James Hastings.

Dictionary of the apostolic church (Volume 1) online

. (page 175 of 234)
Online LibraryJames HastingsDictionary of the apostolic church (Volume 1) → online text (page 175 of 234)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

truth. Rejecting the Philonic distinction between
Levitical washings as directed to the purification
of the body and sacrifices as intended to effect
a purgation of the soul, he views the whole ritual
of lustration and sin-offering alike as an opus
operatum which can at the best purify only the
body. Accepting this idea on the bare authority
of Scripture, he makes it the premiss of an argu-
ment a minori ad majus. If (a particle which
posits a fact, and scarcely insinuates a doubt) the
blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer
cleanse the flesh, defiled by contact with death,
much more does the life-blood of the Messiah
cleanse the conscience from dead works.

LITERATURE. Maimonides, Horeh, iii. 47 ; K. C.W. F. Bahr,
Symbolik des mosaixchen Cultvs, Heidelberg, 1837-39, i. 493 ff.;
W. Nowack, Lehrbttch der hebraischen Archaologit, Freiburg i.
B and Leipzig, 1894, ii. 288 ; art. ' Red Heifer ' in HDB and



tation of the terms used. The words K\t]pov6fj.os,
K\ripovo(jila, K\jipoi>ofjL^w (derived from K\TJPOS, ' a por-
tion ') have, like the Heb. verbs EH;, ^ru and their
derivatives, which they render in the LXX, the
idea of a possession rather than of a succession, i.e.
of something obtained from another by gift (and
not gained by oneself, /cT??/m) rather than of some-
thing that one has become possessed of through the
death of another (see Westcott, Hebrews, 1889, p.
168). This is especially the case when Israel is
regarded as the ' heir ' of the land of Canaan ; suc-
cession to the Canaanites is not prominent in the
idea of this inheritance, for Israel inherited from
God, not from the people of the land. In this sense
K\ripovofj.ta is nearly equivalent to ' the promise ' ; it
is a free gift from God a fact emphasized in Ac 7 5 ,
Avhere Canaan is spoken of, and 20 32 , where the
Christian promises are in question. We can trace
in the OT (see Sanday-Headlarn on Ro 8 17 ) the tran-
sitions of meaning, from the simple possession of
Canaan to the permanent and assured possession,
then to the secure possession won by Messiah, and
so to all Messianic blessings.

On the other hand, the Latin heres with its
derivatives, used by the Vulgate, being a weak form
of x%> os > ' bereft,' has the idea of succession ; it
means literally ' an orphan,' and so hints at the
death of the father. The English ' heir,' derived
from heres, usually suggests that the father is alive,
and that the son has not yet come into possession ;
while the verb ' to inherit ' and its derivative
' inheritor ' usually suggest that the father is dead
and that the son has come into possession. In all
these English words the idea of ' succession ' is
prominent. We must, therefore, be careful to
bear in mind that they are not quite equivalent to
the Gr. and Heb. words, and that their connota-
tion is slightly different.

It may, however, be noticed that when K\ripov6/j.os,
etc., are used in the most literal sense (see below,
3 (a)), the idea of succession is not altogether
absent ; it certainly is present when Siad^Kij is used
in the sense of ' a will,' as in He 9 15f - (it is disputed
whether in Gal 3 15ff -, etc., it means 'covenant' or
' will ' : for the latter meaning see W. M. Ramsay,
Galatians, 1899, p. 349 ff. ; also art. COVENANT).
But it is 'obvious that where K\T)pov6/j.os is used of
Israel's inheritance in Canaan, or metaphorically of
the Jewish and Christian promises of salvation
(below, 3), the idea of succession must pass into
the background, for the Heavenly Father does not
die ; and this fact causes the difficulty in the other-
wise more natural interpretation 01 Siad-fiKi] as a
' testament ' or ' will.'

