What the scriptures say about
PEOPLE (CHILDREN, HOUSE) especially Children of ISRAEL and of JUDAH
offspring, descendants; land of, line of, people of, house of, stock of
Also see: Generation, genealogy, Barren (childless)

CHILD in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]

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Genesis 3:16, 4:25, 6:4, 8:21, 11:30
Isaiah 11:14 - [Children of the east are from Edom, Moab, Ammon]

PEOPLE (CHILDREN) of ISRAEL and of JUDAH in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]
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1 Kings 4:20 - Judah and Israel were many as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking and making merry.
Isaiah 11:12 - He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Jeremiah 12:14 - Thus says Yahweh against all my evil neighbors, who touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit: behold, I will pluck them up from off their land, and will pluck up the house of Judah from among them.
Jeremiah 13:11 - For as the belt cleaves to the waist of a man, so have I caused to cleave to me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, says Yahweh; that they may be to me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.
Jeremiah 30:3 - For, behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will turn again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, says Yahweh; and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.
Jeremiah 32:30,32 - For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done only that which was evil in my sight from their youth; for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, says Yahweh. ... because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 50:4 - In those days, and in that time, says Yahweh, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together; they shall go on their way weeping, and shall seek Yahweh their God.
Jeremiah 50:33 - Thus says Yahweh of Armies: The children of Israel and the children of Judah are oppressed together; and all who took them captive hold them fast; they refuse to let them go.
Ezekiel 25:3 - ... Thus says the Lord Yahweh, Because you said, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was made desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity:
Daniel 9:7 - Lord, righteousness belongs to you, but to us confusion of face, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, who are near, and who are far off, through all the countries where you have driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against you.
Hosea 1:11 - The children of Judah and the children of Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint themselves one head, and will go up from the land; for great will be the day of Jezreel.
Obadiah 1:12 - But don’t look down on your brother in the day of his disaster, and don’t rejoice over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction. Don’t speak proudly in the day of distress.
Hebrews 8:8 - For finding fault with them, he said, “Behold, the days come,” says the Lord, “that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;

CHILD [Easton 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 (Genesis 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 (Genesis 21:8; Exodus 2:7,9; 1 Samuel 1:22-24; Matthew 21:16). At the age of five, children began to learn the arts and duties of life under the care of their fathers (Deuteronomy 6:20-25; 11:19).

To have a numerous family was regarded as a mark of divine favour (Genesis 11:30; 30:1; 1 Samuel 2:5; 2Sam 6:23; Psalms 127:3; 128:3).

Figuratively the name is used for those who are ignorant or narrow-minded (Matthew 11:16; Luke 7:32; 1 Corinthians 13:11). "When I was a child, I spake as a child." "Brethren, be not children in understanding" (1 Corinthians 14:20). "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro" (Ephesians 4:14).

Children are also spoken of as representing simplicity and humility (Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17). Believers are "children of light" (Luke 16:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5) and "children of obedience" (1 Peter 1:14).

CHILDREN [Smith 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. (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 [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

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 (Genesis 15:2; 30:1; 1 Samuel 1:11,20; Psalms 127:3; Luke 1:7,28). The birth of a male child was especially a cause for rejoicing (Psalms 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 (Genesis 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 (Deuteronomy 25:5; Genesis 38:26; Matthew 22:24).

Children were sometimes dedicated to God, even before their birth (1 Samuel 1:11). Names often were significant: Moses (Exodus 2:10); Samuel (1 Samuel 1:20); Ichabod (1 Samuel 4:21; compare Genesis 30) (see PROPER NAMES ). The firstborn son belonged to God (Numbers 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 Peter 1:18). See FIRSTBORN; FIRSTLING . 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 (Genesis 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 (Proverbs 6:20; 31:1; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:14-15), and the girl continuing with her mother until her marriage. In wealthier families tutors were employed (1 Chronicles 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 (Isaiah 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 (Nehemiah 5:5 marks the extreme), who in turn was bound to protect them, though he himself had the power of life and death (Leviticus 18:21; 20:2 ff). Respect for and obedience to parents were stoutly upheld by public opinion (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; compare Proverbs 6:20; Micah 7:6; Deuteronomy 21:18-21; Exodus 21:15).

Both the Old Testament and New Testament afford abundant evidence of the strength of the bond that bound the Hebrew family together (Genesis 21:16; 2 Samuel 18:33; 1 Kings 3:23 ff; 2 Kings 4:19; Isaiah 8:4; Job 29:5; Matthew 19:13; 20:20; Mark 9:24; Luke 2:48; John 4:47; Hebrews 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 (Exodus 4:22; Deuteronomy 14:1; 32:6; Jeremiah 3:4; Zechariah 12:10; Malachi 1:6).



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" (Mark 2:5 the Revised Version, margin).

(2) The disciples, or followers, of a teacher. Jesus addressed His disciples as children (Mark 10:24). Paul referred to Timothy as his child (1 Timothy 1:2), and also to Onesimus (Philemon 1:10). John also designated the disciples to whom he was writing as his children (2 John 1:4). The same use of "children" or "sons" is common in the Old Testament (see 1 Kings 20:35; 2 Kings 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 (John 13:33). Paul thus addressed the Galatians (Galatians 4:19), and that was a favorite expression with John (see 1 John 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 (John 21:5), and John also used this term occasionally in saluting those to whom he was writing (1 John 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 Isaiah 30:1).


(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 John 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 Jeremiah 2:16; Matthew 23:37), and this designates those who belong to that particular city or country; (b) children of wisdom (Matthew 11:19 the King James Version; Luke 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 Matthew 11:19, but this seems to be without any good reason; (c) children of obedience (1 Peter 1:14), and these are the ones who are eager to obey; (d) children of light (Ephesians 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 Peter 2:14), and (b) children of wrath or those who are exposed to wrath (Ephesians 2:3).

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

A. W. Fortune

CHILDREN OF ISRAEL [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

iz'-ra-el (bene yisra'el):

A very common term in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and it refers to the Israelites as the descendants of a common ancestor, Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel (see Genesis 32:24-32). It was customary to designate the members of the various tribes as the children of the one from whom the tribe originated (see Numbers 1:20-43; Ezra 2:3-61), and it was natural that the people who boasted of Israel as their ancestor should be designated as his children. The first reference to the descendants of Jacob is found in the account of the changing of Jacob's name to Israel, and the purpose is to connect them with the experience in Jacob's life which led to the change in his name: "Therefore the children of Israel eat not the sinew of the hip, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew of the hip." At the time when this was written "the children of Israel" was a phrase that was commonly applied to the Israelites. In 2 Ki 17:34 they are called "the children of Jacob," and this occurs in connection with the account of the changing of Jacob's name to Israel and is intended to connect them closely with their father Jacob, who was favored of God.

After a time, it is quite likely that the phrase "children of Israel" lost its peculiar significance and was simply one of the popular terms designating the inhabitants of Palestine, but at first it was intended to connect these people with their ancestor Jacob whose name was changed to Israel. The Jews of the New Testament times connected themselves with Abraham rather than with Jacob (see John 8:39; Romans 9:7; Galatians 3:7, tekna, or, huioi Abraam).

A. W. Fortune

CHILDREN [Thompson Chain Reference]

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