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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 5225 barrenness
5225 barrenness

5225 barrenness

A lack of fertility, especially the inability of a woman to conceive.

Barren land

Barrenness describes waste and unproductive land Jer 2:6 See also Dt 32:10; Joel 2:20

Barren land as a sign of God’s disfavour Ge 3:18 Thorns and thistles are often used to designate barren or unproductive land. See also Hos 10:8; Heb 6:8

Fertility, as opposed to barrenness, a sign of God’s blessing

Ex 23:25-26 Consequently, the inability to conceive was regarded as a sign of God’s displeasure. See also Dt 7:13-14; Dt 11:14-15; Ps 113:9; Isa 41:18 God’s end-time blessings: Isa 54:1; Gal 4:27

The barren woman

Her desire for children Ge 30:1-2 See also Pr 30:16

Examples of barren women Ge 16:1 Sarah; Ge 29:31 Rachel; Jdg 13:3 Manoah’s wife; 1Sa 2:5 Hannah; Lk 1:7 Elizabeth; Lk 1:36-37 The ability to bear a child in these circumstances, especially in old age, was seen as a sign of God’s blessing and his miraculous power.

Barrenness was sometimes seen as a sign of God’s disfavour Ge 16:1-4; Ge 20:17-18; Ge 29:31-34; 1Sa 1:1-20; Isa 4:1; Lk 1:5-25

Childlessness was not always the result of barrenness Dt 28:41

Barrenness might be an advantage in some circumstances Lk 23:29 Referring to the disasters about to come upon Jerusalem.

Metaphorically, barrenness may describe an unproductive or desperate condition

Heb 6:7-8 See also Job 3:7; Lk 13:6-9

See also