|MAID, MAIDEN |
Unmarried woman, especially of the servant class. In the KJV, maid translated five Hebrew and four Greek terms. In the Old Testament amah and shipchah refer to female slaves. Alternate translations for these terms include: bondmaid; bondwoman; female slave; handmaid; and maid servant. See Slavery for literal uses. Both terms are used as expressions of deep humility (Ruth 3:9;
1 Samuel 25:24-31;
1 Samuel 28:21;
2 Samuel 14:6;
1 Kings 1:13,1 Kings 1:17). A special case involves the use of these terms for the “handmaid of the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:11;
Psalms 116:16; compare Servant of the Lord), always with reference to prayer for the handmaid's son. KJV sometimes rendered bethulah as maid (Exodus 22:16;
Deuteronomy 22:17). Modern translations generally render the term virgin. KJV sometimes renders almah maid. At
Exodus 2:8 almah means simply, “girl.” At
Proverbs 30:19 a young man of marriageable age is intended. KJV translated the term as “virgin” at
Isaiah 7:14. The term naarah is used both for young women (2 Kings 5:2) and specifically for servants (Ruth 2:8;
Esther 2:4). In the New Testament, korasion refers to a child or young girl (Matthew 9:24-25). Paidiske refers to a (young) female servant (Matthew 26:69;
John 18:16). At
Luke 8:51,Luke 8:54 pais means child. Elsewhere, the term can mean servant. Mary's reference to herself as the “handmaid [doule] of the Lord” (Luke 1:38,Luke 1:48) reflects the Old Testament use.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'MAID, MAIDEN'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".