 25:21); Rachel (Gen 29:31); Manoah's wife (Jdg
13:2,3); Hannah (1 Sam 2:5); steiros: Elisabeth (Lk 1:7,36).
In Israel and among oriental peoples generally barrenness
was a woman's and a family's greatest misfortune. The
highest sanctions of religion and patriotism blessed the
fruitful woman, because children were necessary for the
perpetuation of the tribe and its religion. It is
significant that the mothers of the Hebrew race, Sarah,
Rebekah and Rachel, were by nature sterile, and therefore
God's special intervention shows His particular favor to
Israel. Fruitfulness was God's special blessing to His
people (Ex 23:26; Dt 7:14; Ps 113:9). A complete family is
an emblem of beauty (Song 4:2; 6:6). Metaphorically, Israel,
in her days of adversity, when her children were exiled, was
barren, but in her restoration she shall rejoice in many
children (Isa 54:1; Gal 4:27). The utter despair and terror
of the destruction of Jerusalem could go no farther than
that the barren should be called blessed (Lk 23:29).
(3) Argos is translated in the King James Version "barren,"
but in the Revised Version (British and American) more
accurately "idle" (2 Pet 1:8).
Barrenness Scripture - Psalms 107:34
A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them
that dwell therein.
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).
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