The word K\T}/JOS in Ac 26 18 and Col I 12 is rendered
' inheritance' in the AV and the RV ; and in 1 P
5 s K\T)poi is in the AV ' [God's] heritage,' which is
the same thing. In the latter passage the RV
renders ' the charge allotted to you,' i.e. the per-
sons who are allotted to your care. It is easy
to see how K\rjpos, ' a lot, came to mean ' that
which is obtained by lot' (Ac I 17 8 21 ), and so 'an
inheritance ' with the connotation given above. In
Col I 12 the /xe/>ts rov K\rfpov is equivalent to the (if pis
TTJS K\r)povofj,ias of Ps 16 5 . In Eph I 11 tK\7ip60r)/jiei>,
which in the AV is rendered ' we have obtained an
inheritance' (this appears to have no good justifi-
cation), is translated in the RV ' we were made a
heritage,' i.e. ' we have been chosen as God's por-
tion ' ( J. A. Robinson, Ephesians, 1903, p. 34 ; for
the metaphor see below, 3 (b)).

2. Laws of inheritance. () According to Jewish
law each son had an equal share, except that the
eldest son had double the portion of the others
(Dt 21 17 ). This law did not apply to a posthumous
son, or in regard to the mother's property, or to
gain that might have accrued since the father's

death (A. Edersheim, LT 4 , 1887, ii. 243 f. note).
Thus the Prodigal Son (Lk 15 llff -), if he had only
one brother, would have received on his father's
death one third of the property. The father could
not disinherit by will, but in his lifetime he could
dispose of his property by gift as he liked, and
so disinherit. Wills might be made in writing or
orally (ib. p. 259). Daughters were excluded if
there were sons ; but if there were no sons, the
daughter or, presumably, daughters inherited,
failing whom brothers, failing whom father's
brothers, failing whom the next of kin (Nu 27 s " 11 ).
This is later legislation, for at first daughters
could not inherit ; when they were allowed to
become heiresses in the absence of sons, they
married in their own tribe, so as to keep the
inheritance within it (Nu 36 2 ' 1S ). In the ordinary
case, however, where there were sons, the daughters
would naturally marry into another family, and
cease to belong to that of their father.

(b) The Roman and the Roman-Greek laws of
inheritance considerably affected the NT language.
St. Paul, writing to persons who would not be
familiar with Jewish law, refers to customs and
laws which they would at once understand. Ac-
cording to Roman law, sons must inherit, and a will
leaving property away from sons was invalid
(Ramsay, op. cit. p. 344). Sons and daughters
inherited alike (Lightfoot on Gal 4 7 ). Ramsay
draws out the differences between strictly Roman
law and the law in hellenized countries conquered
by Rome, which was founded on Greek law : the
Romans left much of the latter in force. Accord-
ing to Greek law, a son could be disinherited (Ram-
say, p. 367). In Asia Minor and Athens a daughter
could inherit, and an adopted son probably married
the heiress (ib. pp. 340, 363). Daughters in Greek
law had an indefeasible right to a dowry (ib. p.
367). A minor came of age at the time fixed by
his father's will ; if there was no will, the law fixed
the period of nonage, but the Greek (Seleucid) law
differed from the Roman as to the period (ib. p. 392).

These facts help us to understand some passages
in St. Paul which speak of the connexion between
sonship and heirship. In Ro 8 17 , Gal S 29 4 7
the latter is deduced from the former. We are
God's children, and therefore His heirs. ' Thou
art no longer a bondservant but a son ; and if a son
then an heir through God.' ' If ye are Christ's then
are ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise.'
Or the sonship is deduced from the heirship ; in
Gal 3 7 ' they which be of faith ' w T ho succeed as
heirs to Abraham's faith [here the idea of succes-
sion may be faintly seen] ' the same are KOIIS of
Abraham.' In Col S 24 bondservants are promised
' the recompense of the inheritance,' but this is
because by becoming Christians they become the
sons of God. Similarly in He 12 8 , though the idea
of inheritance is not explicitly mentioned, the
promise (II 39 ) can be attained only by suffering (cf.
below, 3 (/)) ; and if Christians refuse this, they are
' bastards and not sons.' Bastards cannot inherit
the promise.

