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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Deliverance, Deliverer

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Rescue from danger. In Scripture God gives deliverance (Psalm 18:50 ; Psalm 32:7 ; Psalm 44:4 ), often through a human agent. In the Old Testament deliverance most often refers to victory in battle (Judges 15:18 ; 2 Kings 5:1 ; 2 Kings 13:17 ; 1 Chronicles 11:14 ; 2 Chronicles 12:7 ). Joseph was God's agent to deliver His people from famine (Genesis 45:7 ). The Old Testament consistently stresses God as the giver of deliverance rather than the human agent. Thus Mordecai warned Esther that is she failed to act out her role as deliverer God would provide another way (Esther 4:14 ). KJV also uses “deliverance” to describe the remanant that survives a battle or exile (Ezra 9:13 ). In KJV both New Testament uses of deliverance refers to release of prisoners (Luke 4:18 ; Hebrews 11:35 ). Modern translations use “deliverance” to refer to rescue from danger in Acts 7:25 ; Philippians 1:19 .

A deliverer is one who rescues from danger. Two of the judges, Othniel and Ehud (Judges 3:9 ,Judges 3:9,3:15 ), are called deliverers in the sense of military heroes. More often God is spoken of as the Deliverer of His people (2 Samuel 22:2 ; Psalm 18:2 ; Psalm 40:17 ; Psalm 144:2 ). The picture of God as deliverer is paralled with the images of a rock, fortress, helper, and strong tower. Acts 7:35 refers to Moses as a deliverer. Romans 11:26-27 refers to the Messianic King as the Deliverer who will take away Israel's sins.

The verb “deliver” is used in a wide range of contexts. According to Job 5:19-26 God delivers in 7 ways; from famine, war, the scourge of the tongue, the wild animals, to safety, abundant offspring, and long life. Scripture also speaks to deliverance from sin ( Psalm 39:8 ; Psalm 79:9 ); the way of evil (Proverbs 2:12 ); the power of evil (Matthew 6:13 ; Galatians 1:4 ; Colossians 1:13 ); the body of death (Romans 7:24 ); the law (Romans 7:6 ); and the coming wrath of God (1 Thessalonians 1:10 ). God is the agent of deliverance in Colossians 1:13 and Romans 7:24-25 . Christ is the agent in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and Galatians 1:4 , where Christ brings deliverance by giving Himself for sins.

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 'Deliverance, Deliverer'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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