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Holman Bible Dictionary

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Additional Resources
• Nave's Topical Bible
• Baker's Evangelical Dictionary
Curse, Accursed
• International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Greek - accursed
Greek - accursed
Greek - accursed
Hebrew - accursed
Hebrew - accursed, accursed thing
Hebrew - accursed
Hebrew - accursed

A translation of Hebrew cherem, a technical term in warfare for items captured from the enemy and devoted to God. See Anathema; Blessing and Cursing. TEV demonstrates the difficulty of translating the Hebrew into English, using at various times: “unconditionally dedicate” (Numbers 21:2); “put everyone to death” (Deuteronomy 2:34); “completely destroy” (Deuteronomy 20:17); “killed” (Joshua 6:21; Joshua 8:26); “become the Lord's permanent property” (Leviticus 27:21); “put a curse onů destroyed” (Judges 1:17). REB uses “dedicated” (Leviticus 27:21); “devoted” (Leviticus 27:28-29); “utterly destroy” (Numbers 21:2); “put to death under solemn ban” (Deuteronomy 2:34); “exterminate” (Deuteronomy 7:2); “destroyed” (Joshua 2:10); “put to death” (Judges 21:11). NRSV consistently uses “devoted” and “utterly destroyed” to translate cherem, while NAS uses “set apart” and “utterly destroy.” NIV uses “devoted,” “totally destroyed,” “completely destroyed.” Devoting battle spoils to a god was practiced by Israel's neighbors also, as 2 Kings 19:11 shows. “Accursed” appears in KJV for cherem only in Joshua and in 1 Chronicles 2:7. In Deuteronomy 21:23 and Isaiah 65:20 KJV uses “accursed” to translate another Hebrew root, qalal, “to make light of, curse.”

Paul used a technical Greek term, anathema, to call for persons to be put under a holy ban or be accursed (Romans 9:3; 1 Corinthians 12:3; Galatians 1:8-9; compare 1 Corinthians 16:22). Paul used the term in the sense of the Hebrew cherem. See Anathema.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'ACCURSED'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.


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