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NAVE: Children
EBD: Child
SMITH: CHILDREN
ISBE: CHILD; CHILDREN
Chieroth | Child-Bearing | Childbearing | Childhood, Gospels Of The | Childlessness | Children | Children Of Eden | Children of God | Children Of Israel | Children Of The Bridechamber | Children Of The East

Children

Child [EBD]

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).

Children [NAVE]

CHILDREN
In answer to prayer: To Abraham, Gen. 15:2-5, with Gen. 21:1, 2; Isaac, Gen. 25:21; Leah, Gen. 30:17-22; Rachel, Gen. 30:22-24; Haah, 1 Sam. 1:9-20; Zacharias, Luke 1:13.
Treatment of, at birth, Ezek. 16:4-6; Luke 2:7, 12.
Circumcision of. See: Circumcision.
Dedicated to God in infancy: Samson, Judg. 13:5, 7; Samuel, 1 Sam. 1:24-28.
Promised to the righteous, Deut. 7:12, 14; Job 5:25; Psa. 128:2, 3, 4, 6.
Weaning of, Gen. 21:8; 1 Sam. 1:22; 1 Kin. 11:20; Psa. 131:2; Isa. 28:9.
Nurses for, Ex. 2:7-9; Acts 7:20; Ruth 4:16; 2 Sam. 4:4; 2 Kin. 11:2.
Taught to walk, Hos. 11:3.
Tutors and governors for, 2 Kin. 10:1; Acts 22:3; Gal. 3:24; 4:1, 2.
Illegitimate, excluded from the privileges of the congregation, Deut. 23:2; Heb. 12:8.
Early piety of: Samuel, 1 Sam. 2:18; 3; Jeremiah, Jer. 1:5-7; John the Baptist, Luke 1:15, 80.
Jesus, Luke 2:40, 46, 47, 52.
Difference made between male and female, in Mosaic law, Lev. 12.
Partiality of parents among: Rebekah for Jacob, Gen. 27:6-17; Jacob for Joseph, Gen. 37:3, 4.
Partiality among, forbidden, Deut. 21:15-17.
Love of, for parents: Of Ruth, Ruth 1:16-18; Jesus, John 19:26, 27.
Sacrificed, 2 Kin. 17:31; Ezek. 16:20, 21.
Caused to pass through fire, 2 Kin. 16:3; Jer. 32:35; Ezek. 16:21.
Sold for debt, 2 Kin. 4:1; Neh. 5:5; Job 24:9; Matt. 18:25.
Sold in marriage, law concerning, Ex. 21:7-11; instance of, Leah and Rachel, Gen. 29:15-30.
Edict to murder: Of Pharaoh, Ex. 1:22; of Jehu, 2 Kin. 10:1-8; of Herod, Matt. 2:16-18.
Eaten, See: Caibalism.
Share benefits of covenant privileges guaranteed to parents, Gen. 6:18; 12:7; 13:15; 17:7, 8; 19:12; 21:13; 26:3-5, 24; Lev. 26:44, 45; Isa. 65:23; 1 Cor. 7:14.
Bound by covenants of parents, Gen. 17:9-14.
Involved in guilt of parents, Ex. 20:5; 34:7; Lev. 20:5; 26:39-42; Num. 14:18, 33; 1 Kin. 21:29; Job 21:19; Psa. 37:28; Isa. 14:20, 21; 65:6, 7; Jer. 32:18; Dan. 6:24.
Not punished for parents' sake, Jer. 31:29, 30; Ezek. 18:1-30.
Death of, as a judgment upon parents: Firstborn of Egypt, Ex. 12:29; sons of Eli, 1 Sam. 3:13, 14; sons of Saul, 1 Sam. 28:18, 19; David's child by Uriah's wife, 2 Sam. 12:14-19.
