7 occurrences in 7 dictionaries

Reference: Anathema


That is, a curse, a ban, signifies properly something set apart, separated, devoted. It is understood principally to denote the absolute, irrevocable, and entire separation of a person from the communion of the faithful, or from the number of the living, or from the privileges of society; or the devoting of any man, animal, city or thing, to be extirpated, destroyed, consumed, and, as it were, annihilated, Le 27. Thus Jericho, Jos 6:17-21, and Achan were accursed, Jos 7:1-25.

Another kind of anathema, very peculiarly expressed, occurs

1Co 16:22: "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ let him be Anathema, Maranatha." This last word is made up of two Syriac words, signifying, "The Lord cometh," that is, the Lord will surely come, and will execute this curse, by condemning those who love him not. At the same time, the opposite is also implied, that is, the Lord cometh also to reward those who love him. See EXCOMMUNICATION.

See Verses Found in Dictionary


anything laid up or suspended; hence anything laid up in a temple or set apart as sacred. In this sense the form of the word is anath(ee)ma, once in plural used in the Greek New Testament, in Lu 21:5, where it is rendered "gifts." In the LXX. the form anathema is generally used as the rendering of the Hebrew word herem, derived from a verb which means (1) to consecrate or devote; and (2) to exterminate. Any object so devoted to the Lord could not be redeemed (Nu 18:14; Le 27:28-29); and hence the idea of exterminating connected with the word. The Hebrew verb (haram) is frequently used of the extermination of idolatrous nations. It had a wide range of application. The anathema or herem was a person or thing irrevocably devoted to God (Le 27:21,28); and "none devoted shall be ransomed. He shall surely be put to death" (Le 27:29). The word therefore carried the idea of devoted to destruction (Nu 21:2-3; Jos 6:17); and hence generally it meant a thing accursed. In De 7:26 an idol is called a herem = anathema, a thing accursed.

In the New Testament this word always implies execration. In some cases an individual denounces an anathema on himself unless certain conditions are fulfilled (Ac 23:12,14,21). "To call Jesus accursed" [anathema] (1Co 12:3) is to pronounce him execrated or accursed. If any one preached another gospel, the apostle says, "let him be accursed" (Ga 1:8-9); i.e., let his conduct in so doing be accounted accursed.

In Ro 9:3, the expression "accursed" (anathema) from Christ, i.e., excluded from fellowship or alliance with Christ, has occasioned much difficulty. The apostle here does not speak of his wish as a possible thing. It is simply a vehement expression of feeling, showing how strong was his desire for the salvation of his people.

The anathema in 1Co 16:22 denotes simply that they who love not the Lord are rightly objects of loathing and execration to all holy beings; they are guilty of a crime that merits the severest condemnation; they are exposed to the just sentence of "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord."

See Verses Found in Dictionary


Hebrew cheerem; "a thing or person devoted;" so, accursed to the Lord, and incapable of being redeemed, and, if a person, doomed to death (Le 27:28-29; 1Co 12:3; 16:22; Ga 1:9; Ro 9:3, compare Ex 32:32). "I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren," lit. "I was wishing," i.e., the wish was rising within me, so intense is my love for Israel, that I myself were sacrificed in soul as well as body for their sake, were such wish lawful, which it is not; the wish remained incomplete, checked by calmer and more sober thoughts, which vehement zeal for the moment forgot. It never passed beyond the region of deepfeeling, wherein he was transported momentarily out of all other considerations into the all absorbing one, "an ecstasy of charity" (Bacon). "ANATHEMA-MARANATHA" (i.e., "the Lord cometh") 1Co 16:22.

An Aramaic watchword of the first age, suitable for believers in all ages: If He come not to bless, He shall come to smite with a curse) alludes to Mal 4:5-6; "To those who fear in the New Testament 'love' the Lord's name, He comes as the Sun of Righteousness with healing on His wings;" but to those who fear and love Him not, lie will come smiting the earth with a "curse" (cheerem or anathema). Paul pronounces the anathema on those loving Him not, while as yet He is not come, that by fleeing to Him now they may escape the curse and gain the blessing. Paul is God's inspired mouthpiece proclaiming the doom to which those not loving Jesus are set apart, and his inspired prayer of anathema is but praying that (God's will be done. In the Old Testament forcible setting apart to His glory of what ought to have been, but was not willingly, consecrated to Him, is implied.

So in the case of Jericho the city was so devoted to destruction, and all in it, except Rahab; and the silver, gold, brass, and iron, were consecrated to Jehovah (Jos 6:17-26). Similarly Israel's vow (Nu 21:1-3): "if Thou wilt deliver this people into my hand, I will utterly destroy (Hebrew make a cheerem or anathema of) their cities." Therefore they called that place Hormah (Chormah), i.e., the place made a (cheerem) or anathema of; put under a ban; devoted to God for destruction as accursed). This gives the true view of the dooming of the Canaanites; the sinners themselves were to be made an awful example of God's punitive justice to which they were set apart; their possessions were properly the Lord's, but were given by Him to Israel as a gift henceforth to be used to His glory.

The degree of the work of destruction varied: men alone (De 20:18); men, women, and children, the cattle and spoil kept for the army (De 2:34-35); every living creature (De 20:16; 1Sa 15:3); virgins excepted (Nu 31:17). Had the Canaanites humbled themselves before God's judgment and submitted, they would have been spared; but they were given up to judicial hardening to their own ruin (Jos 11:19-20).

See Verses Found in Dictionary



This is a Greek word untranslated in 1Co 16:22; it occurs also in Ro 9:3; 1Co 12:3; Ga 1:8-9 and is uniformly translated 'accursed.' The solemn passage in 1 Cor. 16 is "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed, Maranatha (the Lord cometh)." In Galatians it is said that if any person or even an angel from heaven preached any other gospel than that which they had received, let him be accursed. Two solemn denunciations relating to the person of the Lord Jesus and the gospel of God.

The word ??????? was used for any votive offering in a heathen temple, which could not be redeemed; hence anything devoted. In the N.T. it is devoted to God's curse, destruction.

See Verses Found in Dictionary



which literally means a thing suspended, is the equivalent of the Hebrew word signifying a thing or person voted. Any object so devoted to Jehovah was irredeemable. If an inanimate object, it was to be given to the priests,

Nu 18:14

if a living creature or even a man, it was to be slain.

Le 27:28-29

The word anathema frequently occurs in St. Paul's writings, and is generally translated accused. An examination of the passages in which it occurs shows that it had acquired a more general sense as expressive either of strong feeling,

Ro 9:3

or of dislike and condemnation.

1Co 12:3; 16:22; Ga 1:9

See Verses Found in Dictionary


ANATHEMA, from ?????????, signifies something set apart, separated, or devoted, Mic 4:13, or the formula by which this is effected. To anathematize is generally understood to denote the cutting off or separating any one from the communion of the faithful, the number of the living, or the privileges of society; or the devoting of an animal, city, or other thing, to destruction. See ACCURSED.

See Verses Found in Dictionary