6 occurrences in 6 dictionaries

Reference: Pillar


Sometimes means a monumental column, Ge 35:20; 2Sa 18:18; or a column of cloud or smoke, Ex 13:21; Jg 20:40. The stately column which adorns and supports the front of a temple, Jg 16:25-30; Job 9:6; 26:11, illustrates the position of prophets, Jer 1:18, apostles, Ga 2:9, believers, Re 3:12, and the church itself, respecting the truth, 1Ti 3:15.

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used to support a building (Jg 16:26,29); as a trophy or memorial (Ge 28:18; 35:20; Ex 24:4; 1Sa 15:12, A.V., "place," more correctly "monument," or "trophy of victory," as in 2Sa 18:18); of fire, by which the Divine Presence was manifested (Ex 13:2). The "plain of the pillar" in JG 9:6 ought to be, as in the Revised Version, the "oak of the pillar", i.e., of the monument or stone set up by Joshua (Jos 24:26).

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1. With two or three unimportant exceptions, 'pillar' in OT is the rendering of two very distinct Heb. terms, 'amm

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There are several Hebrew words translated 'pillar': the principal are

1. matstsebah, from 'to set, put, place;' and hence anything that is set up. It is used for the stone that Jacob had had for a pillow, which he set up, and on which he poured oil and made his vow. Also for the heap of stones he raised when Laban and he parted. Ge 28:18,22; 31:13,45-52; 35:14,20; Ex 24:4; Isa 19:19. From De 12:3 it would appear that pillars of some sort were also connected with idolatry. These may resemble the cairns often found in what were idolatrous lands. Absalom raised up for himself a pillar to keep his name in remembrance because he had no son. 2Sa 18:18.

2. The word ammud occurs many times for the pillars of the tabernacle and the temple. It is also used for the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire; also symbolically for the pillars of the heavens and the pillars of the earth. Ex 13:21; 27:10-17; 1Ki 7:2-42; Job 9:6; 26:11; Ps 75:3; Eze 40:49; 42:6.

In the N.T. the word is ??????, 'a pillar or column.' James, Cephas and John seemed to be 'pillars' in the church at Jerusalem

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The notion of a pillar is of a shaft or isolated pile either supporting or not supporting a roof. But perhaps the earliest application of the pillar was the votive or monumental, This in early times consisted of nothing but a single stone or pile of stones.

Ge 28:18; 31:40

etc. The stone Ezel,

1Sa 20:19

was probably a terminal stone or a way-mark. The "place" set up by Saul

1Sa 15:12

is explained by St, Jerome to be a trophy. So also Jacob set up a pillar over Rachel's grave.

Ge 36:20

The monolithic tombs and obelisks of Petra are instances of similar usage. Lastly, the figurative use of the term "pillar," in reference to the cloud and fire accompanying the Israelites on their march or as in

Song 3:6

and Reve 10:1 is plainly derived from the notion of an isolated column not supporting a roof.

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PILLAR properly means a column raised to support a building; but in Scripture the term mostly occurs in a metaphorical or figurative sense. Thus we have a pillar of cloud, a pillar of fire, a pillar of smoke, &c; signifying a cloud, a fire, a smoke raised up toward heaven in the form or shape of a pillar, Ex 13:21; Jg 20:40. Job speaks of the pillars of heaven and the pillars of the earth, Job 9:6; 26:11; which are strong metaphorical expressions, that suppose the heavens and the earth to be an edifice raised by the hand of the almighty Creator, and founded upon its basis. St. Paul speaks of the Christian church under the similitude of a pillar or column on which the truth, or doctrine of the glorious Gospel is inscribed, 1Ti 3:15.

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