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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Accursed

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A translation of Hebrew cherem, a technical term in warfare for items captured from the enemy and devoted to God. See 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 on 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. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/a/accursed.html. 1991.

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