Abdon

Smith

(servile).

1. A judge of Israel, (Jude 12:13; Jude 12:15) perhaps the same person as Bedan, in (1 Samuel 12:11) (B.C. 1233-1225).

2. Son of Shashak. (1 Chronicles 8:23)

3. First-born son of Jehiel, son of Gideon. (1 Chronicles 8:30; 1Chr 9:35; 1Chr 9:36).

4. Son of Micah, a contemporary of Josiah, (2 Chronicles 34:20) called Achbor in (2 Kings 22:12) (B.C. 628.)

5. A city in the tribe if Asher, given to the Gershonites, (Joshua 21:30; 1 Chronicles 6:74) the modern Abdeh, 10 miles northeast of Accho.

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Abel

Abel

Meaning: the valley or plain.

City

Arrowsmith

1. a city in the northern part of the land of Israel 2Sam 20:14, apparently on the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali, from its connection with places in that neighbourhood, 1Ki 15:20; 2Ki 15:29. It seems to have once enjoyed considerable reputation for its counsellors, 2Sam 20.18; and to have been called Mother, 19. (Metropolis in the Septuagint). Josephus, likewise, calls it a metropolis of Israel, though he writes the name Abelmachea, and Abellana; which later spelling has led some to conjecture that in his time it was called by the Greeks Abelene or Abela. Upon the occasion of the quarrel between the men of Judah and Isael about David’s return to Jerusalem, Sheba made a party against David, and withdrew to this city; but the inhabitants being closely pressed by Joab, David’s general, and at the advice of a “wise woman” within the city, cut off Sheba’s head and threw it over the wall to Joab, that they might be spared the horrors of a siege. So Joab retired from before the place, B.C. 1022. It is also called Abel of Bethmaacrah, 2Sam 20:15; Abel-Bethmaachah 1Ki 15:20; 2Ki 15:29; and in the parallel passage, 2Chr 16:4, Abel-Maim. During the reign of Baasha, king of Israel, this city was taken and pillaged by Benhadad, king of Syria; and aout 200 years afterwards, in the days of Pekah, king of Israel, it was again taken by Tiglath-Pileser, king of Assyria, when its inhabitants, together with those of many beighbouring places, were carried captive to Assyria. It has been supposed that Belen, Judith 4:4; is a corrupt form of Abel-Maim. Some have fancied that Abel was the same with Abila of Lysanias, near Damascus, which cannot have been the case, for the bounds of Naphtali (in whcih tribe Abel probably was) never extended so ar in that direction. Others identify Abel with Abila of Phoenicia mentioned by Eusebius. Its most probable site has been fixed to the Northwest of the Bahr of Huleh, at a place called Abil el Kamh.

Smith

(1): the name of several places in Palestine, probably signifies a meadow .

(2): (i.e., breath, vapor, transitoriness , probably so called from the shortness of his life), the second son of Adam, murdered by his brother Cain, (Genesis 4:1-16) he was a keeper or feeder of sheep. Our Lord spoke of Abel as the first martyr, (Matthew 23:35) so did the early Church subsequently. The traditional site of his murder and his grave are pointed out near Damascus.

Naves

H1893 H59

1. Son of Adam

– History of Gén 4:1-15; Gén 4:25

– References to the death of Mat 23:35; Luc 11:51; Heb 11:4; Heb 12:24; 1Jn 3:12

• 2. A stone 1Sa 6:18

 ISBE

ā´bel (ה בל, hebhel; Ἄβελ, Ábel; Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek Hábel; etymology uncertain. Some translation “a breath,” “vapor,” “transitoriness,” which are suggestive of his brief existence and tragic end; others take it to be a variant of Jabal, yābhāl, “shepherd” or “herdman,” Gen 4:20. Compare Assyrian ablu and Babylonian abil, “son”): The second son of Adam and Eve. The absence of the verb hārāh (Gen 4:2; compare Gen 4:1) has been taken to imply, perhaps truly, that Cain and Abel were twins.

1. A Shepherd

“Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground,” thus representing the two fundamental pursuits of civilized life, the two earliest subdivisions of the human race. On the Hebrew tradition of the superiority of the pastoral over agricultural and city life, see Expositor Times, V, 351ff. The narrative may possibly bear witness to the primitive idea that pastoral life was more pleasing to Yahweh than husbandry.

2. A Worshipper

“In process of time,” the two brothers came in a solemn manner to sacrifice unto Yahweh, in order to express their gratitude to Him whose tenants they were in the land (Gen 4:3, Gen 4:4. See SACRIFICE). How Yahweh signified His acceptance of the one offering and rejection of the other, we are not told. That it was due to the difference in the material of the sacrifice or in their manner of offering was probably the belief among the early Israelites, who regarded animal offerings as superior to cereal offerings. Both kinds, however, were fully in accord with Hebrew law and custom. It has been suggested that the Septuagint rendering of Gen 4:7 makes Cain’s offense a ritual one, the offering not being “correctly” made or rightly divided, and hence rejected as irregular. “If thou makest a proper offering, but dost not cut in pieces rightly, art thou not in fault? Be still!” The Septuagint evidently took the rebuke to turn upon Cain’s neglect to prepare his offering according to strict ceremonial requirements. διέλῃς, diélēs (Septuagint in the place cited.), however, implies נתח, (אנתּח nāthaḥ (nattaḥ), and would only apply to animal sacrifices. Compare Exo 29:17; Lev 8:20; Jdg 19:29; 1Ki 18:23; and see COUCH.

3. A Righteous Man

The true reason for the Divine preference is doubtless to be found in the disposition of the brothers (see CAIN). Well-doing consisted not in the outward offering (Gen 4:7) but in the right state of mind and feeling. The acceptability depends on the inner motives and moral characters of the offerers. “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent (abundant, pleı́ōna) sacrifice than Cain” (Heb 11:4). The “more abundant sacrifice,” Westcott thinks, “suggests the deeper gratitude of Abel, and shows a fuller sense of the claims of God” to the best. Cain’s “works (the collective expression of his inner life) were evil, and his brother’s righteous” (1Jo 3:12). “It would be an outrage if the gods looked to gifts and sacrifices and not to the soul” (Alcibiades II.149E.150A). Cain’s heart was no longer pure; it had a criminal propensity, springing from envy and jealousy, which rendered both his offering and person unacceptable. His evil works and hatred of his brother culminated in the act of murder, specifically evoked by the opposite character of Abel’s works and the acceptance of his offering. The evil man cannot endure the sight of goodness in another.

4. A Martyr

Abel ranks as the first martyr (Mat 23:35), whose blood cried for vengeance (Gen 4:10; compare Rev 6:9, Rev 6:10) and brought despair (Gen 4:13), whereas that of Jesus appeals to God for forgiveness and speaks peace (Heb 12:24) and is preferred before Abel’s.

5. A Type

The first two brothers in history stand as the types and representatives of the two main and enduring divisions of mankind, and bear witness to the absolute antithesis and eternal enmity between good and evil.

Amtrac

1. The second son of Adam and Eve. He became a shepherd, and offered to God a sacrifice from his flocks, at the same time that Cain his brother offered the fruits of the earth. God had respect to Abel’s sacrifice, and not to Cain’s; hence Cain in anger killed Abel, Ge 4:1-26. It was “by faith” that Abel offered a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain; that is, his heart was right towards God, and he worshipped Him in trustful obedience to the divine directions. His offering, made by the shedding of blood, was that of a penitent sinner confiding in the atonement ordained of God; and it was accepted, “God testifying of his gifts,” probably by fire from heaven; “by which he obtained witness that he was righteous,” that is, justified, Heb 11:4. “The blood of Abel” called from the ground for vengeance, Ge 4:10; but the blood of Christ claims forgiveness and salvation for his people, Heb 12:24; 1Jo 1:7

2. Abel is also a prefix in the names of several towns. In such cases it signifies a grassy place or meadow.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

The second son of Adam and Eve, Abel was a keeper of sheep. Like his elder brother Cain, he made an offering to God of things God had given him (Gen 4:1-4). Abel was a righteous man (Mat 23:35), and he offered his sacrifice in a thankful attitude of sincere faith (Gen 4:4; Heb 11:4). Cain was an unrighteous man (1Jo 3:12) and offered his sacrifice in the wrong attitude. God therefore rejected his sacrifice (Gen 4:5; for further details see SACRIFICE).

In envy and anger, Cain killed Abel (Gen 4:8). But God gave to Adam and Eve another son, Seth, who helped maintain the sort of faith in God that Abel had shown (Gen 4:25-26).

Concise Bible Dictionary

The second Son of Adam. The name Hebel given him by his mother, signifying ‘breath’ or ‘vanity,’ possibly originated in her disappointment at Cain not proving to be the promised Redeemer. In process of time the great difference in the two brothers was manifested by Abel offering to God a slain animal, whilst Cain brought the fruit of his own labour from the cursed ground, ignoring the facts that in the fall of Adam life had been forfeited and the ground cursed. Abel presented a sacrifice in the way of faith through a slain firstling of the flock, Heb 11:4. He thus obtained a witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: cf. Mt 23:35. Thus early were brought out in clear lines the two seeds: one born of God, and the other ‘of that wicked one.’ 1Jo 3:12. Abel is a type of Christ, as Cain is that of the Jew. As the Jews broke the law against both God and their neighbour, so Cain disregarded God’s judgment on man, and slew his brother. In Cain is also exemplified the religion of the natural man, who, disregarding his distance from God, thinks he can approach at any time and with any form of worship.

