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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Bath-Kol

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(בִּאּתאּקוֹל, daughter f the voice), a rabbinical name for a supposed oracular voice, which Jewish writers regard as inferior in authority to the direct revelation that the O.T. prophets enjoyed (Vitringa, Observ. Sacr. 2:338), although the Targum and Midrash affirm that it was the actual medium of divine communication to Abraham, Moses, David, Nebuchadnezzar, etc. (Reland, Ant. Sacr. pt. 2, ch. 9). Neither are the Jewish authorities agreed as to what the Bath-Kol itself was, many maintaining that it was merely the echo of the divine utterance (Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. s.v. בת ). Some scholars have incorrectly rendered the term "daughter-voice," daughter's voice (Horne, Introd. 4:149; Jennings, Jewish Antiq. bk. 1, ch. 6). It has been supposed that Josephus alludes to the Bath-Kol in the annunciation to Hyrcanus that his sons had conquered Antiochus (Ans. 13:10, 3), and the awful warning voice in the Temple prior to its destruction ( War, 5:5, 3); but these and other instances seem to fall short of the dignity required. Prideaux, however, classes them all with the heathen species of divination called Sortes Vigilanae (Connection, 2:354), and Lightfoot even considers them to be either Jewish fables or devices of the devil (Hor. Heb. ad Matthew 3:17). Yet instances of voices from heaven very analogous occur in the history of the early Christian Church, as that which was instrumental in making Alexander bishop of Jerusalem, and that which exhorted Polycarp to be of good courage (Eusebius, Hist. Ecclesiastes 6, l; 4:15). See Danz, De filia vocis (Jen. 1716; also in Meuschen's Nov. Test. ex Ta'mude illustr. p. 351-378); Haner, De הת קול (Jen. 1673); Metzler, De vocis filia (Jen. 1673). (See WORD OF THE LORD).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Bath-Kol'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/b/bath-kol.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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