Miracles in behalf of: Raised from the dead by Elijah, 1 Kin. 17:17-23; by Elisha, 2 Kin. 4:17-36; by Jesus, Matt. 9:18, 24-26; Mark 5:35-42; Luke 7:13-15; 8:49-56; healing of, Matt. 15:28; 17:18; Mark 7:29, 30; 9:23-27; Luke 8:42-56; 9:38-42; John 4:46-54.
Character of, known by conduct, Prov. 20:11.
Blessed by Jesus, Matt. 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15, 16.
Future state of, Matt. 18:10; 19:14.
Minors, Gal. 4:1, 2.
Of ministers, 1 Tim. 3:4; Tit. 1:6.
Alienated, Ishmael, to gratify Sarah, Gen. 21:9-15.
Amusements of, Job 21:11; Zech. 8:5; Matt. 11:16, 17; Luke 7:31, 32.
Adopted. See: Adoption.
The Gift of God
Gen. 4:1, 25; Gen. 17:16, 20; Gen. 28:3; Gen. 29:32-35; Gen. 30:2, 6, 17-20, 22-24; Gen. 33:5; Ruth 4:13; Job 1:21; Psa. 107:38, 41; Psa. 113:9; Psa. 127:3
God's Care of
Ex. 22:22-24; Deut. 10:18; Deut. 14:29; Job 29:12; Psa. 10:14, 17, 18; Psa. 27:10; Psa. 68:5; Psa. 146:9; Jer. 49:11; Hos. 14:3; Mal. 3:5
A Blessing
Gen. 5:29; Gen. 30:1; Psa. 127:3-5; Prov. 17:6; Isa. 54:1; Jer. 20:15
Commandments to
Ex. 20:12 Deut. 5:16; Matt. 15:4; 19:19; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Eph. 6:2, 3. Lev. 19:3, 32; Psa. 119:9; Psa. 148:12, 13; Prov. 1:8, 9; Prov. 3:1-3; Prov. 4:1-4, 10, 11, 20-22; Prov. 5:1, 2; Prov. 6:20-25; Prov. 8:32, 33; Prov. 23:22, 26; Prov. 27:11; Eccl. 12:1; Lam. 3:27; Eph. 6:1; Col. 3:20; 1 Tim. 4:12; 2 Tim. 2:22; Tit. 2:6 See: Young Men.
Counsel of Parents to
1 Kin. 2:1-4; 1 Chr. 22:6-13 See: Parents.
Instruction of
Ex. 13:8-10, 14-16; Deut. 4:9, 10; Deut. 6:6-9; Deut. 11:19, 20; Deut. 31:12, 13; Josh. 8:35; Psa. 34:11; Psa. 78:1-8; Prov. 1:1, 4; Prov. 22:6; Isa. 28:9, 10; Joel 1:3; John 21:15; Acts 22:3 See: Instruction.
For Solomon's Instruction of Young Men and Children, See: Young Men.
By Tutors. See: Tutor.
False Instruction of
Mark 7:9-13
Prayer in Behalf of
Gen. 17:18; 2 Sam. 12:16; 1 Chr. 22:12; 1 Chr. 29:19; Job 1:5
Promises and Assurances to
Prov. 3:1-10; Prov. 8:17, 32; Prov. 23:15, 16, 24, 25; Prov. 29:3; Isa. 40:11; Isa. 54:13; Matt. 18:4, 5, 10 Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48. Matt. 19:14, 15 Luke 18:15, 16. Mark 10:16 vs. 13-15.; Acts 2:39; 1 John 2:12, 13 See: Young Men.
Of the Righteous, Blessed of God
Gen. 6:18; Gen. 7:1; Gen. 12:7; Gen. 13:15; Gen. 17:7, 8; Gen. 19:12, 15, 16; Gen. 21:13; Gen. 26:3, 4, 24; Lev. 26:44, 45; Deut. 4:37; Deut. 10:15; Deut. 12:28; 1 Kin. 11:13; 1 Kin. 15:4; 2 Kin. 8:19; Psa. 37:26; Psa. 102:28; Psa. 103:17, 18; Psa. 112:2, 3; Prov. 3:33; Prov. 11:21; Prov. 12:7; Prov. 13:22; Prov. 20:7; Isa. 44:3-5; Isa. 65:23; Jer. 32:39; Acts 2:39; 1 Cor. 7:14
Correction of
Prov. 13:24; Prov. 19:18; Prov. 22:15; Prov. 23:13, 14; Prov. 29:15, 17; Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21