Easton

(Heb. Hebhel), a breath, or vanity, the second son of Adam and Eve. He was put to death by his brother Cain (Gen. 4:1-16). Guided by the instruction of their father, the two brothers were trained in the duty of worshipping God. “And in process of time” (marg. “at the end of days”, i.e., on the Sabbath) each of them offered up to God of the first-fruits of his labours. Cain, as a husbandman, offered the fruits of the field; Abel, as a shepherd, of the firstlings of his flock. “The Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering; but unto Cain and his offering he had not respect” (Gen. 4:3-5). On this account Cain was angry with his brother, and formed the design of putting him to death; a design which he at length found an opportunity of carrying into effect (Gen. 4:8,9. Comp. 1 John 3:12). There are several references to Abel in the New Testament. Our Saviour speaks of him as “righteous” (Matt. 23:35). “The blood of sprinkling” is said to speak “better things than that of Abel” (Heb. 12:24); i.e., the blood of Jesus is the reality of which the blood of the offering made by Abel was only the type. The comparison here is between the sacrifice offered by Christ and that offered by Abel, and not between the blood of Christ calling for mercy and the blood of the murdered Abel calling for vengeance, as has sometimes been supposed. It is also said (Heb. 11:4) that “Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” This sacrifice was made “by faith;” this faith rested in God, not only as the Creator and the God of providence, but especially in God as the great Redeemer, whose sacrifice was typified by the sacrifices which, no doubt by the divine institution, were offered from the days of Adam downward. On account of that “faith” which looked forward to the great atoning sacrifice, Abel’s offering was accepted of God. Cain’s offering had no such reference, and therefore was rejected. Abel was the first martyr, as he was the first of our race to die.

Abel (Heb. ‘abhel), lamentation (1 Sam. 6:18), the name given to the great stone in Joshua’s field whereon the ark was “set down.” The Revised Version, however, following the Targum and the LXX., reads in the Hebrew text _’ebhen_ (= a stone), and accordingly translates “unto the great stone, whereon they set down the ark.” This reading is to be preferred.

Abel (Heb. ‘abhel), a grassy place, a meadow. This word enters into the composition of the following words:

Fausset

Hebrew Hebel. Second of Adam and Eve’s sons, Genesis 4: Abel means “vanity” or “weakness”, “vapor” or “transitoriness”. Cain means “possession”; for Eve said at his birth, “I have gotten as a possession a man from Jehovah,” or as the Hebrew (eth) may mean, “with the help of Jehovah”; she inferring the commencement of the fulfillment of the promise of the Redeemer (Gen 3:15) herein. On the contrary, Abel’s weakness of body suggested his name: moreover prophetic inspiration guided her to choose one indicative of his untimely death. But God’s way is here from the first shown, “My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2Co 12:9; Heb 11:34. The cause of Cain’s hatred was “because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous” (1Jo 3:12). Envy of the godly was “the way of Cain” (Jud 1:11). “Faith” was present in Abel, absent from Cain (Heb 11:4); consequently the kind of sacrifice (the mode of showing faith) Abel offered was “much more a sacrifice” (Wycliffe; so the Greek) than Cain’s. “By faith Abel offered unto God a much more sacrifice than Cain,” i.e. one which had more of the true virtue of sacrifice; for it was an animal sacrifice of the firstlings of the flock, a token of the forfeiture of man’s life by sin, and a type of the Redeemer to be bruised in heel that He might bruise the serpent’s head.

God’s having made for man coats of skin presupposes the slaying of animals; and doubtless implies that Abel’s sacrifice of an animal life was an act of faith which rested on God’s command (though not expressly recorded) that such were the sacrifices He required. If it had not been God’s command, it would have been presumptuous will worship (Col 2:23), and taking of a life which man had no right over before the flood (Gen 9:2-4). Cain in self-righteous unbelief, refusing to confess his guilt and need of atonement (typified by sacrifice), presented a mere thank offering of the first fruits; not, like Abel, feeling his need of the propitiatory offering for sin. So “God had respect unto Abel (first) and (then) to his offering.” “God testified of his gifts” by consuming them with fire from the shekinah or cherubic symbol E. of Eden (“the presence of the Lord”: Gen 4:16; Gen 3:24), where the first sacrifices were offered. Thus” he obtained witness that he was righteous,” namely, with the righteousness which is by faith to the sincere penitent.

Christ calls him “righteous”: Mat 23:35. Abel represents the regenerate, Cain the unregenerate natural man. Abel offered the best, Cain that most readily procured. The words “in process of time” (Gen 4:3 margin), “at the end of days,” probably mark the definite time appointed for public worship already in paradise, the seventh day sabbath. The firstling and the fat point to the divine dignity and infinite fullness of the Spirit in the coming Messiah. “By faith he being dead yet speaketh” to us; his “blood crying from the ground to God” (Gen 4:10) shows how precious in God’s sight is the death of His saints (Psa 116:15; Rev 6:10). The shedding of Abel’s blood is the first, as that of Jesus is the last and crowning guilt which brought the accumulated vengeance on the Jews (Luk 11:51; Mat 23:34-35-38). There is a further avenging of still more accentuated guilt, of innocent blood yet coming on “them that dwell on the earth”. (Revelation 11). In Heb 12:24, it is written “Christ’s blood of sprinkling speaketh better things than that of Abel,” namely, than the blood of Abel’s animal sacrifice. For Abel’s is but the type, Christ’s the antitype and one only true propitiatory sacrifice. To deny the propitiation would make Cain’s offering to be as much a sacrifice as Abel’s. Tradition makes the place of his murder and grave to be near Damascus. (See ABILA.)

People

son of Adam, slain by Cain Gen 4:2, 8; Mat 23:35; Heb 11:4; 12:24

Abel [H1893][H59]
David Cox’s Topical Bible Concordance

1. Son of Adam
– History of Gen. 4:1-15, 25.
– References to the death of Mat. 23:35; Luk. 11:51; Heb. 11:4; 12:24; 1Jn. 3:12.
2. A stone 1Sa. 6:18.

Atonement

Atonement

The old adage, “at one with God” is very true to this concept. The idea begins with an acknowledgement that we are at odds with God because we have offended God, sinning against God. This antagonism between God and us is caused by our sin, and cannot be lifted or remedied by us. God offers a solution in the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary as the remedy that God accepts. But God conditions this remedy from becoming effective ONLY IF we believe in Jesus as our Savior. Faith is the key around which atonement works. Faith has a basis, and it is not in a power within us, but in the confidence of God, that He has solved the situation through Jesus.

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accursed

Accursed

This concept goes hand in hand with the concept of blessing, or being blessed. To be blessed is to be in the favor of God such that God is actively giving you good things, protecting you, and helping you. To be accursed is the opposite. The person who involves themself with something that is “accursed” is to take, like, want, or otherwise involves themselves with something that utterly has God’s disapproval.

God identifies certain things as being “accursed”. These accursed things (and those people associated with it) are things under the condemnation of God, and will shortly fall under the actual punishment of God. The concept of accursed is someone or something that is cast off from God. They (for some reason, by their decision to reject God, or because God has seen their sins and decides to reject them) are separated from God and all the goodness that is associated with God.

Rahab was taken out of the accursed city, but the city and all that were in it fell under the condemnation and punishment of God Joshua 6:17.

Josh 6:18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.

God made everything in this city “accursed”, i.e. the Israelites were not to take or rescue anything from it, not animal, not possessions, not even money, gold or silver. Think atom bomb here. Everybody and everything is destroyed and nothing is to be left for Israel’s possession.

In Joshua 7 Achan took gold from the accursed city, and this caused the wrath of God. The entire story of Achan speaks to us of an utter and explosive declaration that things are not in themselves always good. Things associated with evil, especially things gotten through evil or wicked means, retain an association with that wickedness, and therefore, even though they in themselves can be good (food, money, clothing, etc), God has declared them off limits for us. From a purely carnal view, a gold coin is a gold coin, and we should not refuse to grab it if we can (without law enforcement grabbing us for stealing). But the story of Achan teaches us that this thinking just doesn’t check with God.

Possessions gain a kind of moral association with them, and therefore we have to be careful not to grab what is morally wrong, or what is good but gotten through morally wrong means.

Isa 65:20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.

“Blessing” (a good thing) is not blessing (is not good for us) if it incures the wrath of God in the process.

Things declared accursed

 

The idea of being declared accursed is to have no remedy to the ills of life. In other words, the only true source of blessing and rescue from the issues of life is God. To be accursed is to have God say, “I am not at home, go away, and don’t come back”. When you enter that situation, their is utterly no hope. The problem is, is when a person that is not accursed does something to get involved with something or someone accursed, and thereby also becoming accursed by association. On the one hand, it can happen, and on the other, normal people utterly refuse and reject anything related with it because nothing good can come from it.

Illustration. Consider a large city with a nuclear power plant. Something happens and the power plant powders the entire city with radioactive dust. Everybody left things as they were, not taking anything with them. You go into the city knowing this. You pick up clothes, eat their food, and drive one of their cars, and go to jewelry shop and put on a lot of gold jewelry. What good does it do you? The more you involve yourself with anything there, the more radioactive you become. You take money from a bank and then go out of the city and start buying things, and shortly the police track you down, and put you in jail for passing off radioactive money. The people that received it also are wanting you lynched. Nothing good comes of anything related to the accursed city.

Jesus became “accursed” for us, by hanging on the cross, in order to save our souls.

Deut 21:23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

-DCox

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Adam 4

Adam.

The first man. The name is supposed to be derived from Adamah, ‘earth, or red earth,’ agreeing with the fact that “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, Gen. 2:7. He differed from all other creatures, because God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, by which man became a living soul. He differed also in being made after the image and likeness of God:he was God’s representative on earth, and to him was given dominion over all other living things, and he gave them names. He was placed in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it, showing that occupation was a good thing for man even in innocence. God said also that it was not good for man to be alone, so He caused him to sleep, took from him a rib, and of this ‘builded’ a woman. Adam called her Isha for she was taken out of Ish, man:the two being a type of Christ and the church, in the closest union:cf. Eph. 5:31, 32. Continue reading

Moses Part 2

Moses. [Mo’ses]

Son of Amram and Jochebed, of the tribe of Levi, brother of Aaron and Miriam. He was born after the mandate by the king that all male children of the Hebrews were to be killed, but his parents by faith hid him three months, and when he could no longer be hidden he was put in an ark of bulrushes and placed among the reeds in the river. Being found there by Pharaoh’s daughter he was named by her MOSES, signifying ‘drawn out,’ and adopted as her son, being nursed for her by his own mother. He became learned in all the wisdom of Egypt, and was mighty in words and deeds. Continue reading

Assurance

Assurance

Assurance refers usually to the assurance of the believer (or unbelievers in offers of salvation) in God and his promises. Salvation is the greatest issue over which assurance is fought, that being, that once a person is saved, can they lose their salvation, or do they have the assurance that once saved always saved.

