that which is rejected on account of its own worthlessness (Jer 6:30; Heb 6:8; Gr. adokimos, "rejected"). This word is also used with reference to persons cast away or rejected because they have failed to make use of opportunities offered them (1Co 9:27; 2Co 13:5-7).
The Heb. word so rendered in Jer 6:30 (AV; RV 'refuse') has its meaning explained by the context. 'Refuse silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them.' Like metal proved to be worthless by the refiner's fire (Jer 6:29), they are thrown away (cf. Isa 1:22). In the NT, in accordance with the meaning of the Gr. word (adokimos), 'reprobate' is used of that which cannot abide the proof, which, on being tested, is found to be worthless, had, counterfeit, and is therefore rejected. 'A reprobate mind' in Ro 1:28 (with tacit reference to the previous clause, 'they did not approve to have God in their knowledge') is, as the context shows, a mind depraved and perverted by vile passions. To such a mind God abandoned those who wilfully exchanged His truth for a lie (Ro 1:25). In 1Co 9:27, St. Paul declares that he 'buffets' his body and 'brings it into bondage,' lest, having preached to others, he himself should be rejected (reprobate). The figure is that of an athlete who, through remissness in training, fails in the race or fight (for the opposite figure, cf. 2Ti 2:15). In 2Co 13:6-7, the word ('reprobates') occurs three times, in each case as opposed to genuine, true. Christ is in them, except they be reprobates, i.e. false to their profession, hence rejected by God. Let them 'prove' themselves by this test (2Co 13:5). St. Paul trusts that they will know that he abides this test (2Co 13:6); but let them think of him what they will, if only they themselves do what is honourable (2Co 13:7). 'Reprobate' here is contrasted with what is 'approved,' 'honourable'; it is identified with 'doing evil.' In 2Ti 3:8, certain are described as 'corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith,' where both moral corruption and false speculation as the result of this corruption seem intended. They fail, brought to the test of 'sound' or 'healthful' doctrine (2Ti 1:13-14; 4:3). Similarly Tit 1:16 speaks of those who, denying God by their works, are 'unto every good work reprobate.' Their hypocrisy is brought home to them by their wicked lives. 'Professing that they know God,' they are proved by their works to be counterfeits, imposters. The word occurs, finally, in Heb 6:8, where those whom it is impossible 'to renew again to repentance' are compared to ground which, receiving the rain oft upon it, and being tilled, brings forth only thorns and thistles, and is 'rejected.' From all this we may conclude that 'reprobate,' generally, denotes a moral state so had that recovery from it is no longer possible; there remains only judgment (cf. Heb 6:8). It is only to be added that the term has no relation in Scripture to an eternal decree of reprobation; at least, to none which has not respect to a thoroughly had and irrecoverable condition of its objects. Cf. Predestination.
maas. God's ancient people in their condition of moral debasement are compared to 'reprobate silver,' or 'refuse silver' as in the margin, Jer 6:30; or, as is read in '/Isaiah/1/22/type/nasb'>Isa 1:22, 'thy silver is become dross,' rejected.
In the N.T. the word is ????????, 'disapproved,' and is applied to the wicked, and to those also who having engaged in the race fail to reach the goal. Ro 1:28; 2Co 13:5-7; 2Ti 3:8; Tit 1:16. The same word is translated 'rejected,' and is descriptive of such as, in spite of gracious ministry, produce only that which is natural to fallen man. Heb 6:8. It is also translated 'castaway' in 1Co 9:27, where the apostle Paul represents himself as keeping under his body, and bringing it into subjection, lest having preached to others he himself should be rejected. This appears to indicate the possibility of a man, after having preached the gospel to others, being himself disapproved; failing to reach the goal through lack of self-discipline.