Take care of children everywhere with me.
According to the Old Testament, the child is a gift from God and, as an adult, he must return to God in the conscious fullness of his humanity. The interest we take in it is ultimately oriented towards this goal.
The child, a gift from God
The child is first of all a gift from God: “Who are those that you have there? Esau asks his brother Jacob. – They are the children that God gave to your servant” (Gn 33,5). Hence the proper nouns formed with the verb “to give” (nathan), such as Jonathan or Nathanaël (“God gave”, Dieudonne) or even Nathan and Matthew (“Gift of God”). Sterility, the deprivation of this gift, is unbearable for Israelite women , such as Rachel (Gen 30,1) or Anne (1 Sam 1,4-11). We sometimes see in this sterility a punishment from God (Gn 20,17-18).
On the contrary, posterity is joy because it is a sign of divine blessing: “Behold, it is an inheritance from the Lord that of children, a reward that the fruit of the womb” (Ps 127,3). And when a prophet describes the final happiness of Jerusalem, he announces that “the city squares will be filled with little boys and girls who will have fun there” (Za 8,5).
The Israelite does not ignore tenderness towards children. Jacob’s love for Benjamin, his last-born, this child whom “his father loves” (Gn 44,20), is matched only by the pity we feel for children who are victims of war and famine, those little children who “fall from starvation at street corners ”(Lm 2,11-12,19). This is the worst punishment we can wish on enemies, it is that they see their children crushed before the eyes of the parents (Is 13,16; see also Os 14,1) or their heads smashed against rocks (Is 13,16; see also Os 14,1). Ps 137,9).