na`arah

John Ronning ronning at nis.za
Thu Sep 30 15:34:03 EDT 1999


George, you wrote:

>
> (me)
> > But a widow could also be described as the "woman" i.e. wife
> > of her dead husband
> (you)
> Yes - though that usually implies that she had children and had no need to return to her paternal house
> to be offered for marriage again. Her eldest son became the paterfamilias.

Are you sure about that?  Ruth is called the wife of the deceased (she had no children), Abigail is called
the wife of Nabal even after David married her (she had no children then as far as we know).

> <snip>
> (me)
> > Na`arah may usually be used of a single girl, but it doesn't
> > "mean" single girl, as is clear from the fact that it is
> > used of the Levite's concubine (Judges 19),
> (you)
> A concubine, though, is not a "wife". A concubine is not "married" to her master, so technically, she is
> still "single". Nevertheless, you're right in suggesting that the word may be used in Jdg 19 simply to
> denote "girl".
>

A concubine is most definitely married, and sometimes is called "wife" though she had less rights than a
full wife.  E.g the prediction that someone would lie with David's wives in broad daylight was fulfilled
when Absalom lay with his concubines, and Keturah is called both wife and concubine of Abraham in Genesis
25.  Also note that in Judges 19 the Levite is called "her husband" ('ish) and the girl's father "his
father-in-law."

Yours,

John






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