father

father

In the OT the immediate male progenitor, the head of a people or tribe (Gen 19:37), or a founder of some institution (Gen 4:20-21; 1Chr 2:41-52); in the latter two cases, the NRSV often uses “ancestor.” The plural “fathers” (NRSV, “ancestors”) refers to previous generations (Jer 31:32; Ps 22:4; Lam 5:7). “Father” can also be an honorary title given to prophets and priests (Judg 17:10; 2Kgs 2:12; 2Kgs 6:21; 2Kgs 13:14). In the nuclear family, a father had considerable power over his children but this was not unlimited: e.g., a father could arrange his daughter’s marriage (Gen 34:12; 1Sam 18:25), but he could not sell her into prostitution (Lev 19:29). The father was obligated to circumcise his sons (Gen 17:12; Gen 17:23; Gen 21:4; Lev 12:3) and to educate the children in the Torah (Exod 13:8; Deut 4:9; Deut 6:7; Deut 20-25:7; also Prov 3:12). The children were to revere and obey the father (Exod 20:12; Lev 19:3; Deut 21:18; Deut 21:20; Exod 21:15; Lev 20:9). The father’s love and blessing (Gen 27:27-40; Gen 49) is the basis for the image of God the Father of Israel (Exod 4:22; Deut 14:1; Deut 32:6; Hos 11:1; Jer 3:4; Jer 3:19; Jer 31:9; Ps 103:13). In the NT, “father” can refer to the male progenitor (Matt 1:1-16; Mark 1:20; Acts 28:8), but in most instances it is used to refer to God. This Christian practice probably derives from the intimate term for father that Jesus used to address God (Heb. and Aramaic abba). “Father” is also the term for God Jesus used in the prayer he taught his followers (Luke 11:2).

Gen 19:37

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Gen 4:20-21

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1Chr 2:41-52

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Jer 31:32

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Ps 22:4

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Lam 5:7

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Judg 17:10

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2Kgs 2:12

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2Kgs 6:21

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2Kgs 13:14

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Gen 34:12

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1Sam 18:25

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Lev 19:29

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Gen 17:12

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Gen 17:23

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Gen 21:4

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Lev 12:3

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Exod 13:8

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Deut 4:9

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Deut 6:7

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Deut 20-25:7

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Prov 3:12

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Exod 20:12

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Lev 19:3

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Deut 21:18

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Deut 21:20

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Exod 21:15

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Lev 20:9

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Gen 27:27-40

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Gen 49

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Exod 4:22

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Deut 14:1

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Deut 32:6

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Hos 11:1

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Jer 3:4

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Jer 3:19

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Jer 31:9

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Ps 103:13

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Matt 1:1-16

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Mark 1:20

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Acts 28:8

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Luke 11:2

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