3. Usage in the NT. (a) The words K\7jpoi>6fj.os,
K\rjpovotJ.ia, etc., are used literally, as in the Parable
of the Vineyard (Mk 12 7 , Mt 21 38 , Lk 20 14 ), where,
however, there is a metaphorical interpretation
(see (c)) ; so in Lk 12 13 , where Jesus is asked to
divide the inheritance between two brothers,
apparently to settle a dispute, and in Gal 4 1 , where
the son, the heir, is as a servant during his nonage,
though lord of all the property, the reference being
to the Law and the Gospel. The words are also
used literally in the NT of Canaan as the land of
promise ; cf. Ac7 B , where it is meant that Abraham
did not actually enter into possession ; and He ll sf -,
where Isaac and Jacob are fellow-heirs



ov6fj.oi) with Abraham ; and He 12 17 , where Esau
failed to inherit the blessing. So in Gal 4 30 (a
quotation from Gn 21 10 ) Ishmael, the son of the
handmaid, may not inherit with Isaac, the son of
the f reewoman ; this also is applied to the Law and
the Gospel.

(b) From the literal sense the passage is easy to
the metaphorical the idea of the Messianic hope.
Noah became ' heir of the righteousness which is
according to faith' (He II 7 ). Abraham was
promised that he should be ' heir of the world '
(Ro 4 13 ) a passage which has given some difficulty
to commentators, as there is no such promise
explicitly made in the OT ; the reference is pro-
bably to Gn 12 s 22 18 and similar passages : in
Abraham's seed all the nations of the earth should
be blessed ; cf. Gn 18 18 , and [of Isaac] 26 4 . This
promise is quoted in Ac 3 25 by St. Peter, and in
Gal 3 8 by St. Paul. The reference in Ro 4 13 can
hardly be to the possession of Canaan, which would
not be called ' the world ' (see also (d) below). By
a somewhat different figure Israel is said in the OT
to be God's inheritance or portion (Dt 9 26 - 29 32 8 ) ;
and in the LXX addition at the end of Est 4 the
Jews are spoken of as ' thy [God's] original inherit-
ance' (TTJV e apx?)* KXrjpovo/miav ffov). Conversely,
God is said to be the inheritance of the sons of
Aaron or of the Levites (Nu 18 20 , Dt 10 9 , etc.). In
the sense of the ' Messianic hope' (as in the more
literal sense of the possession of Canaan) the words
' inheritance ' and ' promise ' become almost identi-
cal, as in Gal 3 18 , He 6 17 .

(c) The ' promise ' is fulfilled by Jesus becoming
incarnate. He describes Himself as the Heir in the
Parable of the Vineyard. He is the Heir because
He is the Son, the First-born, as opposed to the
servants i.e. the prophets. In He I 2 Jesus is
called the ' heir of all things ' because He was the
Instrument in creation through whom the Father
made the worlds (rods aluvas). So in v. 4 He is said
to have ' inherited ' a more excellent name than
the angels. The metaphor is doubtless based on
Ps 2 8 : the nations are given to Messiah as His
inheritance (see Westcott, op. cit. p. 8).

(d) In Jesus, Christians are Abraham's heirs,
whether of Jewish or Gentile stock (Ro 4 9ff> ). They
inherit Abraham's faith, and are therefore his sons ;
the promise did not depend on Abraham's circum-
cision, but was before it, though it was confirmed
by it ; nor was it dependent on the Law. Thus all
nations are blessed in Abraham, and he is the heir
of the world (see above (b)). In Eph I 14 St. Paul
uses in regard to Gentile Christians the very words
which described Israel's privilege: 'promise,'
'inheritance,' 'emancipation,' ' possession (Robin-
son, op. cit. p. 36). By adoption we Avere made
fellow-heirs with Christ (Ro 8 17 ), and a heritage
(Eph I 11 ). Gentiles are fellow-heirs with Jews
(Eph 3 6 , Ac 26 18 ) ; and Christians are fellow-heirs
together of the grace of life (1 P 3 7 ) e.g. husbands
and wives are fellow-heirs because they are Chris-
tians. See art. ADOPTION.