If we address this biblically, neither of the positions are biblical. The Bible does not support the idea that once saved you can lose your salvation. This is an unbiblical extreme. The other extreme is also unbiblical. This is the idea that once we “are saved” (usually repeating a prayer and/or being baptized) you can live as you please. The Calvinist idea of perseverance is basically in practice the idea that no matter how sinful you are, because you are elect, you will still go to heaven. This also is not biblical.

Biblical assurance speaks more to the confidence in God that (1) the believer CAN CONFIDE in the promises of his Savior, and (2) God’s surety and faithfulness in fulfilling what he has promised to do. In the end analysis, we do not yet actually “have” salvation (although it is right to say that), but we have the hope that God will save us in the day of eternal judgment of all humans.

-DCox


 

[N] [T] [E]
In the midst of a world filled with uneasiness and insecurity, assurance of a person’s security in God is one of the hallmarks of the authentic Christian life. Such assurance is not based on human resources, abilities, or ingenuity, but on confidence in the caring power of God for believers.
Such divine concern in the life of an individual or a community of faith is not to be likened to some superficial good luck charm or magical incantation that protects a person against the traumas and tragedies of human existence. Instead, assurance in God provides an anchor of confidence and hope (Heb 6:18) in the midst of pain and sorrow, because the believer has learned the secret of casting all worries and cares on God, who is genuinely concerned for people (1 Peter 5:7).
Assurance can be linked to faith and faithfulness (Heb 10:22), because it is one of the ways that the biblical writers describe an authentic relationship with God. While reliance on God is accompanied by the confidence that God is intimately involved in the lives of believers (1 John 5:14), faith in God does not earn a sense of security or assurance. Moreover, it cannot be achieved by attendance at church, by works of kindness, or by ecclesiastical pardon. The foundation for the assurance of one’s salvation or well-being with God is rooted in a divine gift. God is the provider of salvation in Jesus Christ (John 3:16; 2 Col 5:18-19). Moreover, it is God who will bring to completion this divine gift (Php 1:6). It is this assurance that God continues to work in the lives of believers that is the basis for the Christian doctrine of perseverance—endurance or continuing response to God’s leading (Eph 6:18; Heb 12:1; James 1:25). Assurance and perseverance are two sides of the same message.
Assurance of a relationship with God in Christ is the way believers express the mysterious connection between the infinite nature of God and the fallible nature of humanity. Life with God (whether in ancient Israel or in Christianity) is a dynamic reality, not some chess game in which God moves all the pawns and kings without reference to human response (note the amazing conditional statement in Jer 18:7-10). Resisting temptation (with divine help cf. Matt 6:13; 1 John 5:14) is a key to sense of security in God (cf. 1 Col 10:13; James 4:7). Evil and the devil are not some toys with which believers can play (1 Peter 5:8-9).
But believers are not left to their own resources. The presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers is a guarantee or assurance that God is at work in believers’ lives (2 Col 1:22; 5:5). It is through the Spirit that believers know the reality of God’s presence in their lives (1 John 4:13). Forces external to them will never be able to separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:35-39); no power (symbolized by robber or wolf) is able to steal believers (symbolized by sheep) out of the loving arms of God’s Son (John 10:28).
This sense of assurance for believers is not merely limited to the present era on earth, but the resurrection of Jesus assures Christians that they are not deluded in their expectation of a future hope with their Lord (1 Co 15:17-20). The resurrection of Jesus is the powerful guarantee that Christian preaching and faith are not in vain (v. 14). The Holy Spirit’s presence provides assurance that Christians will receive their promised inheritance with God (Eph 1:14).
Gerald L. Borchert
See also Confidence; Endurance
Bibliography. G. L. Borchert, Assurance and Warning; D. A. Carson, Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility; I. H. Marshall, Kept by the Power.
——————————————————————————–
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave’s Topical Bible
[T] indicates this entry was also found in Torrey’s Topical Textbook
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton’s Bible Dictionary

BED


 

<A-1,Noun,4102,pistis>
“faith,” has the secondary meaning of “an assurance or guarantee,” e.g., Act 17:31; by raising Christ from the dead, God has given “assurance” that the world will be judged by Him (the AV margin, “offered faith” does not express the meaning). Cp. 1Ti 5:12, where “faith” means “pledge.” See BELIEF, FAITH, FIDELITY.

<A-2,Noun,4136,plerophoria>
“a fullness, abundance,” also means “full assurance, entire confidence;” lit., a “full-carrying” (pleros, “full,” phero, “to carry”). Some explain it as full fruitfulness (cp. RV, “fullness” in Heb 6:11). In 1Th 1:5 it describes the willingness and freedom of spirit enjoyed by those who brought the Gospel to Thessalonica; in Col 2:2, the freedom of mind and confidence resulting from an understanding in Christ; in Heb 6:11 (AV, “full assurance,” RV, “fullness”), the engrossing effect of the expectation of the fulfillment of God’s promises; in Heb 10:22, the character of the faith by which we are to draw near to God. See FULLNESS.

<A-3,Noun,5287,hupostasis>
lit., “a standing under, support” (hupo, “under,” histemi, “to stand”), hence, an “assurance,” is so rendered in Heb 11:1, RV, for AV, “substance.” It here may signify a title-deed, as giving a guarantee, or reality. See CONFIDENCE, PERSON, SUBSTANCE.

Note: In Act 16:10, for the AV (of sumbibazomai), “assuredly gathering,” see CONCLUDE.

<B-1,Verb,4104,pistoo>
“to trust or give assurance to” (cp. A, No. 1), has a secondary meaning, in the Passive Voice, “to be assured of,” 2Ti 3:14.

<B-2,Verb,4135,plerophoreo>
akin to A, No. 2, “to bring in full measure, to fulfill,” also signifies “to be fully assured,” Rom 4:21, RV, of Abraham’s faith. In Rom 14:5 it is said of the apprehension of the will of God. So in Col 4:12 in the best mss. In these three places it is used subjectively, with reference to an effect upon the mind. For its other and objective use, referring to things external, see FULFILL; see also BELIEVE, KNOW, PERSUADE, PROOF. In the Sept., Ecc 8:11.

<B-3,Verb,3782,peitho>
“to persuade,” is rendered “assure” in 1Jo 3:19 (marg., “persuade”), where the meaning is that of confidence toward God consequent upon loving in deed and in truth. See BELIEVE, CONFIDENCE, FRIEND, OBEY, PERSUADE, TRUST, YIELD.

<C-1,Adverb,806,asphalos>
means (a) “safely,” Mar 14:44; Act 16:23; (b) “assuredly,” Act 2:36; the knowledge there enjoined involves freedom from fear of contradiction, with an intimation of the impossibility of escape from the effects. See SAFELY.


God wants believers to be assured of their salvation. He wants them to know without doubt that, having repented and trusted in Jesus, they have eternal life and will never perish (Joh 3:16; 6:47; 10:28; Heb 6:11,17-20; 7:25; 1Pe 1:23; 1Jo 5:12-13). God promises believers eternal security, and his promises are certain. God is faithful, and his promises can be trusted (Joh 6:37; Rom 10:13; 1Th 5:24; 2Ti 2:19; Heb 10:22-23; 1Pe 1:5).
What God has done
Believers have this assurance because their salvation depends not on anything they have done, but on what God has done for them in Christ. Through Christ’s death, God has forgiven their sins and brought them into a new relationship with himself. God now accepts them as being ‘in Christ’ (Rom 3:24-25; 5:1; 8:1,33-34; Eph 1:7; Heb 10:14,17-18,22; Jude 24; see FORGIVENESS; JUSTIFICATION).
Further assurance comes from the fact of God’s election. In his sovereign will and grace, God has elected, or chosen, believers to be his children, to have eternal life, to escape the wrath of God, and to share with Christ in the full blessings of the age to come (Joh 1:12-13; 6:37-39; Rom 8:29-30; Eph 1:4; 1Th 1:4; 5:9; 2Ti 1:9; see ELECTION). Nothing can separate them from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39; Eph 2:4-5), and they receive from God the gift of the Holy Spirit as the guarantee of their eternal salvation. The Holy Spirit is God’s mark of ownership upon them (2Co 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30; 1Jo 4:13).
The response of believers
These great facts are all concerned with what God has done, and they are the basis of true assurance. In addition, however, believers are aware within themselves that they are children of God (Rom 8:16).
This added assurance within believers comes from a variety of experiences relating to their new life. Such experiences include their desire to obey God (1Jo 2:3-6), their sensitivity to sin (2Ti 2:19; 1Jo 3:4-10,19-21), their awareness of God’s discipline in their lives (Heb 12:5-8), their love for others (1Jo 3:14-15), their desire to know more of God and his Word (1Pe 2:2-3), and their constant perseverance in the faith (Mar 4:18-20; 1Pe 1:6-9; Heb 6:11-12). Without these evidences of a changed life, those who claim to have assurance of salvation are deceiving themselves (Tit 1:16; 1Jo 2:4,9-11; 3:10; cf. Mat 7:22-23, 25:41-46). (See also BACKSLIDING; PERSEVERANCE.)

[Bridgeway]
The resurrection of Jesus (Acts 17:31) is the “assurance” (Gr. pistis, generally rendered “faith”) or pledge God has given that his revelation is true and worthy of acceptance. The “full assurance [Gr. plerophoria, ‘full bearing’] of faith” (Heb. 10:22) is a fulness of faith in God which leaves no room for doubt. The “full assurance of understanding” (Col. 2:2) is an entire unwavering conviction of the truth of the declarations of Scripture, a joyful steadfastness on the part of any one of conviction that he has grasped the very truth. The “full assurance of hope” (Heb. 6:11) is a sure and well-grounded expectation of eternal glory (2 Tim. 4:7, 8). This assurance of hope is the assurance of a man’s own particular salvation.

