Maid; Maiden

mad, mad'-'n: Used in the King James Version in the sense of a girl or young female; of an unmarried woman or virgin, and of a female servant or handmaid. Thus, it translates several Hebrew words: (1) The more generic word is na`arah, "girl," feminine form of the common na`ar, "boy" (1Sa 9:11; 2Ki 5:2,4; Es 2:4,7 ff; Job 41:5; Am 2:7) In several places masculine form na`ar, with feminine form of verb rendered "damsel" (Ge 24:14,16,28,55; 34:3,12; De 22:15); compare he pais (Lu 8:51,54); see also paidiske, diminutive (Sirach 41:22; Mr 14:66,69; Lu 12:45; korasion, Septuagint for na`arah, "maid," in Mt 9:24 f with Job 6:12 f; Susanna verses Job 15:1-35,19). (2) The Hebrew `almah, also rendered "maid," refers to a woman of marriageable age (Ex 2:8; Pr 30:19), whether married or not, whether a virgin or not. The same word is translated "virgin" in several places (Ge 24:43 the King James Version; Song 13; Ge 6:8; Isa 7:14). (3) The word bethulah, a common Hebrew word for "virgin," a chaste woman Septuagint parthenos), is frequently rendered "maid" and "maiden" (Ex 22:16; Jg 19:24; 2Ch 36:17; Ps 78:63; 148:12; Jer 51:22; La 5:11; Eze 9:6; 44:22; Zec 9:17; compare De 22:14,17, having "the marks (tokens) of virginity"); bethulim, rendered "maid." See VIRGIN. (4) Two Hebrew words covering the idea of service, handmaid, handmaiden, and in numerous passages so rendered: (a) 'amah, translated "maid" (Ge 30:3; Ex 2:5; 21:20,26; Le 25:6; Ezr 2:65; Job 19:15; Na 2:7); (b) shiphchah, "a family servant," "a handmaid," so rendered in numerous passages ("maid," "maiden," Ge 16:2 ff; Ge 29:24,29; 30:7,9-10,12,18; Isa 24:2; Ps 123:2; Ec 2:7). In the King James Version they are variously translated "maid," "handmaid," etc. (5) The rather rare word habra, "favorite slave," is rendered "maid" in Judith 10:2,5; 13:9; 16:23; Additions to Esther 15:2,7. (6) doule, "female slave," in the King James Version Judith 12:49 (the Revised Version (British and American) "servant").

Maidservant means simply a female slave in the different positions which such a woman naturally occupies. They were the property of their masters; sometimes held the position of concubines (Ge 31:33); daughters might be sold by their fathers into this condition (Ex 21:7). It is regrettable that no uniform translation was adopted in the King James Version. And in the Revised Version (British and American) compare Tobit 3:7; Judith 10:10; Sirach 41:22.

"Maidservants" replaces "maidens" of the King James Version in Lu 12:45. Compare Job 31:13.

Edward Bagby Pollard

 
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