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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Adjuration

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(the verb is expressed by אָלָה , alah, in Hiph., to cause to swear, as rendered in 1 Kings 8:31; 2 Chronicles 6:22; also שָׁבִע, shaba, in Hiph., to make swear, or charge with an oath, as often rendered; Gr. ἐξορκίζω, to bind by oath), a solemn act or appeal, whereby one man, usually a person vested with natural or official authority, imposes upon another the obligation of speaking or acting as if under the solemnity of an oath (1 Samuel 14:24; Joshua 6:26; 1 Kings 22:16; 2 Chronicles 18:15). (See SWEAR).

1. A striking example of this occurs in the N.T., where the high-priest calls upon Christ, in the presence of the Sanhedrim, to avow his character as the Messiah (Matthew 26:63; Mark 5:7; see Acts 19:13; comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:27). An oath, although thus imposed upon one without his consent, was not only solemn, but binding in the highest degree; and when connected with a question, an answer appears to have been compulsory, and, if false, chargeable with perjury. Thus our Savior, who had previously disdained or declined to reply to the charges brought against him, now could not avoid an answer. The impropriety, however, of thus extorting truth must be evident; and in the case of Christ it was an outrage against the commonest principle of judicial fairness, by which a prisoner is never to be put in a position to inculpate himself. But the hierarchy, having failed to elicit any reliable evidence that would condemn Jesus, at last resorted to this base method of compelling him to declare his Messiahship, with a view to convict him upon his own testimony. (See JESUS). 2. The term also occurs (Acts 19:13) with reference to the expulsion of daemons. (See EXORCIST).

3. In the Roman Church, an act by means of which the name of God, or some other holy thing, is made use of, in order to induce any one to do what is required of him. An adjuration is said to be express when the majesty of God, or any one of his attributes, is interposed for the purpose, as adjuro to per Deum vivum; implicit, when not the majesty of God, but any one of his more marked productions is made use of, as adjuro to per Evangelium Christi. (See OATH).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Adjuration'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/a/adjuration.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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