Punishment of
Ex. 21:15, 17; Lev. 20:9; Deut. 21:18-21; Deut. 27:16; Matt. 15:4 Mark 7:10.
Good
The Lord is with, 1 Sam. 3:19.
Know the Scriptures, 2 Tim. 3:15.
Their obedience to parents is well pleasing to God, Col. 3:20.
Partake of the promises of God, Acts 2:39.
Shall be blessed, Prov. 3:1-4; Eph. 6:2, 3.
Show love to parents, Gen. 46:29.
Obey parents, Gen. 28:7; 47:30.
Attend to parental teaching, Prov. 13:1.
Take care of parents, Gen. 45:9-11; 47:12; Matt. 15:5.
Make their parents' hearts glad, Prov. 10:1; 23:24; 29:17.
Honor the aged, Job 32:6, 7.
Character of, illustrates conversion, Matt. 18:3.
Illustrative of a teachable spirit, Matt. 18:4.
Unclassified Scriptures Relating to:
Neh. 12:43; Prov. 10:1; Prov. 13:1; Prov. 15:5, 20; Prov. 28:7; Eccl. 4:13; Mal. 1:6; Matt. 21:15, 16 Psa. 8:2.
Instances of
Shem and Japheth, Gen. 9:23.
Isaac, Gen. 22:6-12.
Esau, Gen. 28:6-9.
Judah, Gen. 44:18-34.
Joseph, Gen. 45:9-13; 46:29; 47:11, 12; 48:12; 50:1-13.
Moses, Ex. 15:2; 18:7.
Jephthah's daughter, Judg. 11:36.
Samson, Judg. 13:24.
Ruth, Ruth 1:15-17.
Samuel, 1 Sam. 2:26; 3:10.
Saul, 1 Sam. 9:5.
David, 1 Sam. 22:3, 4; Psa. 71:5, 17.
Solomon, 1 Kin. 2:19, 20; 3:3-13.
Abijah, 1 Kin. 14:13.
Obadiah, 1 Kin. 18:12.
Jehoshaphat, 1 Kin. 22:43; 2 Chr. 17:3.
The Israelite young girl, captive in Syria, 2 Kin. 5:2, 4.
Jewish children, 2 Chr. 20:13; Neh. 8:3.
Josiah, 2 Chr. 34:1-3.
Job, Job 29:4.
Elihu, Job 32:4-7.
Jeremiah, Jer. 1:5-7.
Children in the temple, Matt. 21:15.
John, Luke 1:80.
Jesus, Luke 2:52.
Timothy, 2 Tim. 1:5; 3:15.
Wicked
Gen. 8:21; Ex. 21:15, 17 Mark 7:10. Num. 32:14; Deut. 21:18-21; Deut. 27:16; Job 13:26; Job 19:18; Job 20:11; Job 30:1, 12; Psa. 144:7, 8, 11; Prov. 7:7; Prov. 10:1; Prov. 13:1; Prov. 15:5, 20; Prov. 17:2, 21, 25 Prov. 19:13. Prov. 19:26; Prov. 20:20; Prov. 22:15; Prov. 23:22; Prov. 28:7, 24; Prov. 30:11, 17; Eccl. 11:9, 10; Isa. 3:5; Jer. 3:25; Jer. 7:17, 18; Jer. 32:30; Ezek. 22:7; Mic. 7:6; Mark 13:12; Rom. 1:30; 2 Tim. 3:2
Wicked, Instances of:
Canaan, Gen. 9:25.
Lot's daughters, Gen. 19:14, 30-38.
Ishmael, Gen. 21:9.
Eli's sons, 1 Sam. 2:12, 22-25.
Samuel's sons, 1 Sam. 8:3.
Absalom, 2 Sam. 15.
Adonijah, 1 Kin. 1:5.
Abijam, 1 Kin. 15:3.
Ahaziah, 1 Kin. 22:52.
Children at Beth-el, 2 Kin. 2:23, 24.
Samaritans' descendants, 2 Kin. 17:41.
Adrammelech and Sharezer, 2 Kin. 19:37; 2 Chr. 32:21.
Amon, 2 Kin. 21:21.
Worship, Attend Divine
Josh. 8:35; 2 Chr. 20:13; 2 Chr. 31:16; Ezra 8:21; Neh. 8:2, 3; Neh. 12:43; Matt. 21:15; Luke 2:46
Symbolical of the Regenerated
Matt. 18:2-6; Mark 9:36, 37; Mark 10:15; Luke 9:46-48
Figurative
1 Cor. 13:11; 1 Cor. 14:20; 1 Pet. 2:2 See: Babies; Young Men.