(e) The inheritance is described as ' eternal life '
in Tit 3 7 ('heirs according to the hope of eternal
life' ; cf. the Gospels : Mt 19 29 , Mk 10 17 [where || Mt
19 16 substitutes ' have' for 'inherit'], Lk KP 18 18 );
as 'the kingdom' in Ja 2 5 , Eph 5 5 ('kingdom of
Christ and God '), and by inference in Col l m
(these seem to be founded on our Lord's words
recorded in Mt 25 s4 , where the predestination, and
the giving, of the kingdom are emphasized ; cf.
Dn 7 27 and the Slavonic Secrets of Enoch, 9 [' for
(the righteous) this place is prepared as an eternal
inheritance ']). In He I 14 the inheritance is ' salva-
tion,' and so by inference in 1 P I 41 -. In He 6 12
it is ' the promises.' In 1 P 3 7 it is the ' grace of
life,' i.e. the gracious gift of eternal life (Alford,

'l ; in v. 9 it is 'a blessing.' It is the portion

(/r\%>os) of the saints in light (Col I 12 ), and is eternal
(He 9 15 ), incorruptible, undefiled, unfading (1 P I 4 ).
With the NT idea of an ethical inheritance or
portion we may compare Wis 5 5 , Sir 4 13 (glory) S7 28
(confidence among his people), the Ethiopic Book of
Enoch, Iviii. 5 (the heritage of faith), Psalms of
Solomon, xii. 8 (inheritance of the promise of the
Lord), xiv. 7 (life in cheerfulness).

(/) One condition of inheriting is self-denial (Mt
19 29 , where ' receive' of Mk 10 30 andLk 18 30 becomes
' inherit ' when applied to ' eternal life '). We are
'joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer
with [him] ' (Ro 8 17 ). We must imitate those who
' through faith and patience inherit the promises '
(He 6 la ) ; 'he that overcometh shall inherit and
become God's son ' (Rev 21 7 the only instance in
Rev. of K\ripovofj.^u). Other conditions are meek-
ness and humility (1 P 3 9 , ' not rendering evil for
evil or reviling for reviling, but contrariwise bless-
ing ; for hereunto were ye called that ye should
inherit a blessing ' ; cf . Mt 5 6 , Ps 37") and sanctifi-
cation (Ac 20 32 ). The inheritance is forfeited by
self-indulgence (1 Co 6 9f -, Gal 5 21 ), and is not reached
by ' flesh and blood' or by 'corruption ' (1 Co 15 50 )
a spiritual regeneration is necessary for its

(g) In a real sense the inheritance is already
entered upon.* In He 6 12 the present participle
K\7ipovofj.oijvTuv is used : ' those who are inheriting '
(the Vulg. has the future hereditabunt, but some
old Lat. MSS have the present potiuntttr) ; so in 4'
' we which have believed do enter are now enter-
ing (elffepybpeQa-) into that rest,' not as Vulg. in-
grediemur, 'shall enter' (see Westcott, op. cit. p.
95). The kingdom has already begun (Mt 3 2 , and
the parables of ch. 13). Yet the inheritance will
not be fully attained till the Last Judgment (Mt
25 34 ). In Eph I 14 St. Paul speaks of the sealing
' with the Holy Spirit of promise 'as 'an earnest
(&ppapd>v) of our inheritance,' and in the same con-
text (v. 18f -) uses language which shows that in some
sense it is entered upon already (cf. 2 Co I 22 5 5 ).
The same thing is seen in Col I 12f - ; while in S 24
the promise to Christian bondservants that they
should receive from the Lord the ' recompense of
the inheritance ' rather points forward to the world
to come. So in IP I 4f - the reference seems to be
to the future : ' an inheritance . . . reserved in
heaven for you ' (so Bigg ; but this is denied by
Hort and von Soden). In this connexion we must
be careful not to confuse our thought by connect-
ing 'inheritance' with our own death, or the
' death ' of this age. There is no idea here of ' suc-
cession ' (see above, 1). A. J. MACLEAN.

HELL. 1. Context. The word most frequently
so rendered in the EVis the Gr. $dijs (see HADES).
In the NT, outside the Gospels, ' hell ' is also used
in translating the two Gr. words ytewa (' Gehenna')
and the very rare verbal form raprap6u (' send into

The former occurs only once, viz. in Ja 3 8 ,
where it is obviously used metaphorically for the
evil power which is revealed in all forms of un-
licensed, careless, and corrupt speech. In the
figurative phrase 'set on fire of Gehenna,' the
author of the Epistle has clearly in mind the
original idea of that name in the associations of
the Valley of Hinnom, with its quenchless fire and
its undying worm (2 Ch 28 3 33 6 Jer 7 31 ).

