7 occurrences in 7 dictionaries

Reference: Cup


This word is taken in Scripture both in a proper and in a figurative sense. In a proper sense, it signifies a common cup, of horn, or some precious metal, Ge 40:13; 44:2; 1Ki 7:26, such as is used for drinking out of at meals; or a cup of ceremony, used at solemn and religious meals-as at the Passover, when the father of the family pronounced certain blessings over the cup, and having tasted it, passed it round to the company and his whole family, who partook of it, 1Co 10:16. In a figurative sense, a cup is spoken of as filled with the portion given to one by divine providence, Ps 11:6; 16:5; with the blessings of life and of grace, Ps 23:5; with a thank-offering to God, Ex 29:40; Ps 116:13; with liquor used at idolatrous feasts, 1Co 10:21; with love-potions, Re 17:4; with sore afflictions, Ps 65:8; Isa 51:17; and with the bitter draught of death, which was often caused by a cup of hemlock or some other poison, Ps 75:8. See Mt 16:28; Lu 22:42; Joh 18:11. See CRUSE.

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a wine-cup (Ge 40:11,21), various forms of which are found on Assyrian and Egyptian monuments. All Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold (1Ki 10:1; 21). The cups mentioned in the New Testament were made after Roman and Greek models, and were sometimes of gold (Re 17:4).

The art of divining by means of a cup was practiced in Egypt (Ge 44:2-17), and in the East generally.

The "cup of salvation" (Ps 116:13) is the cup of thanksgiving for the great salvation. The "cup of consolation" (Jer 16:7) refers to the custom of friends sending viands and wine to console relatives in mourning (Pr 31:6). In 1Co 10:16, the "cup of blessing" is contrasted with the "cup of devils" (1Co 10:21). The sacramental cup is the "cup of blessing," because of blessing pronounced over it (Mt 26:27; Lu 22:17). The "portion of the cup" (Ps 11:6; 16:5) denotes one's condition of life, prosperous or adverse. A "cup" is also a type of sensual allurement (Jer 51:7; Pr 23:31; Re 17:4). We read also of the "cup of astonishment," the "cup of trembling," and the "cup of God's wrath" (Ps 75:8; Isa 51:17; Jer 25:15; La 4:21; Eze 23:32; Re 16:19; comp. Mt 26:39,42; Joh 18:11). The cup is also the symbol of death (Mt 16:28; Mr 9:1; Heb 2:9).

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Ge 40:11, for drinking; Ge 44:5, for divination, practiced by dropping gold, silver, or jewels into the water, and examining their appearance; or looking into the water as a mirror. The sacred cup symbolized the Nile (which was "the cup of Egypt," Pliny H. N., 8:71) into which a golden and silver goblet was yearly thrown. Joseph's cup was of silver; the Egyptians ordinarily drank from vessels of brass. Joseph's preserving his disguise by language adapted to his supposed character before his brethren, "Wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?" is inconsistent with his disclaiming all knowledge except what God revealed (Ge 41:16), but was the act of a good but erring man.

Scripture does not sanction it. One alone there was in whose mouth was found no guile (1Pe 2:22). Solomon and the Assyrians probably derived their art mainly from Phoenicia. Assyrian cups from Khorsabad resemble the heads of animals, some terminating in the head of a lion. In Mt 26:7 an "alabaster vase" for ointment is meant, broad at the base, tapering to the neck, with little projections at the sides; such as are in the British Museum. Glass was a material for cups, and a glass bead bearing a Pharaoh's name of the 18th dynasty has been found, i.e. 3,200 years ago. Alabastron, a town in Upper Egypt, had quarries of alabaster near, from whence the name is derived. Figuratively, one's portion (Ps 11:6; 16:5; 23:5). Babylon was called a golden cup (Jer 51:7), because of her sensuality, luxury, and idolatries which she gave draughts of to the subject nations; so mystical Babylon, the apostate church (Re 17:4).

