From: yochanan bitan (ButhFam@compuserve.com)
Date: Thu Sep 14 2000 - 03:02:19 EDT
>Someone said (with reference to John 3:5) that in Hebrew 'to be born of
>water' was a (relatively common) idiom referring to natural birth. Could
>someone either confirm or refute this?
I do not know an idiom
or like idioms.
As a minimum help I checked Even-shoshan for references of either the above
idioms or the metaphoric use of water. Two pages of idioms with 'water' did
not list either of the above or even a recognized separate metaphor close
to 'birth'. The "Torah Archive" did not return anything for *nolad + *mayim
in rabbinic literature [mishna thru yalkut shimoni]. (It can miss things,
so this is not proof, but an indication.)
On the other hand, that doesn't mean that there are no contexts where mayim
'water' is used in metaphorical contexts for birth. That would take a lot
of time, and I must bow out from the search.
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