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Bible Encyclopedias
Dumb

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

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(אַלֵּם, illem; but in Habakkuk 2:9, דּוּמָם, silent; Gr. κωφός, which also signifies deaf, since the two defects generally accompany each other; also ἄλαλος, speechless, Mark 7:37; Mark 9:17; Mark 9:25; ἄφωνος, voiceless, Acts 8:32; 1 Corinthians 12:2; 2 Peter 2:16; and σιωπῶν, Luke 1:20), has the following significations:

(1.) One unable to speak by reason of natural infirmity (Exodus 4:11).

(2.) One unable to speak by reason of want of knowing what to say, or how to say it; what proper mode of address to use, or what reasons to allege in his own behalf (Proverbs 31:8).

(3.) One unwilling to speak (Psalms 39:9). We have a remarkable instance of this venerating dumbness, or silence, in the case of Aaron (Leviticus 10:3), after Nadab and Abihu, his sons, were consumed by fire. "Aaron held his peace;" did not exclaim against the justice of God, I but saw the propriety of the divine procedure, and humbly acquiesced in it. Christ restored a man who was dumb from daemoniacal influence (Matthew 9:32-33; Luke 11:14), and another who was both blind and dumb from the same cause (Matthew 12:22). The man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech (Mark 7:32-35), whom Christ restored, was not dumb, nor probably deaf by nature, but was one who had a natural impediment to enunciation, or who, having early lost his hearing, gradually lost much of his speech, and had become a stammerer. Such an impediment is either natural, arising from what is called a bos, or ulcer, by which any one is, as we say, tongue-tied, or brought on when, from an early loss of hearing, the membrane of the tongue becomes rigid and unable to perform its office. (See DEAF); (See SILENCE).

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