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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Cup

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Genesis 40:11, for drinking; Genesis 44:5, for divination, practiced by dropping gold, silver, or jewels into the water, and examining their appearance; or looking into the water as a mirror. The sacred cup symbolized the Nile (which was "the cup of Egypt," Pliny H. N., 8:71) into which a golden and silver goblet was yearly thrown. Joseph's cup was of silver; the Egyptians ordinarily drank from vessels of brass. Joseph's preserving his disguise by language adapted to his supposed character before his brethren, "Wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?" is inconsistent with his disclaiming all knowledge except what God revealed (Genesis 41:16), but was the act of a good but erring man.

Scripture does not sanction it. One alone there was in whose mouth was found no guile (1 Peter 2:22). Solomon and the Assyrians probably derived their art mainly from Phoenicia. Assyrian cups from Khorsabad resemble the heads of animals, some terminating in the head of a lion. In Matthew 26:7 an "alabaster vase" for ointment is meant, broad at the base, tapering to the neck, with little projections at the sides; such as are in the British Museum. Glass was a material for cups, and a glass bead bearing a Pharaoh's name of the 18th dynasty has been found, i.e. 3,200 years ago. Alabastron, a town in Upper Egypt, had quarries of alabaster near, from whence the name is derived. Figuratively, one's portion (Psalms 11:6; Psalms 16:5; Psalms 23:5). Babylon was called a golden cup (Jeremiah 51:7), because of her sensuality, luxury, and idolatries which she gave draughts of to the subject nations; so mystical Babylon, the apostate church (Revelation 17:4).

So "the cup of devils" is opposed to "the cup of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 10:21). To partake of a wine feast where a libation was first poured to an idol made one to have fellowship with the idol, just as believing participation of the Lord's supper gives fellowship with the Lord. This is called "the cup of blessing which WE bless," the celebrants being the whole church, whose leader and representative the minister is; answering to the passover "cup of blessing," over which "blessing" was offered to God. It was at this part of the feast Jesus instituted His supper (1 Corinthians 10:15; Luke 22:17; Luke 22:20; compare 1 Chronicles 16:2-3). Figurative also is the cup of affliction (Psalms 75:8; Isaiah 51:17; Isaiah 51:22). Christ's sufferings (Matthew 20:22). The cup of salvation (Psalms 116:13).

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Cup'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/c/cup.html. 1949.

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