The name 'Tartarus' (2 P 2 4 ) carries us out of
the association of Hebrew into the realm of Greek
thought. It is the appellation given by Homer (II.
viii. 13) to that region of dire punishment allotted
to the elder gods, whose sway Zeus had usurped.

* Of. the conception of the heavenly citizenship and eternal
life having already begun in this world : Eph 2", Jn S 34 17 s , 1 <J

814 5121..




I will take and cast him into misty Tartarus,' says Zeus,
' right far away, where is the deepest gulf beneath the earth ;
there are the gate of iron and threshold of bronze, as far be-
neath Hades as heaven is high above the earth.'

The Greek word passed into Hebrew literature,
and is found in En. xx. 2, where Uriel is said to
have sway over the world and over Tartarus (cf.
Philo, de Exsecr. 6). The passage in 2 Peter
shows evident traces of the effect upon it of the
Book of Enoch, so it is not necessary to go further
afield in order to discover the source of the word.
In the Christian sections of the Sib. Or. the word
is of frequent occurrence, and appears sometimes to
be used as equivalent to Gehenna and at other times
as the name for a special section of that region.
Cf. L 126-129 :

Down they went
Into Tartarean chamber terrible,
Kept in firm chains to pay full penalty
In Gehenna of strong, furious, quenchless fire.'

With this passage should be carefully compared
En. cviii. 3-6, where some exceptional features
occur in the description of hell. The passage is
in a fragment of the earlier Book of Noah, now in-
corporated in the larger work.

' Their names,' says the seer, ' shall be blotted out of the book
of life, and out of the holy books, and their seed shall be de-
stroyed for ever, and their spirits shall be slain, and they shall
cry and make lamentation in a place that is a chaotic wilderness,
and in the fire shall they burn ; for there is no earth there. And
I saw there something like an invisible cloud ; for by reason of
its depth I could not look over, and I saw a flame of fire blazing
brightly, and things like shining mountains circling and sweep-
ing to and fro. And I asked one of the holy angels who was
with me, and said unto him : " What is this shining thing ? for
it is not a heaven but only the flame of a blazing fire, and the
voice of weeping and crying, and lamentation and strong pain."
And he said unto me : " This place which thou seest here are
cast the spirits of sinners and blasphemers, and of those who
work wickedness, and of those who pervert everything that the
Lord hath spoken through the mouth of the prophets." '

As Charles points out in his notes on this passage,
the writer has confused here Gehenna and the hell
of the disobedient stars, conceptions which are
kept quite distinct in the earlier sections of the
book (cf. chs. xxi. and xxii.).

2. The idea in apostolic and sub-apostolic litera-
ture. We have to pass beyond the strict use of
the word ' hell ' to discover the wider range of the
conception in the literature of the NT that comes
within the scope of our examination. There are
two or three terms found in the Apocalypse, to
which we must now turn.

(a) The Apocalypse of John. (1) In Rev 9 1 'the
pit of the abyss' (see ABYSS) is regarded as the
special prison-house of the devil and his attendant
evil spirits. This conception is probably derivable
from similar sources to those from which Tartarus
comes, though there are peculiar and interesting feat-
ures about it, details of which will be found in the
special article devoted to its explanation. Closely
connected with the idea of the abyss is its demonic
ruler Abaddon (v. 11 , see ABADDON), whose name
figures frequently in the Wisdom-literature, and
is generally translated in the LXX by diru,\eia=
' destruction. ' According to one Hebrew authority,
Abaddon is itself a place-name, and designates the
lowest deep of Gehenna, from which no soul can
ever escape (see H. B. Swete, The Apocalypse of St.
John, in loco). In the Asc. Is. iv. 14 is a somewhat
similar passage: 'The Lord will come with His
angels and with the armies of the holy ones from
the seventh heaven . . . and He will drag Beliar
into Gehenna and also his armies.'

