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THE CURSED THING


By Dr. George G.

 

This study will examine Biblical terminology that pertains to the meaning, concept and impact of the term  “cursed thing.” In addition, to better understand the terminology’s contextual applications, this study will also examine related terms and concepts, as they appear in the English and source languages Hebrew and Greek in the Christian Bible.

      

Four English concepts are considered as they are used in the KJV & NIV Bible translation and in the original languages. The English terms are:

 

English Terminology

Occurrence

Location in the Bible (KJV & NIV)

 

Cursed thing

 

 

2 times in 2 verses

Deut. 7:26; and 13:17

 

No NIV reference to this term, instead NIV uses the term “detestable thing” or “condemned things” correspondingly.                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curse and Cursed

 

 

 

 

 

 

(KJV) 72 times in 68 verses.

(NIV): 7 verses

Gen. 3:14, 17; 4:11; 5:29: 9:25; 27:29; 49:7

NIV

Gen 27:29  Num 22:6; 3:8; 24:9   Mal 2:2

Gal. 3:10, 13.

 
Lev. 20:9; 24:11-14; 24:13

Num. 22:6; 23:8; 24:9

Deut. 27:15-26; 28:16-19

Josh 6:26; 9:23, 27

Judges 9:27; 21:18

I Sam. 14:24, 28, 17:23; 26:19

II Sam 16:5; 7, 13: 19:21

I King 2:8, 24; 9:34

Neh. 13:25

Job 1:5; 3:1; 5:3; 24:18

Psalms 37:22; 119:22

Ecl. 7:22;

Jer 11:3; 17:5; 20: 14, 15; 48:10

Mal 1:14; 2:2; 3:9; 25:41

Mat. 25:41

John 7:31

Gal 3:10; 3:13

2 Pet. 2:14

 

Accursed thing

 

 

9 times in 6 verses

Joshua 6:18; 7:1, 11, 13, 15; and 22:20

 

No NIV reference of this term, instead NIV uses the terms:

 Devoted things (Josh 6:18; 7:1, 11, 13, 15; 22;20); liable for destruction (Josh 6:18);

 

 

Accursed

 

(KJV) 8 times in 8 verses

(NIV)  5 verses 

NIV

Num 5:27

2 King 22:19; Isa. 65:20; Micah 6:10; 2 Peter 2:14

 
Deut 21:23

Joshua 6:17-18; 7:12

I Chronicles 2:7

Isaiah 65:20

Romans 9:3

I Corinthians 12:3

 Gal. 1:8-9

Total

91 English terms

 

 

 

1.0    The term “Curse” in Hebrew and Greek languages

 

The English term “curse” appears as seven (7) Hebrew terms in the Old Testament, and as three (3) Greek terms in New Testament. Strong’s lexicon provides the following referenced definitions:

 

Hebrew

HEBREW TERM

REF #

DEFINITION

BOOKS IN THE BIBLE

OCCURANCE in the Bible

arar

779

'arar, aw-rar'; a prim. root; to execrate;-- X bitterly curse.

 

Gen.; Num; Deut.; Josh; Judges; I Sam., I King.; Ps. Jer.; Mal

63 times in 52 verses

qalal

7043

qalal, kaw-lal'; a prim. root; to be (caus. make) light, lit. (swift, small, sharp, etc.) or fig. (easy, trifling, vile, etc.):--abate, make bright, bring into contempt, (ac-)

Gen; Lev.; Num. Judges; I Sam., 2 Sam.; I King,; Neh.; Job; Ps.; Ecl

88 times in 80 verses

barak

1288

barak, baw-rak';.a prim. root; to kneel; by impl. to bless God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit); also (by euphemism) to curse (God or the king, as treason):-- X abundantly, X altogether, X at all, blaspheme, bless, congratulate, curse [* Job], X greatly, X indeed, kneel (down), praise, salute, X still, thank

Blessed – From Gen 1:22, 28; 2:3 to 2Chr 24: 6:4; then from 2Chr 9:8 to Neh 11:2; then Job 1:10:31:20; 42:12; Ps 5:12; 10:3; 16:7; 18:46 to 68:35; then from Ps 72:15; 89:52; 96:2; 100:2; 129:8 to Zec 11:5

Praised (NIV – blessed) – Ps 72:15

Kneel down: Gen 24: 11; 2 Chr 6:13; Ps 95:6

* Cursed (KJV & NIV)– Job 1:5; 1:11; 1:21; 2:5; 2:9

Abundantly bless (NIV – abundant provisions) – Ps 132:15

 

In the NT, the name of geographical location Barak – Hebrews 11:32

 

325 times in 289 verses with other meanings.

