5503 CHERA (26): a woman who has lost her husband for whatever reason; a widow; a bereft woman. Chera is the feminine form of the word cheros (the masculine form), which never occurs in the FCR. Cheros basically means "bereft" (a form of "bereaved," meaning: left alone, left behind, widowed). Thus chera refers to a woman who doesn't have a husband to provide for her and her children; a widow, abandoned or divorced woman, a woman whose husband is missing at sea or in war, etc. This is reasonable, because especially in earlier times, any such woman would be in a desperate situation without a provider. Note the detailed instructions Paul gives in 1Tim.5 to assure that a chera is properly provided for. Used with "orphan" (3737 orphanos) in Jas.1.27.
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