This infallible assurance, which believers may attain unto as to their own personal salvation, is founded on the truth of the promises (Heb. 6:18), on the inward evidence of Christian graces, and on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption (Rom. 8:16). That such a certainty may be attained appears from the testimony of Scripture (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 2:3; 3:14), from the command to See k after it (Heb. 6:11; 2 Pet. 1:10), and from the fact that it has been attained (2 Tim. 1:12; 4:7, 8; 1 John 2:3; 4:16).

This full assurance is not of the essence of saving faith. It is the result of faith, and posterior to it in the order of nature, and so frequently also in the order of time. True believers may be destitute of it. Trust itself is something different from the evidence that we do trust. Believers, moreover, are exhorted to go on to something beyond what they at present have when they are exhorted to See k the grace of full assurance (Heb. 10:22; 2 Pet. 1:5-10). The attainment of this grace is a duty, and is to be diligently sought.

“Genuine assurance naturally leads to a legitimate and abiding peace and joy, and to love and thankfulness to God; and these from the very laws of our being to greater buoyancy, strength, and cheerfulness in the practice of obedience in every department of duty.”

This assurance may in various ways be shaken, diminished, and intermitted, but the principle out of which it springs can never be lost. (See FAITH)

[Easton]


a-shoor’-ans:

A term exceptionally rich in spiritual meaning. It signifies the joyous, unwavering confidence of an intelligent faith; the security of a fearless trust. The original words have to do with the heart of vital religion. baTach, “trust”; ‘aman, “to prop,” “to support,” hence to confide in, to trust. Jesus repeatedly used this word “amen” to express the trustworthiness and abiding certainty of his sayings. pistis, “faith”; plerophoria, “full assurance.” The confidence of faith is based, not on “works of righteousness which we have done” (compare Titus 3:4; Titus 3:5 the King James Version) but on the highpriesthood and atoning sacrifice of Christ.

(Heb 10:21; Heb 10:22; compare He 10:19, “boldness to enter …. by the blood of Jesus,” the King James Version). Assurance is the soul’s apprehension of its complete emancipation from the power of evil and from consequent judgment, through the atoning grace of Christ. It is the exact opposite of self-confidence, being a joyous appropriation and experience of the fullness of Christ–a glad sense of security, freedom and eternal life in Him. This doctrine is of immeasurable importance to the life of the church and of the individual believer, as a life of spiritual doubt and uncertainty contradicts the ideal of liberty in Christ Jesus which is the natural and necessary fruitage of “the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit …. shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” Paul unhesitatingly said, “I know” (2Ti 1:12)–a word which, oft-repeated in 1 Jn, furnishes the groundwork of glad assurance that runs through the entire epistle. For the classic passage on “full assurance” see Col 2:1-10.

Dwight M. Pratt

[ISBE]


Assurance.

This word has in the O.T. a different application from that which it has in the N.T. In the former it is ‘confidence or trust,’ and agrees with the hopes of God’s earthly people in connection with the security in which Israel will dwell when restored to their land, when all their enemies shall have been put down by divine power: the effect of righteousness will be “quietness and assurance for ever,” Isa. 32:17: whereas in their disobedience they should fear day and night and have no assurance of their life. Deut. 28:66.

In the N.T. the Greek word plhroforia implies ‘full assurance’ and refers to eternal salvation. The gospel reaches a soul in power, and in the Holy Ghost and in ‘much full assurance.’ 1 Thess. 1:5. We also meet with:

1, the full assurance of faith, Heb. 10:22; the reception of God’s testimony respecting the work of Christ and the glory He now enjoys:

2, the full assurance of hope, Heb. 6:11, issuing in continued diligence of the saints in their work and labour of love: and

3, the full assurance of understanding, Col. 2:2, for full knowledge in the mystery of God.

[Morrish]


• Produced by faith
Eph 3:12; 2Tim 1:12; Heb 10:22

• Made full by hope
Heb 6:11; Heb 6:19

• Confirmed by love
1John 3:14; 1John 3:19; 1John 4:18

• Is the effect of righteousness
Isa 32:17

• Is abundant in the understanding of the gospel
Col 2:2; 1Thess 1:5

• Saints privileged to have, assurance of:

– Their election
Ps 4:3; 1Thess 1:4

– Their redemption
Job 19:25

– Their adoption
Rom 8:16; 1John 3:2

– Their salvation
Isa 12:2

– Their eternal life
1John 5:13

– The unalienable love of God
Rom 8:38-39

– Union with God and Christ
1Cor 6:15; 2Cor 13:5; Eph 5:30; 1John 2:5; 1John 4:13

– Peace with God by Christ
Rom 5:1

– Preservation
Ps 3:6; Ps 8:1-9; Ps 27:3-5; Ps 46:1-3

– Answers to prayer
1John 3:22; 1John 5:14-15

– Comfort in affliction
Ps 73:26; Luke 4:18; 2Cor 4:8-10; 2Cor 4:16-18

– Continuance in grace
Phil 1:6

– A support in death
Ps 23:4

– A glorious resurrection
Job 19:26; Ps 17:15; Phil 3:21; 1John 3:2

– A kingdom
Heb 12:28; Rev 5:10

– A crown
2Tim 4:7-8; Jas 1:12

– Saints give diligence to attain
2Pet 1:10-11

– Strive to maintain
Heb 3:14; Heb 3:18

– Confident hope in God restores
Ps 42:11

• Exemplified by:

– David
Ps 23:4; Ps 73:24-26

– Paul
2Tim 1:12; 2Tim 4:18 Faith

[Naves]

Assurance
David Cox’s Topical Bible Concordance

Assurance.
Produced by faith Eph 3:12; 2Ti 1:12; Heb 10:22
Made full by hope Heb 6:11,19
Confirmed by love 1Jo 3:14,19; 4:18
Is the effect of righteousness Isa 32:17
Is abundant in the understanding of the gospel Col 2:2; 1Th 1:5
Saints privileged to have, of
Their election. Ps 4:3; 1Th 1:4
Their redemption. Job 19:25
Their adoption. Ro 8:16; 1Jo 3:2
Their salvation. Isa 12:2
Eternal life. 1Jo 5:13
The unalienable love of God. Ro 8:38,39
Union with God and Christ. 1Co 6:15; 2Co 13:5; Eph 5:30; 1Jo 2:5; 4:13
Peace with God by Christ. Ro 5:1
Preservation. Ps 3:6,8; 27:3-5; 46:1-3
Answers to prayer. 1Jo 3:22; 5:14,15
Continuance in grace. Php 1:6
Comfort in affliction. Ps 73:26; Lu 4:18,19; 2Co 4:8-10,16-18
Support in death. Ps 23:4
A glorious resurrection. Job 19:26; Ps 17:15; Php 3:21; 1Jo 3:2
A kingdom. Heb 12:28; Re 5:10
A crown. 2Ti 4:7,8; Jas 1:12
Give diligence to attain to 2Pe 1:10,11
Strive to maintain Heb 3:14,18
Confident hope in God restores Ps 42:11
Exemplified
David. Ps 23:4; 73:24-26
Paul. 2Ti 1:12; 4:18

Apostle

“Apostle” means somebody sent with a commission to represent or to accomplish some task. This is essentially an embassador (political context) or a missionary (religious context).

Apostle
• An appellation of Jesus
Heb 3:1 Apostles

[Naves]


 

Apostle

(one sent forth), in the New Testament originally the official name of those twelve of the disciples whom Jesus chose to send forth first to preach the gospel and to be with him during the course of his ministry on earth. The word also appears to have been used in a non-official sense to designate a much wider circle of Christian messengers and teachers See (2 Corinthians 8:23; Philemon 2:25) It is only of those who were officially designated apostles that we treat in the article. Their names are given in (Matthew 10:2-4) and Christ’s charge to them in the rest of the chapter. Their office. — (1) The original qualification of an apostle, as stated by St. Peter on the occasion of electing a successor to the traitor Judas, was that he should have been personally acquainted with the whole ministerial course of our Lord from his baptism by John till the day when he was taken up into heaven. (2) They were chosen by Christ himself (3) They had the power of working miracles. (4) They were inspired. (John 16:13) (5) Their world seems to have been pre-eminently that of founding the churches and upholding them by supernatural power specially bestowed for that purpose. (6) The office ceased, a matter of course, with its first holders-all continuation of it, from the very condition of its existence (cf. (1 Corinthians 9:1)), being impossible. Early history and training .–The apostles were from the lower ranks of life, simple and uneducated; some of them were related to Jesus according to the flesh; some had previously been disciples of John the Baptist. Our Lord chose them early in his public career They seem to have been all on an equality, both during and after the ministry of Christ on earth. Early in our Lord’s ministry he sent them out two and two to preach repentance and to perform miracles in his name Matt 10; Luke 9. They accompanied him in his journey, saw his wonderful works, heard his discourses addressed to the people, and made inquiries of him on religious matters. They recognized him as the Christ of God, (Matthew 16:16; Luke 9:20) and described to him supernatural power (Luke 9:54) but in the recognition of the spiritual teaching and mission of Christ they made very low progress, held back as they were by weakness of apprehension and by national prejudices. Even at the removal of our Lord from the earth they were yet weak in their knowledge, (Luke 24:21; John 16:12) though he had for so long been carefully preparing and instructing them. On the feast of Pentecost, ten days after our Lord’s ascension, the Holy Spirit came down on the assembled church, Acts 2; and from that time the apostles became altogether different men, giving witness with power of the life and death and resurrection of Jesus, as he had declared they should. (Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8; Acts 1:22; 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 13:31) Later labors and history. –First of all the mother-church at Jerusalem grew up under their hands, Acts 3-7, and their superior dignity and power were universally acknowledged by the rulers and the people. (Acts 5:12) ff. Their first mission out of Jerusalem was to Samaria (Acts 8:5-25) where the Lord himself had, during his ministry, sown the seed of the gospel. Here ends the first period of the apostles’ agency, during which its centre is Jerusalem and the prominent figure is that of St. Peter. The centre of the second period of the apostolic agency is Antioch, where a church soon was built up, consisting of Jews and Gentiles; and the central figure of this and of the subsequent period is St. Paul. The third apostolic period is marked by the almost entire disappearance of the twelve from the sacred narrative and the exclusive agency of St. Paul, the great apostle of the Gentiles. Of the missionary work of the rest of the twelve we know absolutely nothing from the sacred narrative.

