Midwife
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Easton's Bible Dictionary
The two midwives mentioned in Exodus 1:15 were probably the superintendents of the whole class.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) A woman who assists other women in childbirth; a female practitioner of the obstetric art.

2. (v. t.) To assist in childbirth.

3. (v. i.) To perform the office of midwife.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
MIDWIFE

mid'-wif (meyalledheth): Those who in patriarchal times attended mothers at childbirth are so named in Genesis 35:17; Genesis 38:28 Exodus 1:15-22. Such attendants were probably then (1 Samuel 4:20), as they usually are now, the older female relatives and friends of the mother. The duties which they had to perform are enumerated in Ezekiel 16:4: division of the cord, washing the infant in water, salting with salt and swathing in swaddling clothes. During the Egyptian bondage there were two midwives who attended the Hebrew women; from their names, they were probably Hebrews, certainly they were not Egyptians. From this passage it appears that they used a certain double-round form of birthstool called 'obhnayim, concerning which there are several rabbinical comments. It probably was like the kuru elwiladeh, or "birth-seat," still used by the Egyptian fellahin. I have not found any record of its use among the Palestinian fellahin. There is a curious passage in the Talmud (Cotah 2 b) in which it is said that the two midwives had different duties, Shiphrah being the one who dressed the infant, Puah, the one who whispered to it. One Jewish commentator on this supposes that Puah used artificial respiration by blowing into the child's mouth. The midwives must have had considerable skill, as a case like that of Tamar required some amount of operative manipulation.

The English word means originally the woman who is "with the mother" (compare "the women that stood by," in 1 Samuel 4:20), but very early became applied to those who gave skilled assistance, as in Raynold's Birth of Mankind, 1565.

Alexander Macalister

Strong's Hebrew
6326. Puah -- an Israelite midwife
... Puah. 6327 . an Israelite midwife. Transliteration: Puah Phonetic Spelling:
(poo-aw') Short Definition: Puah. ... midwife NASB Word Usage Puah (1). Puah. ...
/hebrew/6326.htm - 5k

8236. Shiphrah -- "fairness," a Hebrew midwife
... "fairness," a Hebrew midwife. Transliteration: Shiphrah Phonetic Spelling:
(shif-raw') Short Definition: Shiphrah. ... midwife NASB Word Usage Shiphrah (1). Shiphrah ...
/hebrew/8236.htm - 6k

3205. yalad -- to bear, bring forth, beget
... fathered (2), fathers (1), gave me birth (1), gave you birth (2), gave birth (25),
gave birth to a child (2), give birth (13), give birth the midwife (1), give ...
/hebrew/3205.htm - 7k

70. oben -- a wheel, disk
... From the same as 'eben; a pair of stones (only dual); a potter's wheel or a midwife's
stool (consisting alike of two horizontal disks with a support between ...
/hebrew/70.htm - 6k

Library

Whether Christ was Born Without his Mother Suffering?
... Wherefore Jerome says (Adv. Helvid. iv): "No midwife was there, no officious
women interfered. She was both mother and midwife. ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether christ was born without.htm

The Birth of Mary the Holy Mother of God, and Very Glorious Mother ...
... forth. And she said to the midwife: What have I brought forth? and she said:
A girl. ... going? And I:said: I am seeking an Hebrew midwife. ...
/.../unknown/the protevangelium of james/the birth of mary the.htm

Matt. I. 1
... [119] Then the midwife, when she ... The midwife when she saw this said, "Why was the
hedge broken up for thee?" [120]. Seest thou the dark expression of mysteries? ...
/.../chrysostom/homilies on the gospel of saint matthew/homily iii matt i 1.htm

Chapter xxxviii
... And it happened in birth that one put out a hand and the midwife took it and tied
a scarlet thread on his hand, saying: This one came out first. ...
/.../leupold/exposition of genesis volume 1/chapter xxxviii.htm

Argument. From the Prison they are Led Forth with Joy into the ...
... Moreover, Felicitas, rejoicing that she had safely brought forth, so that she might
fight with the wild beasts; from the blood and from the midwife to the ...
/.../chapter vi argument from the prison.htm

And it came to Pass Some Little Time After...
... And when she had permitted her to make an examination, the midwife cried out
with a loud voice, and said: Lord, Lord Almighty, mercy on us! ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of pseudo-matthew/chapter 13 and it came.htm

The Evil Spirit Has Marred the Purity of the Soul from the Very ...
... Thus it comes to pass that all men are brought to the birth with idolatry for the
midwife, whilst the very wombs that bear them, still bound with the fillets ...
/.../tertullian/a treatise on the soul/chapter xxxix the evil spirit has.htm

Heads of the Canons of Abulide or Hippolytus,
... [2050]. 17. Of the free woman. [2051]. 18. Of the midwife; and that the women
ought to be separate from the men in prayer. [2052]. 19. ...
/.../the extant works and fragments of hippolytus/heads of the canons of.htm

