In our English Bible the word "answer" does not always mean a simple reply to a question.
1. In the Old Testament:
Six different words are translated by answer.
(1) It is frequently used where no question has been asked and in such cases it means a word, a statement.
(2) It also means a response (Job 21:34; 34:36).
(3) It often means a declaration or proclamation from God where no question has been asked. See the many passages that read:
"The Lord answered and said."
(4) The other words translated "answer" or "answered" in the Old Testament are unimportant shadings and variations.
2. In the New Testament:
The words translated "answer" are not so varied.
(1) It sometimes means an apology, a defense (1 Peter 3:15; Acts 24:10,25).
(2) It may mean simply "to say" (Mark 9:6).
(3) It may mean a revelation from God (Romans 11:4).
(4) It is also used to apply to unspoken thoughts of the heart, especially in the sayings of Jesus; also by Peter to Sapphira (Acts 5:8).
G. H. Gerberding
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