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Holman Bible Dictionary


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Flexible container that may be closed for holding, storing, or carrying something. Several kinds are mentioned in the Bible: 1. Large bags in which large amounts of money could be carried (2 Kings 5:23 ; Isaiah 3:22 , KJV has “crisping pins”). 2. A small bag (purse) used to carry a merchant's weights (Deuteronomy 25:13 ; Proverbs 16:11 ; Micah 6:11 ) or smaller sums of money (Proverbs 1:14 ; Isaiah 46:6 ). This may be the same as the purse mentioned in the New Testament (Luke 10:4 ; Luke 12:33 ; Luke 22:35-36 ).

3. A cloth tied up in a bundle is translated as bag (Job 14:17 ; Proverbs 7:20 ; Haggai 1:6 ) or bundle (Genesis 42:35 ; 1 Samuel 25:29 ; Song of Song of Solomon 1:13 ). The size of the bundle would depend on its use. This type of bag was used to hold money (Genesis 42:35 ; Proverbs 7:20 ; Haggai 1:6 ; see 2 Kings 12:10 where the verb form, “to tie up in bags,” is used) or something loose such as myrrh (Song of Song of Solomon 1:13 ). This term for bag is used figuratively to speak of one's sins being bundled up (and perhaps sealed; “bag of transgressions,” Job 14:17 ) and one's life being bundled up and protected by God (“bundle of the living,” 1 Samuel 25:29 ).

4. The shepherd's bag (KJV “scrip” or “vessel”). Used by shepherds and travelers to carry one or more days' supplies, it was made of animal skins and slung across the shoulder. Joseph's brothers carried grain in such a bag (Genesis 42:25 ). Saul's bag was empty of bread when he went to meet Samuel (1 Samuel 9:7 ), and David collected stones in his shepherd's bag when confronting Goliath (1Samuel 17:40,1 Samuel 17:49 ). An Israelite traveler whose bag of provisions was empty could eat from a fellow Israelite's vineyard, but was not permitted to fill his bag for the rest of the journey (Deuteronomy 23:24 ). Jesus commanded His disciples not to carry a bag when He sent them out to preach (Matthew 10:10 ; Mark 6:8 ; Luke 9:3 ; Luke 10:4 ). They were to be totally dependent on God and the hospitality and support of God's people (compare Numbers 18:31 ; 1 Corinthians 9:3-14 ). The disciples learned from this experience that they would be cared for; but because of the critical nature of what they were about to face, Jesus later instructed His disciples to begin carrying a purse, bag, and—very curiously—a sword (Luke 22:35-36 ). The Hebrew word for shepherd's bag is also translated as “carriage.” See Carriage .

5. A large sack used to carry grain (Genesis 42:25 ,Genesis 42:25,42:27 ,Genesis 42:27,42:35 ; Joshua 9:4 ; see Leviticus 11:32 ). The same Hebrew word is translated as sackcloth worn during times of mourning or humiliation. See Sackcloth .

6. KJV translates glossokomon as bag in John 12:6 ; John 13:29 . The glossokomon was actually a money box. See Money Box.

Phil Logan

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Bag'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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