Both Covenants were Prefigured in Abraham, and in the Labour of ...
... [4144] For when she had conceived twins, one of them put forth his hand first; and
as the midwife supposed that he was the first-born, she bound a scarlet ...
/.../irenaeus/against heresies/chapter xxv both covenants were prefigured.htm

About this Same Time, Judah, the Son of Jacob...
... But when she brought them forth, there was this remarkable fact, that, when on one
of the boys being born, the midwife had bound his hand with a scarlet thread ...
/.../severus/life and writings of sulpitius severus /chapter xi about this same.htm

Thesaurus
Midwife (4 Occurrences)
... obstetric art. 2. (vt) To assist in childbirth. 3. (vi) To perform the office
of midwife. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. MIDWIFE. mid'-wif ...
/m/midwife.htm - 10k

Mid-wife (1 Occurrence)
Mid-wife. Midwife, Mid-wife. Midwives . Multi-Version Concordance Mid-wife
(1 Occurrence). ... (See JPS). Midwife, Mid-wife. Midwives . Reference Bible.
/m/mid-wife.htm - 6k

Office (64 Occurrences)
... in the priest's office," literally, act as priest (Exodus 28:1, etc.); "do the office
of a midwife," literally, cause or help to give birth (Exodus 1:16). ...
/o/office.htm - 30k

Midwives (6 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary (n.) Plural of Midwife. Multi-Version Concordance
Midwives (6 Occurrences). Exodus 1:15 The king of Egypt ...
/m/midwives.htm - 8k

Labor (181 Occurrences)
... Genesis 35:17 When she was in hard labor, the midwife said to her, "Don't be afraid,
for now you will have another son." (WEB KJV ASV WBS NAS RSV). ...
/l/labor.htm - 38k

Bearing (150 Occurrences)
... Genesis 35:17 And it came to pass when it went hard with her in her childbearing,
that the midwife said to her, Fear not; for this also is a son for thee. ...
/b/bearing.htm - 39k

Vigorous (9 Occurrences)
... 1:19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women aren't like the Egyptian
women; for they are vigorous, and give birth before the midwife comes to ...
/v/vigorous.htm - 9k

Wrist (3 Occurrences)
... Genesis 38:28 When she travailed, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied
a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, "This came out first." (See NIV). ...
/w/wrist.htm - 7k

Tied (33 Occurrences)
... Genesis 38:28 When she travailed, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied
a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, "This came out first." (WEB NAS NIV). ...
/t/tied.htm - 16k

Thread (32 Occurrences)
... Genesis 38:28 When she travailed, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied
a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, "This came out first." (WEB KJV JPS ...
/t/thread.htm - 16k

Concordance
Midwife (4 Occurrences)

Genesis 35:17
When she was in hard labor, the midwife said to her, "Don't be afraid, for now you will have another son."
(WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Genesis 38:28
When she travailed, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, "This came out first."
(WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Exodus 1:16
and he said, "When you perform the duty of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birth stool; if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live."
(WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS RSV)

Exodus 1:19
The midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women aren't like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous, and give birth before the midwife comes to them."
(WEB JPS ASV DBY YLT NAS RSV)

Subtopics

Midwife

Related Terms

Mid-wife (1 Occurrence)

Office (64 Occurrences)

Midwives (6 Occurrences)

Labor (181 Occurrences)

Bearing (150 Occurrences)

Vigorous (9 Occurrences)

Wrist (3 Occurrences)

Tied (33 Occurrences)

Thread (32 Occurrences)

Travailed (7 Occurrences)

Egyptian (35 Occurrences)

Delivery (8 Occurrences)

Midway (3 Occurrences)

Puvah (2 Occurrences)

Puah (5 Occurrences)

Pained (41 Occurrences)

Bindeth (25 Occurrences)

Birthstool (1 Occurrence)

Birth-stool (1 Occurrence)

Childbearing (5 Occurrences)

Childbirth (24 Occurrences)

Arrive (20 Occurrences)

Scarlet (54 Occurrences)

Stool (6 Occurrences)

Sharply (20 Occurrences)

Stools (2 Occurrences)

Stretched (234 Occurrences)

Severe (53 Occurrences)

Helping (35 Occurrences)

Aren't (102 Occurrences)

Girl (71 Occurrences)

Labour (119 Occurrences)

Perform (155 Occurrences)

Observe (216 Occurrences)

Boy (94 Occurrences)

Duty (90 Occurrences)

Giveth (378 Occurrences)

Moreover (356 Occurrences)

Borne (172 Occurrences)

Taketh (398 Occurrences)

Bound (175 Occurrences)

Daughter (320 Occurrences)

Serve (407 Occurrences)

Hebrew (37 Occurrences)

Pharaoh (245 Occurrences)

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