CHILDREN [SMITH]

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. (Genesis 16:2; 7:14; 1 Samuel 1:6; 2 Samuel 6:23; 2 Kings 4:14; Isaiah 47:9; Jeremiah 20:15; Psalms 127:3,5) As soon as the child was born it was washed in a bath, rubbed with salt and wrapped in swaddling clothes. (Ezekiel 16:4; Job 38:9; Luke 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. (Leviticus 12:1-8; Luke 2:22) The period of nursing appears to have been sometimes prolonged to three years. (Isaiah 49:15) 2 Macc. 7:27. The time of weaning was an occasion of rejoicing. (Genesis 21:8) Both boys and girls in their early years were under the care of the women. (Proverbs 31:1) Afterwards the boys were taken by the father under his charge. Daughters usually remained in the women?s apartments till marriage. (Leviticus 21:9; Numbers 12:14; 1 Samuel 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. (Genesis 25:31; 49:3; 21:17; Judges 11:2,7; 1 Chronicles 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. (Numbers 27:1,8; 36:2,8)

CHILD; CHILDREN [ISBE]

CHILD; CHILDREN - 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 Palestine,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 Prov 6:20; Mic 7:6; Dt 21:18-21; Ex 21:15).

Both the Old Testament and New Testament afford abundant evidence of the strength of the bond that bound the Hebrew family together (Gen 21:16; 2 Sam 18:33; 1 Ki 3:23 ff; 2 Ki 4:19; Isa 8:4; Job 29:5; Mt 19:13; 20:20; Mk 9:24; Lk 2:48; Jn 4:47; Heb 2:13; 11:23). The gift of a son from Yahweh was the height of joy; the loss of a child marked the depth of woe. A hint occurs in the custom of naming a man as the father of his firstborn son (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, I, 382), or even the use of the father's name as a surname (Bar-jonah, Bartimeus) and such continues in Syria at the present day. This idea is further instanced in the use, in both Old Testament and New Testament, of the terms to express the relation between God and men (Ex 4:22; Dt 14:1; 32:6; Jer 3:4; Zec 12:10; Mal 1:6).

See also FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS; SONS.

LITERATURE.

Benzinger, Hebraische Archaologie, 2nd edition, 1907, 112-23; for rabbinical lore, Friedenberg in Jewish Encyclopedia, IV, 27 f.

W. N. Stearns

Figurative: Child is the English Versions of the Bible rendering of the Greek teknon. The corresponding Hebrew words (ben, and yeledh, are usually translated "son," but they have practically the same significance in the figurative use of the term. Child is used figuratively to describe:

(1) An affectionate greeting. Jesus addressed the sick of the palsy as "child" (Mk 2:5 the Revised Version, margin).

(2) The disciples, or followers, of a teacher. Jesus addressed His disciples as children (Mk 10:24). Paul referred to Timothy as his child (1 Tim 1:2), and also to Onesimus (Philem 1:10). John also designated the disciples to whom he was writing as his children (2 Jn 1:4). The same use of "children" or "sons" is common in the Old Testament (see 1 Ki 20:35; 2 Ki 2:3,5,7; 4:38). As a term of special endearment, disciples are sometimes called "little children" (teknia). Jesus thus addressed His disciples when He was speaking about His departure (Jn 13:33). Paul thus addressed the Galatians (Gal 4:19), and that was a favorite expression with John (see 1 Jn 2:1; 4:4; 5:21). A term that was even more endearing was paidia, which means "little ones" or "babes." Jesus used this term once in addressing His disciples after His resurrection (Jn 21:5), and John also used this term occasionally in saluting those to whom he was writing (1 Jn 2:18).

(3) Those who belong to God. Children of God is a common expression in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is based on the relation between parents and children, and in general describes God's affection for His own, and their dependence upon Him, and moral likeness to Him. The term is sometimes used of those who are disloyal to God, and they are designated as "rebellious children" (see Isa 30:1).

See CHILDREN OF GOD.

(4) Those who belong to the devil. Those who are like the devil in thought and action are designated as "children of the devil" (1 Jn 3:10).

(5) One's relation to something to which he belongs, or by which he is dominated in his affection for it. Thus we have (a) the children of a city or country (see Jer 2:16; Mt 23:37), and this designates those who belong to that particular city or country; (b) children of wisdom (Mt 11:19 the King James Version; Lk 7:35), and these are the ones whose lives are dominated by wisdom. Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek adopted ergon for teknon in Mt 11:19, but this seems to be without any good reason; (c) children of obedience (1 Pet 1:14), and these are the ones who are eager to obey; (d) children of light (Eph 5:8), and this designates those whose souls are illumined by the light.

(6) Those who are liable to some particular fate. Thus, we have (a) children of cursing, or those who are exposed to cursing (2 Pet 2:14), and (b) children of wrath or those who are exposed to wrath (Eph 2:3).

(7) Moral likeness or spiritual kinship (Gal 3:7 the King James Version; compare Jn 8:39; "the children of Abraham"). See secs. (3), (4).

A. W. Fortune


Also see definition of "Children" in Word Study


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