Nurse (properly אֹמֵן, omen', masc., τιθηνός, nutrix. nutritius; fem. אֹמֶנֶת, ome'neth, τιθηνός, nutrix; from אָמִן, to carry [see Isa 60:4]; usually מֵינֶקֶת, meyne'keth, fem. part. Hiph., from יָנִק "suck," with אַשָּׁה γυνὴ τροφεύουσα [Ex 2:7]; in the N.T. τροφός ', nutrix [1Th 2:7]). Moses applied this term to himself in relation to Israel, though only to exiress his inability to fulfill what it required, or his sense of oppression under the responsibility involved in it (Nu 11:12). But more commonly it is applied to women, and much apparently in the same manner and with the same regard that is usual among ourselves. It is clear, both from Scripture and from Greek and Roman writers, that in ancient times the position of the nurse. wherever one was maintained, was one of much hone and importance (see Ge 24:59; Ge 35:8; 2Sa 4:4; 2Ki 11:2; 2Ki 2 Maccabees 1:20; comp. Homer, Od. 2:361; 19:15, 251, 466; Eurip. Ion, i357; Hippol. 267 and foll.; Virgil, AEn. 7:1). The same term is applied to a foster father or mother, e.g. Nu 11:12; Ru 4:16; Isa 49:23. In great families male servants, probably eunuchs in later times, were intrusted with the charge of the boys (2Ki 1:5; see also Kuran, 4:63, Tegg's ed.; Mrs. Poole, Englw. in Egypt, 3:201). SEE CHILD.
In Christian times nursing the sick has ever been the special care of pious females, and many have devoted themselves to this work, in hospitals and elsewhere, both in war and peace, with religious earnestness. Among the Roman Catholics this is one of the special duties of the "Sisters of Charity."