Handmaid

HANDMAID, HANDMAIDEN. In the KJV a female slave or servant. When used of oneself, it indicates humility, as in Ruth’s speaking to Boaz (Ruth.3.9), Hannah’s praying to the Lord (1Sam.1.11) and speaking to Eli (1Sam.1.16), and Mary’s speaking to Gabriel (Luke.1.38) and singing (Luke.1.48).



Also in the OT both Heb words are used by women of themselves before great men as an expression of humility (Ruth 2:13; 3:9; 1 Sam 28:21; 1 Kings 1:13, 17; etc.).

A pious woman in godly humility may use ’āmâ in reference to herself (1 Sam 1:11; cf. Ps 86:16; 116:16).

Of the three occurrences in the KJV of “handmaid” in the KJV NT, two are pious references by Mary to herself (Luke 1:38, 48).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


In the New Testament it occurs 3 t, in a religious sense, as the translation of doule, "a female slave" (Lu 1:38,48; Ac 2:18), and twice (Ga 4:22,23) as the translation of paidiske, the King James Version "bondmaid."