25 March 2012
Disclaimer 1: I don't want to come off all First Girl Ever To Learn [Greek] here, so let me say upfront that the basic fact I present below came to my attention via the very much English Concordia Commentary on Ecclesiastes, which I was reading for a thoroughly non-erudite reason with which I will not bore you.
Disclaimer 2: I hesitate to address this as one who has graciously been spared the heartbreak of losing a baby without having seen his face. But experience is neither equalizer nor guarantor of consensus, and every woman who has carried a child or hoped to knows the dread of this shadow.
I ponder endlessly the sadness of my friends who have endured a miscarriage, particularly the sentiment expressed by my dear Reb. Mary: "'Miscarry. Mis-carry. Like, “Whoops! I dropped the baby! Next time I’m carrying a baby I really should try to be more careful!'" Ah, friend. :'(
Ecclesiastes 6, Job 3, and Psalm 58 speak of a miscarried or stillborn child, but not in the way we speak of him. For where we call him "miscarried," which so many mothers I know cannot but understand to place the blame particularly with themselves, the Hebrews use the simple word nephel, "fallen."
No special term for it, and no fault beyond that which we all bear. Fallen like every last one of us.