* Note that both KJV and NIV contain only five (5) passages in the book of Job where the Hebrew term “barak” is translated as an antonym – i.e., “curse”. But in each case, the term “barak” could have been translated as: “blessed” (or its variant) or “not bless” to improve the meaning.

naqab

5344

naqab, naw-kab'; a prim. root; to puncture, lit. (to perforate, with more or less violence) or fig. (to specify, designate, libel):--appoint (Gen.30:28 –set wages), blaspheme (Lev 24:11, 16), bore, expressed (1:17); curse (Num. 23:8) “ How shall I curse,[naqab] whom God hath not cursed [qabab]? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not”

Curse – Num 23:8; Job 3: 8; 5:3; Prov 11:26; 24:24

Appoint/Named –( NIV “name – verb”) – Gen 30:28; Amos 6:1

Blasphemed – Lev 24:11, 16

Expressed (NIV “designated”)  1:17; 1 Chr 12:31; 16:41; 2 Chr. 28:15; 31:19

Bore – 2 King 12:9; Job 41:2

Pierce/Stike – 2 Kings 18:21; Job 40:24; Isa 36:6; Hab 3:14

Hole – Hag 1:6

22 times in 21 verses

qabab

6895

qabab, kaw-bab'; a prim. root; to scoop out, i.e. (fig.) to malign or execrate (i.e. stab with words):-- X at all, curse.

Curse (KJV & NIV) - Numbers 22:11, 17; 23: 8, 11, 13, 25, 27; 24:10

8 times in 8 verses

cherem

2764

cherem, khay'-rem; or (Zech. 14 : 11)  cherem, kheh'-rem; from H2763; phys. (as shutting in) a net (either lit. or fig.); usually a doomed object; abstr. Extermination: --(ac-) curse (-d, -d thing), dedicated thing, things which should have been utterly destroyed, (appointed to) utter destruction, devoted (thing), net.

Devoted - Lev 27:21, 28, 29; Num 18:14

Curse (KJV) or Destruction (NIV) Deut 7:26, 13:17; Josh 6:17; I Sam 15:21; Isa 34:5; 34:28; Mal 4:6

Accursed (NIV-devoted or destruction)

Josh 6:18; Josh 7:1, 11-15; 22:20; I King 20:42; I Chr. 2:7;

Appointed/

Destruction - I King 20:42; Zech 14:11

Nets (NIV: traps, nets) – Eccl 7:26; Ezek 26:5, 14; 32:3; Ezek 47:10;Micah 7:2; Hab 1:15-17

Dedicated –Ezek 44:29

39 times in 31 verses

charam

2763

charam, khaw-ram'; a prim. root; to seclude; spec. (by a ban) to devote to relig. uses (espec. destruction); phys. and reflex. to be blunt as to the nose:--make accursed, consecrate, (utterly) destroy, devote, forfeit, have a flat nose, utterly (slay, make away)

Destroyed – Ex 22:20; Num 21:2-3; Deut 2:34; 3:6; 7:2; 13:15; 20:17; Josh 2:10; 6:21; 8:26; 10:1; 10:28, 35-40; 11:11-12, 20-21; Judges 1:17; 21:11; 1 Sam 15:3, 8-9; 15:15-20; I Kings 9:21; 19:11: 2 Chr 34:13: Isa11:15; 34:2; 37:11; Jer 25:9; 50::21,26; 51:3

Make away (NIV - destroy) – Dan 11:44

Flat…nose (NIV – disfigured) – Lev 21:18

Devotes – Lev 27:28-29

Accursed (NIV destroyed) – Josh 6:18

Slay – 2 Chr 20:23

Forfeited – Ezra 10:8

Consecrate (NIV – devote) Micah 4:13.

51 times in 48 verses

 

 

 

Total

220

 

The term “curse” in New Testament Greek

GREEK

TERM

REF #

DEFINITION

BOOKS IN THE BIBLE

OCCURANCE in the Bible

kataraomai

2672

kat-ar-ah'-om-ahee; mid. from G2671; to execrate; by anal. to doom:--curse. – [similar to the Hebrew “barak”]

Matthew 5:44; 25:41

Mark 11:21

Luke 6:28

Rom 12:14

James 3:9

6 times in 6 verses

 

epikataratos

1944

ep-ee-kat-ar'-at-os; from G1909 and a der. of G2672; imprecated, i.e. execrable:--accursed

John 7:49

Galatians 3:10 ** see quotation below), 3:13

3 times in 3 verses

katara

2671

katara, kat-ar'-ah; from G2596 (intens.) and G685; imprecation, execration:--curse (-d, -ing).

 

Gal 3:10 “ For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse:[katara] for it is written, Cursed [epikataratos] is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them”.

Gal 3:13

Hebrew 6:8

James 3:10

2 Peter 2:14

6 times in 5 verses.

 

 

 

Total

15

 

2.0  Cursed thing

 

The term "thing" is not in the original Hebrew language.

 

As we’ve seen above the Hebrew term for cursed ‘thing’ (H2764) is "cherem" is used 39 times in the Christian Bible, and this term is not uniformly translated as “cursed thing”. The Hebrew term “cherem” is also translated into English as: devoted, accursed, accursed thing, destruction, and nets.

