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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Cup

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This word is taken in a twofold sense; proper, and figurative. In a proper sense, it signifies a vessel, such as people drink out of at meals, Genesis 40:13 . It was anciently the custom, at great entertainments, for the governor of the feast to appoint to each of his guests the kind and proportion of wine which they were to drink, and what he had thus appointed them it was deemed a breach of good manners either to refuse or not to drink up; hence a man's cup, both in sacred and profane authors, came to signify the portion, whether of good or evil, which happens to him in this world. Thus, to drink "the cup of trembling," or of "the fury of the Lord," is to be afflicted with sore and terrible judgments, Isaiah 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15-29; Psalms 75:8 . What Christ means by the expression, we cannot be at a loss to understand, since in two remarkable passages, Luke 22:42 , and John 18:11 , he has been his own interpreter. Lethale poculum bibere, "to drink the deadly cup," or cup of death, was a common phrase among the Jews; and from them, we have reason to believe, our Lord borrowed it.

CUP OF BLESSING, 1 Corinthians 10:16 , is that which was blessed in entertainments of ceremony, or solemn services; or, rather, a cup over which God was blessed for having furnished its contents; that is, for giving to men the fruit of the vine. Our Saviour, in the Last Supper, blessed the cup, and gave it to each of his Apostles to drink, Luke 22:20 .

CUP OF SALVATION, Psalms 116:13 , a phrase of nearly the same import as the former, a cup of thanksgiving, of blessing the Lord for his saving mercies. We see, in 2Ma_6:27 , that the Jews of Egypt, in their festivals for deliverance, offered cups of salvation. The Jews have at this day cups of thanksgiving, which are blessed, in their marriage ceremonies, and in entertainments made at the circumcision of their children. Some commentators think that "the cup of salvation" was a libation of wine poured on the victim sacrificed on thanksgiving occasions, according to the law of Moses, Exodus 29:40 .

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Cup'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/wtd/c/cup.html. 1831-2.

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