[Smith]


 

APOSTLE

A messenger or envoy. The term is applied to Jesus Christ, who was God’s envoy to save the world, Heb 3:1; though, more commonly, the title is given to persons who were envoys commissioned by the Savior himself.

The apostles of Jesus Christ were his chief disciples, whom he invested with authority, filled with his Spirit, entrusted particularly with his doctrines and services, and chose to raise the edifice of his church. They were twelve in number, answering to the twelve tribes. Mt 19:28, and were plain, unlearned men, chosen from the common people. After their calling and charge, Mt 10:5-42, they attended their divine Master, witnessing his works, imbibing his spirit, and gradually learning the facts and doctrines of the gospel. After his resurrection, he sent them into all the world, commissioned to preach, to baptize, to work miracles, etc. See Joh 15:27 1Co 9:1; 15:8; 2Co 12:12; 1Th 2:13. The names of the twelve are, Simon Peter; Andrew, his brother; James, the son of Zebedee, called also “the greater;” John, his brother; Philip; Bartholomew; Thomas; Matthew, or Levi; Simon the Canaanite; Lebbeus, surnamed Thaddeus, also called Judas or Jude; James, “the less,” the son of Alphaeus; and Judas Iscariot, Mt 10:2-4; Mr 3:16; Lu 6:14. The last betrayed his Master, and then hanged himself, and Matthias was chosen in his place, Ac 1:15-26. In the Acts of the Apostles are recorded the self-sacrificing toils and sufferings of these Christlike men, who did that which was “right in the sight of God” from love to their Lord; and gave themselves wholly to their work, with a zeal, love, and faith Christ delighted to honor-teaching us that apostolic graces alone can secure apostolic successes.

[AmTrac]


Apostle

(“one sent forth”.) The official name of the twelve whom Jesus sent forth to preach, and who also were with Him throughout His earthly ministry. Peter states the qualifications before the election of Judas’ successor (Act 1:21), namely, that he should have companied with the followers of Jesus “all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among them, beginning from the baptism of John unto the day that He was taken up, to be a witness with the others of His resurrection.” So the Lord, “Ye are they that have continued with Me in My temptations” (Luk 22:28). The Holy Spirit was specially promised to bring all things to their remembrance whatever Jesus had said, to guide them into all truth, and to enable them to testify of Jesus with power to all lands (Joh 14:26; Joh 15:26-27; Joh 16:13-14). They were some of them fishermen, one a tax collector, and most of them unlearned.
Though called before, they did not permanently follow Him until their call as apostles. All were on a level (Mat 20:20-27; Mar 9:34-36). Yet three stood in especial nearness to Him, Peter, James, and John; they alone witnessed the raising of Jairus’ daughter, the transfiguration, and the agony in Gethsemane. An order grounded on moral considerations is traceable in the enumeration of the rest: Judas, the traitor, in all the lists stands last. The disciples surrounded Jesus in wider and still wider expanding circles: nearest Him Peter, James, and. John; then the other nine; then the Seventy; then the disciples in general. But the “mystery” was revealed to all alike (Mat 10:27). Four catalogues are extant: Matthew’s (Matthew 10), Mark’s (Mar 3:16), Luke’s (Luk 6:14) in the Gospel, and Luke’s in Act 1:13.

In all four the apostles are grouped in three classes, four in each. Philip heads the second division, i.e. is fifth; James the son of Alpheus heads the third, i.e. is ninth. Andrew follows Peter on the ground of brotherhood in Matthew and Luke; in Mark and Acts James and John, on the ground of greater nearness to Jesus, precede Andrew. In the second division Matthew modestly puts himself after Thomas; Mark and Luke give him his rightful place before Thomas. Thomas, after his doubts were removed (Joh 20:28), having attained distinguished faith, is promoted above Bartholomew (or Nathanael) and Matthew in Acts. In Matt, hew and Mark Thaddaeus (or Lebbaeus) precedes Simon Zelotes (Hebrew “Canaanite,” i.e. one of the sect the Zealots). But in Luke and Acts Simon Zelotes precedes Jude (Thaddaeus) the brother of James. John gives no catalogue, but writing later takes it for granted (Rev 21:14; Rev 21:19-20).

In the first division stand Peter and John, New Testament writers, in the second Matthew, in the third James and Jude. The Zealot stood once the last except the traitor, but subsequently became raised; bigotry is not always the best preparation for subsequent high standing in faith. Jesus sent them in pairs: a good plan for securing brotherly sympathy and cooperation. Their early mission in Jesus’ lifetime, to preach repentance and perform miracles in Jesus’ name, was restricted to Israel, to prepare the way for the subsequent gospel preaching to the Jews first, on and after Pentecost (Act 3:25). They were slow to apprehend the spiritual nature of His kingdom, and His crucifixion and resurrection as the necessary preliminary to it. Even after His resurrection seven of them returned to their fishing; and it was only by Christ’s renewed call that they were led’ to remain together at Jerusalem, waiting for the promised Comforter (John 21; Act 1:4).

From the day of the Pentecostal effusion of the Holy Spirit they became new men, witnessing with power of the resurrection of Jesus, as Jesus had promised (Luk 24:45; Luk 24:49; Act 1:8; Act 1:22; Act 2:32; Act 3:15; Act 5:32; Act 13:31). The first period of the apostles’ working extends down to Act 11:18. Excepting the transition period (Acts 8-10) when, at Stephen’s martyrdom, the gospel was extended to Samaria and. to the Ethiopian eunuch by Philip, Jerusalem is its center, and Peter’ the prominent figure, who opened the kingdom of heaven (according to Jesus’ promise to him, Mat 16:18-19) to the Jews and also to the Gentiles (Acts 2; 10). The second period begins with the extension of the kingdom to idolatrous Gentiles. (Act 11:19-26).
Antioch, in concert with Jerusalem, is now the center, and Paul the prominent figure, in concert with the other apostles. Though the ideal number always remained twelve (Rev 21:14), answering to the twelve tribes of Israel, yet just as there were in fact thirteen tribes when Joseph’s two sons were made separate tribal heads, so Paul’s calling made thirteen actual apostles. He possessed the two characteristics of an Apostle; he had” seen the Lord,” so as to be an eye witness of His resurrection, and he had the power which none but an Apostle had, of conferring spiritual gifts (1Co 9:1-2; 2Co 12:12; Rom 1:11; Rom 15:18-19). This period ends with Act 13:1-5, when Barnabas and Saul were separated by the Holy Spirit unto missionary work. Here the third apostolic period begins, in which the twelve disappear, and Paul alone stands forth, the Apostle of the Gentiles; so that at the close of Acts, which leaves him evangelizing in Rome, the metropolis of the world, churches from Jerusalem unto Illyricum had been founded through him.
“Apostle” is used in a vaguer sense of “messengers of the churches” (2Co 8:23; Phi 2:25). But the term belongs in its stricter sense to the twelve alone; they alone were apostles of Christ. Their distinctive note is, they were commissioned immediately by Jesus Himself. They alone were chosen by Christ Himself, independently of the churches. So even Matthias (Act 1:24). So Paul (Gal 1:1-12; Rom 1:1; 1Co 15:9-10). Their exclusive office was to found the Christian church; so their official existence was of Christ, and prior to the churches they collectively and severally founded. They acted with a divine authority to bind and loose things (Mat 18:18), and to remit or retain sins of persons (Joh 20:21-23), which they exercised by the authoritative ministry of the word. Their infallibility, of which their miracles were the credentials, marked them as extraordinary, not permanent, ministers.
Paul requires the Corinthians to acknowledge that the things which he wrote were the Lord’s commandments (1Co 14:37). The office was not local; but “the care of all the churches.” They were to the whole what particular elders were, to parts of the church (1Pe 5:1; 2Jo 1:1). Apostles therefore could have strictly no successors. John, while superintending the whole, was especially connected with the churches of Asia Minor, Paul with the W., Peter with Babylon. The bishops in that age coexisted with, and did not succeed officially, the apostles. James seems specially to have had a presidency in Jerusalem (Act 15:19; Act 21:18).

Once the Lord Himself is so designated, “the Apostle of our profession” (Heb 3:1); the, Ambassador sent from the Father (Joh 20:21). As Apostle He pleads God’s cause with us; as” High Priest,” our cause with God. Appropriate in writing to Hebrew, since the Hebrew high priest sent delegates (“apostles”) to collect the temple tribute from Jews in foreign countries, just as Christ is the Father’s Delegate to claim the Father’s due from His subjects in this world far off from Him (Mat 21:37).


 

Apostle

a-pos’-l ([ @apostolos], literally, “one sent forth,” an envoy, missionary): For the meaning of this name as it meets us in the New Testament, reference is sometimes made to classical and Jewish parallels. In earlier classical Greek there was a distinction between an aggelos or messenger and an apostolos, who was not a mere messenger, but a delegate or representative of the person who sent him. In the later Judaism, again, apostoloi were envoys sent out by the patriarchate in Jerusalem to collect the sacred tribute from the Jews of the Dispersion. It seems unlikely, however, that either of these uses bears upon the Christian origin of a term which, in any case, came to have its own distinctive Christian meaning. To understand the word as we find it in the New Testament it is not necessary to go beyond the New Testament itself. To discover the source of its Christian use it is sufficient to refer to its immediate and natural signification. The term used by Jesus, it must be remembered, would be Aramaic, not Greek, and apostolos would be its literal equivalent.

