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Smith's Bible Dictionary

Anathema,

which literally means a thing suspended, is the equivalent of the Hebrew word signifying a thing or person voted. Any object so devoted to Jehovah was irredeemable. If an inanimate object, it was to be given to the priests, (Numbers 18:14) if a living creature or even a man, it was to be slain. (Leviticus 27:28,29) The word anathema frequently occurs in St. Paulís writings, and is generally translated accused. An examination of the passages in which it occurs shows that it had acquired a more general sense as expressive either of strong feeling, (Romans 9:3) or of dislike and condemnation. (1 Corinthians 12:3; 16:22; Galatians 1:9)

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Bibliography Information
Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Anathema,'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary".
<http://classic.studylight.org/dic/sbd/view.cgi?number=T305>. 1901.