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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Pestilence

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A devastating epidemic. Old Testament writers understood pestilence to be sent by God (Exodus 9:15; Jeremiah 15:2; Habakkuk 3:5; Amos 4:10 ), sometimes by means of a destroying angel (2 Samuel 24:16; 1 Chronicles 21:15 ). God sent pestilence as punishment for persistent unbelief (Numbers 14:12 ) and failure to fulfill covenant obligations (Deuteronomy 24:24; Deuteronomy 28:21 ) as well as to encourage repentence (Amos 4:10 ). God withheld pestilence from Egypt to allow for survivors to witness to His acts of liberation (Exodus 9:16 ). Earnest prayer averted pestilence (1 Kings 8:37 ); fasting and sacrifice without repentence did not (Jeremiah 14:12 ). Pestilence is often associated with war and siege conditions (Exodus 5:3; Leviticus 26:25; Amos 4:10; Luke 21:11 ).

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 'Pestilence'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/p/pestilence.html. 1991.

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