(2) 'The lake of fire' is an expression found
several times in Rev. (cf. 19 20 , etc.). It is described
as the appointed place of punishment for the Beast
and the False Prophet, for Death and Hades them-
selves, for all not enrolled in the Book of Life, and
finally for those guilty of the dark list of sins given
in 21 8 . It is questionable whether the original
VOL. I. 35

imagery underlying the expression is derived from
the story of the Cities of the Plain, or the Pyri-
phlegethon the fiery-flamed river one of the tri-
butaries of the Acheron in the Homeric vision of
the under world (cf. Od. x. 513). Probably elements
from both enter into it. A passage in the Book of
the Secrets of Enoch, x. 1-6 remarkable for the fact
that hell is here set in the third heaven (see W.
Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums, Berlin, 1903,
p. 273 n. ) has close parallels with the passage in
Rev 21 8 . The following extracts will show how
close and suggestive the imagery is and as it
probably dates before A.D. 70, the actual connexion
is not improbable.

'They showed me there a very terrible place . . . and all
manner of tortures in that place . . . and there is no light
there, but murky fire constantly flameth aloft, and there is a
fiery river coming forth, and that whole place is everywhere
fire . . . and those men said to me : This place is prepared for
those who dishonour God, who on earth practise . . . magic-
making, enchantments, and devilish witchcrafts, and who boast
of their wicked deeds, stealing, lies, calumnies, envy, rancour,
fornication, murder . . . for all these is prepared this place
amongst these, for eternal inheritance ' (cf. also Ase. It. iv. 16).

In the Sib. Or. we have similar language, e.g. ii.

'And then shall all pass through the burning stream
Of flame unquenchable.'

Again, in ii. 353 ff. we have :

' And deathless angels of the immortal God,
Who ever is, shall bind with lasting bonds
In chains of flaming fire, and from above
Punish them all by scourge most terribly ;
And in Gehenna, in the gloom of night,
Shall they be cast 'neath many horrid beasts
Of Tartarus, where darkness is immense.' *

(3) In Rev 20 14 ' the lake of fire ' is further defined
as 'the second death' a phrase which recurs in
other passages of the book (e.g. 2 n ). The phrase
seems traceable to Jewish sources, for it occurs
frequently in the Targums (cf. Wetstein on Rev
2 U ). It seems likely that the Jews, in turn, de-
rived it from the ideas of Egyptian religion, since
we find Ani, seated on his judgment throne, say-
ing, ' I am crowned king of the gods, I shall not die
a second time in the underworld ' (The Book of the
Dead, ed. E. A. Wallis Budge, London, 1901, ch.
xliv. ; cf. Moffatt in EOT, 1910, on Rev 2").

(b) St. Paul. This idea of the ' second death '
leads naturally to St. Paul's use of ' death ' in such
passages as Ro 6 21 . When the Apostle uses the
word, he evidently intends by it ' something far
deeper than the natural close of life. . . . For him
death is one indivisible experience. It is the cor-
relative of sin. . . . Death is regarded as separa-
tion from God. ... So death, conceived as the
final word on human destiny, becomes the synonym
for hopeless doom' (Kennedy, St. Paul's Concep-
tions of the Last Things, 1904, pp. 113-117).

(c) Other NT books. This idea is also strongly
and strikingly put in Ja 1 1B : ' Sin, when it is full-
grown, bringeth forth death' (cf. 2 Ti I 10 , He 2 14 ).
In Jude ' u and 2 P 2 17 we have the expressions

' darkness ' and ' the blackness of darkness ' used as
descriptive epithets of the place of punishment.
Once more we are face to face with the peculiar
imagery of apocalyptic, and we recall how the
word is employed in the Gospels, especially in the
phrase ' the outer darkness ' (cf. Mt 8 12 ). In En.
x. 4 we read, ' Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast
him into the darkness,' and throughout that book
the imagery frequently recurs. The figure is a
natural one, and needs no elaboration to make its
force felt.

(d) Apostolic Fathers. In turning to the Chris-
tian literature of the 1st cent, that lies outside the
NT, we do not find any very striking additions to

Online LibraryJames HastingsDictionary of the apostolic church (Volume 1) → online text (page 175 of 234)