1. The Twelve:

In the New Testament history we first hear of the term as applied by Jesus to the Twelve in connection with that evangelical mission among the villages on which He dispatched them at an early stage of His public ministry (Matt 10:1; Mark 3:14; Mark 6:30; Luke 6:13; Luke 9:1). From a comparison of the Synoptics it would seem that the name as thus used was not a general designation for the Twelve, but had reference only to this particular mission, which was typical and prophetic, however, of the wider mission that was to come (compare Hort, Christian Ecclesia, 23-29). Luke, it is true, uses the word as a title for the Twelve apart from reference to the mission among the villages. But the explanation probably is, as Dr. Hort suggests, that since the Third Gospel and the Book of Ac formed two sections of what was really one work, the author in the Gospel employs the term in that wider sense which it came to have after the Ascension.

When we pass to Acts, “apostles” has become an ordinary name for the Eleven (Acts 1:2; Acts 1:26), and after the election of Matthias in place of Judas, for the Twelve (2:37,42,43, etc.). But even so it does not denote a particular and restricted office, but rather that function of a world-wide missionary service to which the Twelve were especially called. In His last charge, just before He ascended, Jesus had commissioned them to go forth into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Matt 28:19; Matt 28:20; Mark 16:15). He had said that they were to be His witnesses not only in Jerusalem and Judea, but in Samaria (contrast Mt 10:5), and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Ac 1:8). They were apostles, therefore, qua missionaries–not merely because they were the Twelve, but because they were now sent forth by their Lord on a universal mission for the propagation of the gospel.

2. Paul:

The very fact that the name “apostle” means what it does would point to the impossibility of confining it within the limits of the Twelve. (The “twelve apostles” of Re 21:14 is evidently symbolic; compare in 7:3 ff the restriction of God’s sealed servants to the twelve tribes.) Yet there might be a tendency at first to do so, and to restrict it as a badge of honor and privilege peculiar to that inner circle (compare Ac 1:25). If any such tendency existed, Paul effectually broke it down by vindicating for himself the right to the name. His claim appears in his assumption of the apostolic title in the opening words of most of his epistles. And when his right to it was challenged, he defended that right with passion, and especially on these grounds: that he had seen Jesus, and so was qualified to bear witness to His resurrection (1Co 9:1; compare Ac 22:6 ff); that he had received a call to the work of an apostle (Rom 1:1; 1Cor 1:1, etc.; Ga 2:7; compare Acts 13:2; Acts 22:21); but, above all, that he could point to the signs and seals of his apostleship furnished by his missionary labors and their fruits (1Cor 9:2; 2Cor 12:12; Gal 2:8). It was by this last ground of appeal that Paul convinced the original apostles of the justice of his claim. He had not been a disciple of Jesus in the days of His flesh; his claim to have seen the risen Lord and from Him to have received a personal commission was not one that could be proved to others; but there could be no possibility of doubt as to the seals of his apostleship. It was abundantly clear that “he that wrought for Peter unto the apostleship of the circumcision wrought for (Paul) also unto the Gentiles” (Ga 2:8). And so perceiving the grace that was given unto him, Peter and John, together with James of Jerusalem, recognized Paul as apostle to the Gentiles and gave him the right hand of fellowship (Ga 2:9).

3. The Wider Circle:

It is sometimes said by those who recognize that there were other apostles besides the Twelve and Paul that the latter (to whom some, on the ground of 1Cor 15:7; Gal 1:19, would add James the Lord’s brother) were the apostles par excellence, while the other apostles mentioned in the New Testament were apostles in some inferior sense. It is hardly possible, however, to make out such a distinction on the ground of New Testament usage. There were great differences, no doubt, among the apostles of the primitive church, as there were among the Twelve themselves–differences due to natural talents, to personal acquirements and experience, to spiritual gifts. Paul was greater than Barnabas or Silvanus, just as Peter and John were greater than Thaddaeus or Simon the Cananean.

But Thaddaeus and Simon were disciples of Jesus in the very same sense as Peter and John; and the Twelve and Paul were not more truly apostles than others who are mentioned in the New Testament. If apostleship denotes missionary service, and if its reality, as Paul suggests, is to be measured by its seals, it would be difficult to maintain that Matthias was an apostle par excellence, while Barnabas was not. Paul sets Barnabas as an apostle side by side with himself (1Cor 9:5; Gal 2:9; compare Acts 13:2; Acts 14:4; Acts 14:14); he speaks of Andronicus and Junias as “of note among the apostles” (Ro 16:7); he appears to include Apollos along with himself among the apostles who are made a spectacle unto the world and to angels and to men (1Cor 4:6; 1Cor 4:9); the natural inference from a comparison of 1Th 1:1 with 2:6 is that he describes Silvanus and Timothy as “apostles of Christ”; to the Philippians he mentions Epaphroditus as “your apostle” (Php 2:25 the Revised Version, margin), and to the Corinthians commends certain unknown brethren as “the apostles of the churches” and “the glory of Christ” (2Co 8:23 the Revised Version, margin). And the very fact that he found it necessary to denounce certain persons as “false apostles, deceitful workers, fashioning themselves into apostles of Christ” (2Co 11:13) shows that there was no thought in the primitive church of restricting the apostleship to a body of 12 or 13 men. “Had the number been definitely restricted, the claims of these interlopers would have been self-condemned” (Lightfoot, Galatians, 97).

4. Apostles in Didache:

When we come to the Didache, which probably lies beyond the boundary-line of New Testament history, we find the name “apostles” applied to a whole class of nameless missionaries–men who settled in no church, but moved about from place to place as messengers of the gospel (chapter 11). This makes it difficult to accept the view, urged by Lightfoot (op. cit., 98) and Gwatkin (HDB, I, 126) on the ground Of Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8; Acts 1:22; 1Cor 9:1, that to have seen the Lord was always the primary qualification of an apostle–a view on the strength of which they reject the apostleship of Apollos and Timothy, as being late converts to Christianity who lived far from the scenes of our Lord’s ministry. Gwatkin remarks that we have no reason to suppose that this condition was ever waived unless we throw forward the Didache into the 2nd century. But it seems very unlikely that even toward the end of the 1st century there would be a whole class of men, not only still alive, but still braving in the exercise of their missionary functions all the hardships of a wandering and homeless existence (compare Didache 11:4-6), who were yet able to bear the personal testimony of eye-witnesses to the ministry and resurrection of Jesus. In Lu 24:48 and Ac 18:22 it is the chosen company of the Twelve who are in view. In 1Co 9:1 Paul is meeting his Judaizing opponents on their own ground, and answering their insistence upon personal intercourse with Jesus by a claim to have seen the Lord. But apart from these passages there is no evidence that the apostles of the early church were necessarily men who had known Jesus in the flesh or had been witnesses of His resurrection–much less that this was the primary qualification on which their apostleship was made to rest.

5. The Apostleship:

We are led then to the conclusion that the true differentia of the New Testament apostleship lay in the missionary calling implied in the name, and that all whose lives were devoted to this vocation, and who could prove by the issues of their labors that God’s Spirit was working through them for the conversion of Jew or Gentile, were regarded and described as apostles. The apostolate was not a limited circle of officials holding a well-defined position of authority in the church, but a large class of men who discharged one–and that the highest–of the functions of the prophetic ministry (1Cor 12:28; Eph 4:11). It was on the foundation of the apostles and prophets that the Christian church was built, with Jesus Christ Himself as the chief corner-stone (Eph 2:20). The distinction between the two classes was that while the prophet was God’s spokesman to the believing church (1Cor 14:4; 1Cor 14:22; 1Cor 14:25; 1Cor 14:30; 1Cor 14:31), the apostle was His envoy to the unbelieving world (Gal 2:7; Gal 2:9).

The call of the apostle to his task might come in a variety of ways. The Twelve were called personally by Jesus to an apostolic task at the commencement of His earthly ministry (Mt 10:1 ff parallel), and after His resurrection this call was repeated, made permanent, and given a universal scope (Matt 28:19; Matt 28:20; Acts 1:8). Matthias was called first by the voice of the general body of the brethren and thereafter by the decision of the lot (Acts 1:15; Acts 1:23; Acts 1:26). Paul’s call came to him in a heavenly vision (Ac 26:17-19); and though this call was subsequently ratified by the church at Antioch, which sent him forth at the bidding of the Holy Ghost (Ac 13:1 ff), he firmly maintained that he was an apostle not from men neither through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead (Ga 1:1). Barnabas was sent forth (exapostello is the verb used) by the church at Jerusalem (Ac 11:22) and later, along with Paul, by the church at Antioch (Ac 13:1); and soon after this we find the two men described as apostles (Ac 14:4). It was the mission on which they were sent that explains the title. And when this particular mission was completed and they returned to Antioch to rehearse before the assembled church “all things that God had done with them, and that he had opened a door of faith unto the Gentiles” (Ac 14:27), they thereby justified their claim to be the apostles not only of the church, but of the Holy Spirit.

The authority of the apostolate was of a spiritual, ethical and personal kind. It was not official, and in the nature of the case could not be transmitted to others. Paul claimed for himself complete independence of the opinion of the whole body of the earlier apostles (Gal 2:6; Gal 2:11), and in seeking to influence his own converts endeavored by manifestation of the truth to commend himself to every man’s conscience in the sight of God (2Co 4:2). There is no sign that the apostles collectively exercised a separate and autocratic authority. When the question of the observance of the Mosaic ritual by GentileChristians arose at Antioch and was referred to Jerusalem, it was “the apostles and elders” who met to discuss it (Acts 15:2; Acts 15:6; Acts 15:22), and the letter returned to Antioch was written in the name of “the apostles and the elders, brethren” (Ac 15:23).