 

Lev 27:21 - But the field, when it goeth out in the jubilee, shall be holy unto the LORD, as a field devoted; the possession thereof shall be the priest's.

Lev 27:28 - 28  Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD. 29  None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death.

Lev 27:29 - 29  None devoted, which shall be devoted [2763. charam, (used 51 times in 48 verses) khaw-ram'; a prim. root; to seclude; spec. (by a ban) to devote to relig. uses (espec. destruction); phys. and reflex. to be blunt as to the nose:--make] of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death.

Num 18:14 - 14  Everything devoted in Israel shall be thine.

Deu 7:26 -    26  Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.

Deu 13:17 - 17  And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and show thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers; 18  When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.

Josh 6:17 -18: - 17  And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

                     18  And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.

Josh 7:1 -    7:1  But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.

Josh 7:11-15 - 11  Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.

12  Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.

13  Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.

14  In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the LORD taketh shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the LORD shall take shall come by households; and the household which the LORD shall take shall come man by man.

15  And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel.

Josh 22:20 - 20  Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity.

1 Sam 15:21 - 21  But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.

I Kings 20:42 - 42  And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people.

I Chr 2:7 - 7  And the sons of Carmi; Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the thing accursed.

Eccl 7:26 -  26  And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

Isa 34:5    -  5  For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.

Isa 43:28  - 28  Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.

Ezek 26:5 - 5  It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations.

6  And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

7  For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with

Ezek 26:14 - 14  And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.

Ezek 32:3 - 3  Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will therefore spread out my net over thee with a company of many people; and they shall bring thee up in my net.

Ezek 44:29 - 29  They shall eat the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering: and every dedicated thing in Israel shall be theirs.

Ezek 47:10 - 10  And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.

Micah 7:2 -  2  The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.

 3  That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.

Hab 1:15 -  15  They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad.

16  Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.

Hab 1:16-17 - 16  Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. 17  Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?

Zec. 14:11- 11  And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

Mal 4:6 -  6  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

 

3. CONCLUSION

 

It is Deuteronomy 7:25ff that provides a concrete, yet partial definition of the term “cursed thing”:

 

   25  The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God.

   26  Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.”

 

Joshua 7:21 provides some details of an event that describes related utensils of the “cursed thing” –

21  When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylon’s garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.”

 

Without a doubt these utensils were related to the idol worship rituals. A further analysis of the term “wedge” reveals additional valuable information. “Wedge” (lashown:H3956 - lashown, law-shone'; or  lashon, law-shone'; also (in plur.) fem.  leshonah lesh-o-naw'; from H3960; the tongue (of man or animals), used lit. (as the instrument of licking, eating, or speech), and fig. (speech, an ingot, a fork of flame, a cove of water):-- + babbler, bay, + evil speaker, language, talker, tongue, wedge.”

   This term wedge is used 116 times in 114 verses in the OT – e.g., Gen 10:5, 20; 31; Ex 4:10; 11:7; Deut 28:49; Josh 10:21; Judge 7:5; 2 Sam 23:2; Neh 13:34; Est. 1:22. These passages refer to tongues of nations, languages, and speech. In Josh 15:2-5; 18:19 – it refers to a bay of water.  The overwhelming number of the 116 occurrences of the word refers to: language, tongue, and speech.

    David shows in Psalm 52:2 to what extent the tongue can bring damage, mischief and malice “2  Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. 3  Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. 4  Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. 5  God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.”

   The “wedge” (of gold of fifty shekel weight) was the “Bible” of Babylon – a primitive Talmud, with incantations, chants, words of wisdom, rituals, practices, imaginative activities, procedures, management design and practice, psychology, priestly development and authority and wisdom.

   It should be remembered that many of the Babylonian practices involved temples where idolatry, phallic worship, homosexual priestly activities, child sacrifice, usury banking (see the large amount of shekels, Babylonian garments) had been practiced.

   The cursed thing is therefore the Babylonian phallic idolatry system and focus, which affects all areas of private, social, economic and political life (the “net”) and stands on the road to total destruction since it stands in direct opposition to the Kingdom of God. What the Christian Bible clearly shows is that the true Covenant people are the representatives of the Kingdom of God upon the Earth and have a specific mission as representatives, kings and priests in this mission. Those of the Covenant people who compromise on this mission, inevitably side and promote(directly or indirectly) the Kingdom of Babylon – the “cursed thing.” Today Babylon is extensively represented in all spheres. The Judeo-Christian Church has been diluted and today promotes the Babylonian objectives and the curses that are destined for ultimate self-destruction.

   The Covenant people of Christ’s Kingdom recognize the evils of the “cursed thing”, its “nets” and provide the only saintly alternative to the Babylonian pagan insanity, which is doomed for immanent destruction.