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Anathema


Anathema, which literally means a thing suspended, is the equivalent of the Hebrew word signifying a thing or person devoted. Any object so devoted to Jehovah was irredeemable. If an inanimate object, it was to be given to the priests, Num. 18:14; if a living creature or even a man, it was to be slain. Lev. 27:28, 29. The word anathema frequently occurs in St. Paul’s writings, and is generally translated accursed. An examination of the passages in which it occurs shows that it had acquired a more general sense as expressive either of strong feeling, Rom. 9:3, or of dislike and condemnation. 1 Cor. 12:3; 16:22; Gal. 1:9.