“The mother of seven will grow faint and breathe her last. She will die, ashamed and humiliated, while it is still daylight” (Jeremiah 15:9).
In ancient Israel, the symbolism of giving birth to seven children was used as a proverbial expression to describe a woman blessed with children or to refer to a family whose future in Israel was guaranteed because the family name would survive in the memory of the community through the sons.
Two classic examples of “mother of seven” appear in the Old Testament.When Hanna was delivered from her barrenness and gave birth to Samuel, she said: “The barren has borne seven” (1 Samuel 2:5). These words reflect Hannah’s joy in becoming a mother and the awareness that she had conceived a son because of God’s help.
The second example is found in Ruth 4:15. After Ruth married Boaz and gave birth to Obed, the women of Bethlehem paid her the highest compliment by telling Naomi that her daughter-in-law Ruth was better “than seven sons.” This recognition spoke highly of Ruth’s character since being a mother of seven sons was the highest accolade a woman in Israel could receive.
Read it all at the Lobster Pot, here.
INDEX of Topics at Biblical Anthropology - Learn to read the Bible through the lens of cultural anthropology and you will never read it the same way again. If you are new to this research, it would...
3 days ago