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Reference: Inwards, Inward Parts


1. The former of these expressions is frequently found in English Version (Ex. and Lv.), meaning the entrails or bowels of the animals to be sacrificed according to the Levitical institutions (Ex 29:13,22; Le 3:3,9,14; 4:8,11; 7:3; 8:18,21 etc.). The same idea is found in Ge 41:21, where English Version has 'had eaten them up,' and Septuagint renders 'came into their belly' (see Authorized Version margin which gives the alternative 'had come to the inward parts of them'; cf. also 1Ki 17:21 Authorized Version margin). For the most part, however, the expression 'inward parts' is used in a metaphorical sense, to denote the contrast between the inward reality and the outward clothing of human character. Situated within the 'inward parts' is the capacity for wisdom (Job 38:36, see nevertheless EVm), truth (Ps 51:6), ethical knowledge, and moral renovation (Jer 31:33, where 'inward parts' is almost synonymous with 'heart,' cf. Pr 20:30). Here, too, lie hidden the springs of active wickedness (Ps 5:9), and deceitful language (Ps 62:4 Authorized Version margin). The power of deceiving as to character and motives comes from man's inherent ability to secrete, within the profound depths of the 'innermost parts,' his daily thoughts (Pr 18:8; cf. Ps 64:6). At the same time, these hidden designs are as an open book, beneath the bright light of a lamp, to the Lord (Pr 20:27; cf., for a similar thought, Ps 26:2; 7:9; Jer 11:20; Re 2:23 etc.).

2. In the NT the expression is used only to denote the power of the hypocrites to deceive their fellow-men (Lu 11:39; cf. Mt 7:15; 23:28). The curious phrase 'give for alms those things which are within' (Lu 11:41) may be taken as an incidental reference by Jesus to the necessity and the possibility of man's inmost life being renewed and restored to a right relationship with God and men (cf. Isa 58:10). At least it is permissible to take the word rendered 'the things which are within' as equivalent to 'the inward man,' or 'the inward parts' (see Plummer, CC International Critical Commentary, in loc.; cf. Mr 7:18 f., Lu 16:9). It is not enough to give alms mechanically; the gift must be accompanied by the spontaneous bestowal of the giver's self, as it were, to the receiver.

J. R. Willis.

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