In founding a church Paul naturally appointed the first local officials (Ac 14:23), but he does not seem to have interfered with the ordinary administration of affairs in the churches he had planted. In those cases in which he was appealed to or was compelled by some grave scandal to interpose, he rested an authoritative command on some express word of the Lord (1Co 7:10), and when he had no such word to rest on, was careful to distinguish his own judgment and counsel from a Divine commandment (1Cor 12:25; 1Cor 12:30). His appeals in the latter case are grounded upon fundamental principles of morality common to heathen and Christian alike (1Co 5:1), or are addressed to the spiritual judgment (1Co 10:15), or are reinforced by the weight of a personal influence gained by unselfish service and by the fact that he was the spiritual father of his converts as having begotten them in Christ Jesus through the gospel (1Co 4:15 f). It may be added here that the expressly missionary character of the apostleship seems to debar James, the Lord’s brother, from any claim to the title. James was a prophet and teacher, but not an apostle. As the head of the church at Jerusalem, he exercised a ministry of a purely local nature. The passages on which it has been sought to establish his right to be included in the apostolate do not furnish any satisfactory evidence. In 1Co 15:7 James is contrasted with “all the apostles” rather than included in their number (compare 1Co 9:5). And in Ga 1:19 the meaning may quite well be that with the exception of Peter, none of the apostles was seen by Paul in Jerusalem, but only James the Lord’s brother (compare the Revised Version, margin).

LITERATURE.

Lightfoot, Galatians, 92-101; Hort, Christian Ecclesia, Lect II; Weizsacker, The Apostolic Age, II, 291-99; Lindsay, The Church and the Ministry, 73-90.

J. C. Lambert

[ISBE]


Apostle’s Names

SPECIAL TOPIC: CHART OF APOSTLES’ NAMES
Mat. 10:2-4
Mar. 3:16-19
Luk. 6:14-16
Act. 1:12-18
1st Group
Simon (Peter)
Andrew (Peter’s brother)
James (son of Zebedee)
John (James’ brother)
Simon (Peter)
James (son of Zebedee)
John (James’ brother)
Andrew
Simon (Peter)
Andrew (Peter’s brother)
James
John
Peter
John
James
Andrew
2nd Group
Philip
Bartholomew
Thomas
Matthew (tax gatherer)
Philip
Bartholomew
Matthew
Thomas
Philip
Bartholomew
Matthew
Thomas
Philip
Thomas
Bartholomew
Matthew
3rd Group
James (son of Alphaeus)
Thaddaeus
Simon (the Cananean)
Judas (Iscariot)
James (son of Alphaeus)
Thaddaeus
Simon (the Cananean)
Judas (Iscariot)
James (son of Alphaeus)
Simon (the zealot)
Judas (son of James)
Judas (Iscariot)
James (son of Alphaeus)
Simon (the zealot)
Judas (son of James)

Copyright © 2011 Bible Lessons International

[Utley – NT Topics]

Little Owl

OWL
A night bird of prey, unfit for food. Several species are found in Palestine, and are mentioned in the Bible; as in Le 11:17 De 14:16 Isa 14:23; 34:15; Zep 2:14. One of the words, however, translated “owl,” probably means “OSTRICH,” (which see;) and another, Le 11:17 De 14:16 Isa 34:11, the ibis or night heron.

[Amtrac]


(1.) Heb. bath-haya’anah, “daughter of greediness” or of “shouting.” In the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:16; Deut. 14:15); also mentioned in Job 30:29; Isa. 13:21; 34:13; 43:20; Jer. 50:39; Micah 1:8. In all these passages the Revised Version translates “ostrich” (q.v.), which is the correct rendering.

(2.) Heb. yanshuph, rendered “great owl” in Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:16, and “owl” in Isa. 34:11. This is supposed to be the Egyptian eagle-owl (Bubo ascalaphus), which takes the place of the eagle-owl (Bubo maximus) found in Southern Europe. It is found frequenting the ruins of Egypt and also of the Holy Land. “Its cry is a loud, prolonged, and very powerful hoot. I know nothing which more vividly brought to my mind the sense of desolation and loneliness than the re-echoing hoot of two or three of these great owls as I stood at midnight among the ruined temples of Baalbek” (Tristram).

The LXX. and Vulgate render this word by “ibis”, i.e., the Egyptian heron.

(3.) Heb. kos, rendered “little owl” in Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:16, and “owl” in Ps. 102:6. The Arabs call this bird “the mother of ruins.” It is by far the most common of all the owls of Palestine. It is the Athene persica, the bird of Minerva, the symbol of ancient Athens.

(4.) Heb. kippoz, the “great owl” (Isa. 34:15); Revised Version, “arrow-snake;” LXX. and Vulgate, “hedgehog,” reading in the text, kippod, instead of kippoz. There is no reason to doubt the correctness of the rendering of the Authorized Version. Tristram says: “The word [i.e., kippoz] is very possibly an imitation of the cry of the scops owl (Scops giu), which is very common among ruins, caves, and old walls of towns…It is a migrant, returning to Palestine in spring.”

(5.) Heb. lilith, “screech owl” (Isa. 34:14, marg. and R.V., “night monster”). The Hebrew word is from a root signifying “night.” Some species of the owl is obviously intended by this word. It may be the hooting or tawny owl (Syrnium aluco), which is common in Egypt and in many parts of Palestine. This verse in Isaiah is “descriptive of utter and perpetual desolation, of a land that should be full of ruins, and inhabited by the animals that usually make such ruins their abode.”

[Easton]


Ostrich, the true rendering of bath hayanah. (See OSTRICH) Yanshowph; Lev 11:17, “the great owl.” From a root, “twilight” (Bochart), or to puff the breath (Knobel). Deu 14:16; Isa 34:11. The horned owl, Bubo maximus, not as Septuagint the ibis, the sacred bird of Egypt. Maurer thinks the heron or crane, from nashaf “to blow,” as it utters a sound like blowing a horn (Rev 18:2). Chaldee and Syriac support “owl.” Kos; Lev 11:17, “the little owl.” Athene meridionalis on coins of Athens: emblem of Minerva, common in Syria; grave, but not heavy. Psa 102:6, “I am like an owl in a ruin” (Syriac and Arabic versions), expressing his loneliness, surrounded by foes, with none to befriend. The Arabs call the owl “mother of ruins,” um elcharab.
The Hebrew means a “cup”, perhaps alluding to its concave face, the eye at the bottom, the feathers radiating on each side of the beak outward; this appears especially in the Otus vulgaris, the “long-cared owl”. Kippoz. Isa 34:15, “the great owl.” But Gesenius “the arrow snake,” or “the darting tree serpent”; related to the Arabic kipphaz. The context favors “owl”; for “gather under her shadow” applies best to a mother bird fostering her young under her wings. The Septuagint, Chaldee, Arabic, Syriac, Vulgate read kippod, “hedgehog.” The great eagle owl is one of the largest birds of prey; with dark plumage, and enormous head, from which glare out two great eyes. Lilith. Isa 34:14, “screech owl”; from layil “the night.” Irby and Mangles state as to Petra of Edom “the screaming of hawks, eagles, and owls, soaring above our heads, annoyed at anyone approaching their lonely habitation, added much to the singularity of the scene.” The Strix flammea, “the barn owl”; shrieking in the quietude of the night, it appalls the startled hearer with its unearthly sounds.

[Faussett]


oul (bath ha-ya`anah; Latin Ulula): The name of every nocturnal bird of prey of the Natural Order Striges. These birds range from the great horned owl of 2 feet in length, through many subdivisions to the little screech-owl of 5 inches. All are characterized by very large heads, many have ear tufts, all have large eyes surrounded by a disk of tiny, stiff, radiating feathers. The remainder of the plumage has no aftershaft. So these birds make the softest flight of any creature traveling on wing. A volume could be written on the eye of the owl, perhaps its most wonderful feature being in the power of the bird to enlarge the iris if it wishes more distinct vision. There is material for another on the prominent and peculiar auditory parts. With almost all owls the feet are so arranged that two toes can be turned forward and two back, thus reinforcing the grip of the bird by an extra toe and giving it unusual strength of foot. All are night-hunters, taking prey to be found at that time, of size according to the strength. The owl was very numerous in the caves, ruined temples and cities, and even in the fertile valleys of Palestine. It is given place in the Bible because it was considered unfit for food and because people dreaded the cries of every branch of the numerous family. It appeared often, as most birds, in the early versions of the Bible; later translators seem to feel that it was used in several places where the ostrich really was intended (see OSTRICH). It would appear to a natural historian that the right bird could be selected by the location, where the text is confusing. The ostrich had a voice that was even more terrifying, when raised in the night, than that of the owl. But it was a bird of the desert, of wide range and traveled only by day. This would confine its habitat to the desert and the greenery where it joined fertile land, but would not bring it in very close touch with civilization. The owl is a bird of ruins, that lay mostly in the heart of rich farming lands, where prosperous cities had been built and then destroyed by enemies. Near these locations the ostrich would be pursued for its plumage, and its nesting conditions did not prevail. The location was strictly the owl’s chosen haunt, and it had the voice to fit all the requirements of the text. In the lists of abominations, the original Hebrew yanshuph, derived from a root meaning twilight, is translated “great owl” (see Le 11:17 and De 14:16). It is probable that this was a bird about 2 ft. in length, called the eagle-owl. In the same lists the word koc (nuktikorax) refers to ruins, and the bird indicated is specified as the “little owl,” that is, smaller than the great owl–about the size of our barn owl. This bird is referred to as the “mother of ruins,” and the translations that place it in deserted temples and cities are beyond all doubt correct. Qippoz (echinos) occurs once (Isa 34:15), and is translated “great owl” in former versions; lately (in the American Standard Revised Version) it is changed to “dart-snake” (the English Revised Version “arrowsnake”). In this same description lilith (onokentauros), “a specter of night,” was formerly screech-owl, now it reads “night monster,” which is more confusing and less suggestive. The owls in the lists of abominations (Lev 11:17; Lev 11:18; Deut 14:16) are the little owl, the great owl and the horned owl. The only other owl of all those that produced such impressions of desolation in the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Job, and Micah is referred to in Ps 102:6:

“I am like a pelican of the wilderness;

I am become as an owl of the waste places.”

Here it would appear that the bird habitual to the wilderness and the waste places, that certainly would be desert, would be the ostrich–while in any quotation referring to ruins, the owl would be the bird indicated by natural conditions.

Gene Stratton-Porter

[ISBE]


Owl.

