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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Handmaid

hand´mād : Which appears often in the Old Testament, but seldom in the New Testament, like bondmaid, is used to translate two Hebrew words ( שׁפחה, shiphḥāh, and אמה, 'āmāh ) both of which normally mean a female slave. It is used to translate the former word in the ordinary sense of female slave in Genesis 16:1; Genesis 25:12; Genesis 29:24, Genesis 29:29; Proverbs 30:23; Jeremiah 34:11, Jeremiah 34:16; Joel 2:29; to translate the latter word in Exodus 23:12; Judges 19:19; 2 Samuel 6:20. It is used as a term of humility and respectful self-depreciation in the presence of great men, prophets and kings, to translate the former word in Rth 2:13; 1 Samuel 1:18; 1 Samuel 28:21; 2 Samuel 14:6; 2 Kings 4:2, 2 Kings 4:16; it translates the latter word in the same sense in Rth 3:9; 1 Samuel 1:16; 1 Samuel 25:24, 1 Samuel 25:28, 1 Samuel 25:31, 1 Samuel 25:41; 2 Samuel 20:17; 1 Kings 1:13, 1 Kings 1:17; 1 Kings 3:20. It is also used to express a sense of religious humility in translating the latter word only, and appears in this sense in but three passages, 1 Samuel 1:11; Psalm 86:16; Psalm 116:16.

In the New Testament it occurs 3 t, in a religious sense, as the translation of δούλη, doúlē, "a female slave" ( Luke 1:38, Luke 1:48; Acts 2:18 ), and twice (Galatians 4:22, Galatians 4:23 ) as the translation of παιδίσκη, paidı́skē, the King James Version "bondmaid."
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