Scripture provides insights into, and examples of, the way in which girls have a place in the purposes of God. Although the OT tends to portray girls mainly as potential wives or sexual partners, Jesus Christ’s raising of Jairus’daughter can be seen as a symbol of the positive value placed on them.
As sexual partnersJdg 19:24This way of treating girls as mere sexual objects illustrates the moral corruption of the men of Gibeah. Though not condemned in this passage, such behaviour was totally contrary to OT law. See alsoGe 19:1-8; Ge 34:1-4
Chaste girls were to be protected but promiscuous girls were to be punishedDt 22:13-21
Examples of girls serving the purposes of God2Ki 5:2-6 The example of this servant girl, instrumental in Naaman’s healing, shows that girls have a value and a status before God not generally acknowledged in OT culture; Est 2:1-18 Having become queen under the providence of God, Esther, chosen while a young virgin, is later able to use her influence to save the Jews from fierce persecution; Lk 1:26-33 Mary should be regarded as a girl, as she is a virgin betrothed and not a woman married.
Dictionary of Bible Themes Scripture index copyright Martin H. Manser, 2009. As Editor, Martin Manser wishes to thank all those who compiled or edited the NIV Thematic Study Bible, on which this work is based.
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