So "the cup of devils" is opposed to "the cup of the Lord" (1Co 10:21). To partake of a wine feast where a libation was first poured to an idol made one to have fellowship with the idol, just as believing participation of the Lord's supper gives fellowship with the Lord. This is called "the cup of blessing which WE bless," the celebrants being the whole church, whose leader and representative the minister is; answering to the passover "cup of blessing," over which "blessing" was offered to God. It was at this part of the feast Jesus instituted His supper (1Co 10:15; Lu 22:17,20; compare 1Ch 16:2-3). Figurative also is the cup of affliction (Ps 75:8; Isa 51:17,22). Christ's sufferings (Mt 20:22). The cup of salvation (Ps 116:13).

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1. In OT the rendering of various words, the precise distinction between which, either as to form or use, is unknown to us. The usual word is k

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Various Hebrew words are so translated, having regard to the different uses to which the cup was put. It is frequently used for that which the cup contains, causing either joy or sorrow, as "I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord." Ps 116:13. "In the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red . . . . the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out and drink them." Ps 75:8: cf. Re 14:10; 16:19, etc. And so in many other instances; and especially in that of the cup of which the Lord Jesus drank when bearing sin. Mt 26:27,39,42; Joh 18:11. In the Lord's Supper the 'cup' is put for the wine which was an emblem of the blood of Christ. 1Co 10:16,21; 11:25-28.

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The cups of the Jews, whether of metal or earthenware, were possibly borrowed, in point of shape and design, from Egypt and from the Phoenicians, who were celebrated in that branch of workmanship. Egyptian cups were of various shapes, either with handles or without them. In Solomon's time all his drinking vessels were of gold, none of silver.

1Ki 10:21

Babylon is compared to a golden cup.

Jer 51:7

The great laver, or "sea," was made with a rim like the rim of a cup (cos), with flowers of lilies,"

1Ki 7:26

a form which the Persepolitan cups resemble. The cups of the New Testament were often no doubt formed on Greek and Roman models. They were sometimes of gold.

Re 17:4

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CUP. This word is taken in a twofold sense; proper, and figurative. In a proper sense, it signifies a vessel, such as people drink out of at meals, Ge 40:13. It was anciently the custom, at great entertainments, for the governor of the feast to appoint to each of his guests the kind and proportion of wine which they were to drink, and what he had thus appointed them it was deemed a breach of good manners either to refuse or not to drink up; hence a man's cup, both in sacred and profane authors, came to signify the portion, whether of good or evil, which happens to him in this world. Thus, to drink "the cup of trembling," or of "the fury of the Lord," is to be afflicted with sore and terrible judgments, Isa 51:17; Jer 25:15-29; Ps 75:8. What Christ means by the expression, we cannot be at a loss to understand, since in two remarkable passages, Lu 22:42, and Joh 18:11, he has been his own interpreter. Lethale poculum bibere, "to drink the deadly cup," or cup of death, was a common phrase among the Jews; and from them, we have reason to believe, our Lord borrowed it.

CUP OF BLESSING, 1Co 10:16, is that which was blessed in entertainments of ceremony, or solemn services; or, rather, a cup over which God was blessed for having furnished its contents; that is, for giving to men the fruit of the vine. Our Saviour, in the Last Supper, blessed the cup, and gave it to each of his Apostles to drink, Lu 22:20.

CUP OF SALVATION, Ps 116:13, a phrase of nearly the same import as the former, a cup of thanksgiving, of blessing the Lord for his saving mercies. We see, in 2 Macc. 6:27, that the Jews of Egypt, in their festivals for deliverance, offered cups of salvation. The Jews have at this day cups of thanksgiving, which are blessed, in their marriage ceremonies, and in entertainments made at the circumcision of their children. Some commentators think that "the cup of salvation" was a libation of wine poured on the victim sacrificed on thanksgiving occasions, according to the law of Moses, Ex 29:40.

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