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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Dwell

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dwel :

(1) In the Old Testament "dwell" is a translation of 9 words, of which by far the most frequent is ישׁב , yāshabh , "to sit down," translated "dwell" over 400 times (Genesis 4:20; Joshua 20:4; 1 Chronicles 17:1 , 1 Chronicles 17:4 , 1 Chronicles 17:5 , etc.); also very frequently "sit," and sometimes "abide," "inhabit," "remain." Another word often rendered "dwell" is שׁכן , shakhan or שׁכן , shākhēn ("to settle down"), from which is derived the rabbinic word שׁכינה , shekhı̄nāh (literally, "that which dwells"), the light on the mercy-seat which symbolized the Divine presence (Exodus 25:8 , etc.). In order to avoid appearing to localize the Divine Being, wherever God is said to "dwell" in a place, the Targum renders that He "causes His Shekinah to dwell" there.

(2) In the New Testament "dwell" most frequently stands for οἰκέω , oikéō , or one of its compounds; also σκηνόω , skēnóō , and (chiefly in the Johannine writings) μένω , ménō , which, however, is always translated "abide" in the Revised Version (British and American), and generally in the King James Version. Mention may be made of the mystical significance of the word in some New Testament passages, of the indwelling of the Father or of the Godhead in Christ (John 14:10; Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:9 ), of the believer in Christ (John 6:56 the King James Version; Ephesians 3:17 ), and in God (1 John 4:15 the King James Version; compare Psalm 90:1; Psalm 91:1 ), and of the Holy Spirit or God in the believer (John 14:17; the King James Version 1 John 3:24; 1 John 4:15 f).

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Dwell'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/d/dwell.html. 1915.

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