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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary


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A strong assertion of affirmation and assent. The first timewe read of its use was when a woman was supposed to have been unfaithful to her husband and was made to drink the bitter water. The priest pronounced a curse upon her if she had been guilty, and the woman had to answer Amen, Amen. Numbers 5:22 . So when the priest upon mount Ebal rehearsed the various curses, it was appended to each "And all the people shall say, Amen." Deuteronomy 27:14-26 .

When David declared that Solomon should be his successor, Benaiah said "Amen: the Lord God of my lord the king say so too." 1 Kings 1:36 . So when David brought up the ark, and delivered a psalm of thanksgiving, all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord. 1 Chronicles 16:36 : cf. also Nehemiah 5:13; Nehemiah 8:6 .

In one instance the exclamation does not signify more than 'may it be.' Hananiah prophesied falsely that within two full years all the vessels of the Lord's house would be returned from Babylon; Jeremiah said "Amen, the Lord do so;" though he knew it was a false prophecy he could well hope that such a thing might be. Jeremiah 28:6 .

At the end of each of the first four books of the Psalms Amen is added. Psalm 41:13; Psalm 72:19; Psalm 89:52; Psalm 106:48 . In these instances it is not another acquiescing in what is said, but the writer adds Amen at the end, signifying 'may it so be,' and three times it is repeated.

The Hebrew word is always translated 'Amen,' except twice in Isaiah 65:16 , where it is rendered 'truth.' "He who blesseth himself in the earth, shall bless himself in the God of 'truth;' and he that sweareth in the earth, shall swear by the God of 'truth.' " And in Jeremiah 11:5 , where it is translated 'So be it,' God declared that He would perform the oath that He had sworn, and the prophet answered, "So be it, O Lord." A cognate Hebrew word signifies 'to believe:' it is used in Genesis 15:6 .

In the N.T. it is often added to the ascription of praise and to benedictions, as in Hebrews 13:21,25 . As a response see 1 Corinthians 14:16; Revelation 5:14; Revelation 7:12; Revelation 22:20 . There is another way in which the word is used, as in 2 Corinthians 1:20 , "Whatever promises of God [there are], in him is the yea [the confirmation] and in him the Amen [the verification] for glory to God by us." And that Christ is the verification of all the promises is so true that He Himself is called 'the Amen:' " These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God." Revelation 3:14 . As there are responses in heaven, as seen in some of the above texts, so there should be responses on earth in the assemblies of the saints, and not simply a hearing of prayer and praise. It is the word constantly used by the Lord, and translated 'verily.'

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Amen'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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