In the passages that speak of the unclean birds “the owl . . . . the little owl . . . . and the great owl,” are enumerated. Lev. 11:16, 17; Deut. 14:15, 16. The Hebrew for the first is bath yaanah. (See OSTRICH.) The second is kos: it occurs in the above two passages and in Ps. 102:6; and doubtless refers to the owl. The third, yanshuph, occurs also in Isa. 34:11. This in the LXX and Vulgate is the ‘ibis,’ and has been supposed by some to refer to the Ibis religiosa, a sacred bird of Egypt. There is also lilith in Isa. 34:14 only, translated ‘screech owl,’ (margin and R.V. ‘night-monster’): its reference is doubtful. Also qippoz in Isa. 34:15 only, ‘great owl,’ (R.V. ‘arrowsnake;’ LXX and Vulgate ‘hedgehog,’ reading perhaps qippod with six Hebrew MSS.) There are several well-known species of the owl, but to which of them these various words refer cannot be specified with certainty. The Athene meridionalis is the owl most common in Palestine; the Strix flammea is the white owl.

[Morrish]


• A carnivorous bird.

• Unclean
Lev 11:16-17; Deut 14:16

• Sometimes translated »ostrich«
Lev 11:16; Deut 14:15; Job 30:29; Isa 13:21; Isa 34:11; Isa 34:13; Isa 43:20; Jer 50:39; Mic 1:8

[Naves]

 


 

Little Owl (see Owl).

Source: [Anon-Animals]

Almond tree

ALMOND-TREE
Almond-treeThis tree resembles a peach-tree, but is larger. In Palestine, it blossoms in January, and in March has fruit. Its blossoms are white. Its Hebrew name signifies a watcher, and to this there is an allusion in Jer 1:11. In Ec 12:5, the hoary head is beautifully compared with the almond-tree, both on account of its snowy whiteness and its winter blossoming.

[Amtrac]


a native of Syria and Palestine. In form, blossoms, and fruit it resembles the peach tree. Its blossoms are of a very pale pink colour, and appear before its leaves. Its Hebrew name, _shaked_, signifying “wakeful, hastening,” is given to it on account of its putting forth its blossoms so early, generally in February, and sometimes even in January. In Eccl. 12:5, it is referred to as illustrative, probably, of the haste with which old age comes. There are others, however, who still contend for the old interpretation here. “The almond tree bears its blossoms in the midst of winter, on a naked, leafless stem, and these blossoms (reddish or flesh-coloured in the beginning) See m at the time of their fall exactly like white snow-flakes. In this way the almond blossom is a very fitting symbol of old age, with its silvery hair and its wintry, dry, barren, unfruitful condition.” In Jer. 1:11 “I See a rod of an almond tree [shaked]…for I will hasten [shaked] my word to perform it” the word is used as an emblem of promptitude. Jacob desired his sons (Gen. 43:11) to take with them into Egypt of the best fruits of the land, almonds, etc., as a present to Joseph, probably because this tree was not a native of Egypt. Aaron’s rod yielded almonds (Num. 17:8; Heb. 9:4). Moses was directed to make certain parts of the candlestick for the ark of carved work “like unto almonds” (Ex. 25:33, 34). The Hebrew word _luz_, translated “hazel” in the Authorized Version (Gen. 30:37), is rendered in the Revised Version “almond.” It is probable that _luz_ denotes the wild almond, while _shaked_ denotes the cultivated variety.

[Easton]


(Jer 1:11-12; Hebrew “I see a rod of the wakeful tree (the emblem of wakefulness) … Thou hast well seen: for I will be wakeful (Hebrew for “hasten”) as to My word.”) It first wakes out of the wintry sleep and buds in January. In Ecc 12:5, instead of “the almond tree shall flourish,” Gesenius translates “(the old man) loathes (through want of appetite) even the (sweet) almond;” for the blossom is pink, not white, the color of the old man’s hair.
But as the Hebrew means “bud” or “blossom” in Son 6:11 it probably means here “the wakefulness of old age sets in.” Or the color may not be the point, but the blossoms on the leafless branch, as the hoary locks flourish as a crown on the now arid body. Exo 25:33-34; in the tabernacle the candlesticks had “bowls made in the form of the almond flower” or “nut,” most graceful in shape; perhaps the pointed nut within was the design for the cup, the sarcocarp containing the oil, and the flame shaped nut of gold emitting the light from its apex. Luz, the original name of Bethel, was derived from one species of almond (Gen 28:19; Gen 30:37), luz.
It was almond, not hazel, rods wherewith Jacob secured the ringstraked and speckled offspring from the flocks. Jordan almonds were famed. The almonds growing on Aaron’s rod, when laid up over night before the Lord, denote the ever wakeful priesthood which should continue until the Antitype should come; type also of the vigilance and fruitfulness which Christ’s ministers should exhibit;. also of the rod of Christ’s strength which shall finally destroy every adversary (Num 17:8; Psa 110:2; Psa 110:5-6).

[Faussett]


a’-mund: (1) shaqedh, Gen 43:11; Num 17:8, etc. The word shaked comes from a Hebrew root meaning to “watch” or “wait.” In Jer 1:11; Jer 1:12 there is a play on the word, “And I said, I see a rod of an almond-tree (shaqedh). Then said Yahweh unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will watch (shoqedh) over my word to perform it.” (2) luz; the King James Version hazel, Ge 30:37; lauz is the modern Arabic name for “almond”–Luz was the old name of (which see).

1. Almond Tree:

The almond tree is mentioned in Ec 12:5, where in the description of old age it says “the almond-tree shall blossom.” The reference is probably to the white hair of age. An almond tree in full bloom upon a distant hillside has a certain likeness to a head of white hair.

2. A Rod of Almond:

A rod of almond is referred to Ge 30:37, where “Jacob took him rods of fresh poplar, and of the almond (luz) and of the plane-tree; and peeled white streaks in them” as a means of securing “ring-streaked, speckled, and spotted” lambs and goats–a proceeding founded doubtless upon some ancient folklore. Aaron’s rod that budded (Num 17:2; Num 17:3) was an almond rod. Also see Jer 1:11 referred to above.

3. The Blossoms:

The blossoms of the almond are mentioned Exod 25:33; Exod 37:19 f, etc. “Cups made like almond-blossoms in one branch, a knop (i.e. knob) and a flower,” is the description given of parts of the sacred candlesticks. It is doubtful exactly what was intended–the most probable is, as Dillmann has suggested, that the cup was modeled after the calyx of the almond flower. See CANDLESTICK.

4. The Fruit:

Israel directed his sons (Ge 43:11) to carry almonds as part of their present to Joseph in Egypt. Palestine is a land where the almond flourishes, whereas in Egypt it would appear to have been uncommon. Almonds are today esteemed a delicacy; they are eaten salted or beaten into a pulp with sugar like the familiar German Marzipan.

The almond is Amygdalus communis (N.O. Rosaceae), a tree very similar to the peach. The common variety grows to the height of 25 feet and produces an abundant blossom which appears before the leaves; In Palestine this is fully out at the end of January or beginning of February; it is the harbinger of spring. This early blossoming is supposed to be the origin of the name shaqedh which contains the idea of “early.” The masses of almond trees in full bloom in some parts of Palestine make a very beautiful and striking sight. The bloom of some varieties is almost pure white, from a little distance, in other parts the delicate pink, always present at the inner part of the petals, is diffused enough to give a pink blush to the whole blossom. The fruit is a drupe with a dry fibrous or woody husk which splits into two halves as the fruit ripens. The common wild variety grows a kernel which is bitter from the presence of a substance called amygdalon, which yields in its turn prussic (hydrocyanic) acid. Young trees are grafted with cuttings from the sweet variety or are budded with apricot, peach or plum.

E. W. G. Masterman

[ISBE]


 

The tree and its fruit are represented by the same word. It is derived from a root signifying ‘to hasten,’ which is appropriate, seeing it is the first tree to break out into blossom, as a forerunner of spring. The meaning is confirmed by Jer. 1:11, 12 where the prophet saw an almond tree, and Jehovah said, “Thou hast well seen:for I will hasten my word to perform it.” The bowls of the golden candlestick were to be made like almonds. Ex. 25:33, 34; Ex. 37:19, 20. Aaron’s rod budded, blossomed, and yielded almonds in one night, Num. 17:8:beautiful type of the coming of the Lord Jesus out of His grave perfect for His priestly functions. In Ecc. 12:5, when everything seems to be decaying instead of ‘the almond tree shall flourish,’ it may be translated ‘the almond tree shall be despised;’ others say, ’cause loathing;’ others prefer to compare the almond tree to the white head of an old man hastening to the grave.

[Morrish]


• Levitical city of refuge
Josh 21:18

• Called Alemeth
1Chr 6:60

[Naves]


 

The almond tree is associated with one of the earliest prophecies of a young Jeremiah. “Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Jeremiah, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a branch of an almond tree.’ Then the Lord said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am watching to perform My word.’” (Jeremiah 1:11-12)

This prophecy uses a play on words that carries a vital truth for Israel as well as for us. The Hebrew word for almond, shaked, is also translated “to watch”. By seeing the almond branch, God assured Jeremiah that He is watching over His word to bring it to pass, no matter the passage of time.

In context, God had just given Israel a warning. “I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” (Jeremiah 1:9-10)  Then after Jeremiah sees the almond tree, God shows him a boiling pot over Jerusalem which portends “calamity”. (Jeremiah 1:13-14)  While the almond is a sign of hope that God will eventually fulfill His wonderful promises to Israel (or to us), the context is more ominous.

Later, God repeated the warning through Jeremiah: “Behold, I will watch (shaked) over them for evil, and not for good…” (Jeremiah 44:27). God’s message to Israel was that sin has consequences and there will come a time of reckoning – namely the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of Israel.

Years later, Daniel would pray: “Therefore has the Lord watched (shaked) upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all His works which He does: for we obeyed not His voice.” (Daniel 9:14)

The lesson of the almond tree, therefore, is that God in heaven watches a sinful nation walking away from Him and declares it will have consequences. His message to humanity today is still the same: God is watching! He will watch over His word either for curse or for blessing. When sin and immorality engulf nations and even penetrate the Church, we should remember: God is watching! When nations assail Israel and seek to divide her land, we can be sure: God is watching! (Read the whole post!)