na`arah

Joseph Crea Joseph.Crea at worldnet.att.net
Wed Sep 29 01:09:27 EDT 1999


Hello George!

At 01:20 PM 9/29/99 +1000, George Athas wrote:
>John Ronning wrote:
>
>> > That's, in essence, my point. The root N(R does imply inexperience.
Therefore, when it's
>> > applied to the word _na`arah_, it implies a girl who has had no sexual
experience - ie, a
>> > girl who is not yet married but ready to be married.
>>
>> Problem with that George - Ruth (a widow) is called NA`ARAH
>> Ruth 4:12 etc.
>
>Well pointed out, John. Widows who had no children had their status
changed from "wife" to
>"virgin/maiden" (_na`arah_) because they returned to their paternal
household (_beyt-'ab_) and
>could be married off again. Being a "virgin" in ancient Palestine was not
so much about
>physical status as marital status. Ruth is an exceptional case in that she
choses not to return
>to her paternal household - ie, she goes completely against the logical
norm of the day.
>
>The root N(R does still imply "inexperience". That is why it is used in a
range of situations
>with meanings such as "apprentice", "junior", "acolyte", "lad", "girl",
etc. Eg, at 40 years
>old, Rehoboam was a _na`ar_. The word commonly translated as "maiden" or
"virgin" has its
>etymology in this understanding.


CREA
    Pardon my breaking in on this thread but I'm confused.  If _na`arah_
denotes (or at least implies) someone lacking in sexual experience, how
come it's applied to Dinah (Genesis 34:3) AFTER her rape by Shechem?  Is it
a matter of DEGREE concerning sexual experience?   And what about
Deuteronomy 22:13-21 
(especially verse 15) in which the parents of the married _na`arah_  are
presumed to be able to produce evidence of the "tokens of virginity"
(_betulim_) of the _na'arah_?  Obviously at this point in time, the
_na'arah_ is no longer sexually innocent (though just how inexperienced is
open to debate) though it is assumed that she should have been prior to her
marriage.


With Mettaa,

Joseph Crea
<Joseph.Crea at worldnet.att.net>




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