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Holman Bible Dictionary


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refers to persons or things being separated to or belonging to God. They are holy or sacred. They are set apart for the service of God. The Hebrew kadosh and Greek hagiazo are translated by several different English words: holy, consecrate, hallow, sanctify, dedicate. See holy .

Old Testament God is said to be kadosh or “holy.” The Hebrew word originally meant “to be separate.” The holy One of Israel is separate because He is God. “I am God, and not man; the Holy One in your midst” ( Hosea 11:9 ). Hosea pointed to both the otherness or separateness of God and His nearness. The holiness of God came to mean all that God is. With the prophets God's holiness was understood to include justice, righteousness, and many ethical concerns. “God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness” (Isaiah 5:16 ). When persons or things were “consecrated,” they were separated to or belonged to God. “Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2 ). “Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:6 ). When persons were “consecrated,” they were set apart to live according to God's demands and in His service.

New Testament This ethical understanding of God's holiness is found throughout the New Testament. In Matthew 23:16-24Jesus criticized the scribes and Pharisees on the basis of their neglect of justice, mercy, and faith. He said it is “the altar that sanctifieth the gift” (Matthew 23:19 ). The cause to which persons give themselves determines the nature of the sacrifice. When the cause is God's, the gift is consecrated. Jesus' mission was to sanctify persons. Paul said that Christians are called to be “saints,” and their sanctification comes through Christ.

In the Old Testament the ordination of persons to the service of God is indicated by the phrase “to fill the hand.” This phrase is usually translated “consecrate” or “ordain.”

Numbers 6:1-21 sets forth the vow of the Nazirite. Nazar from which Nazirite is derived, means “to separate” and is translated “consecrate” in Numbers 6:7 , Numbers 6:9 , Numbers 6:12 .

H. Page Lee

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 'Consecration'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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