"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15).
The New Testament city of Ephesus was immersed in the Greco-Roman tradition of the pursuit of beauty and perfection in every sense: art, architecture, music, and even regarding the human race.
In fact, Greeks and Romans regularly abandoned their unwanted (less than physically perfect, or often, female) infants to the elements as a means of divesting themselves of the responsibility and stigma of such a child. This practice was termed “exposing” the child. Some of those rejected children, if physically able, were "adopted" by Ephesian citizens only to serve as slaves.
Testifying to the common act of abandoning children is the following letter written June 17, 1 B.C., by a man named Hilarion to his pregnant wife, Alis:
“Know that I am still in Alexandria. And do not worry if they all come back and I remain in Alexandria. I ask and beg you to take good care of our baby son, and as soon as I receive payment I will send it up to you. If you are delivered of child [before I get home], if it is a boy keep it, if a girl discard it. You have sent me word, ‘Don’t forget me.’ How can I forget you. I beg you not to worry.”
How could such a warm missive contain such a cold directive to simply discard a baby!
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