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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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CHEMARIM . In EV [Note: English Version.] this word is found only in Zephaniah 1:4 ; but the original of which it is the transliteration is used also at 2 Kings 23:5 and Hosea 10:5 , and in both instances Chĕmârim is placed in the margin of AV [Note: Authorized Version.] and RV [Note: Revised Version.] . Chômer , of which Chĕmârim is the plural, is of Aram. [Note: Aramaic.] origin, and when used in Syr. carries no unfavourable connotation. In the Heb. of the OT, however, Chĕmârim always has a bad sense; it is applied to the priests who conducted the worship of the calves ( 2 Kings 23:5 , Hosea 10:5 ), and to those who served the Baalim ( Zephaniah 1:4 ). Kimchi believed the original significance of the verbal form was ‘to be black,’ and explained the use of the noun by the assertion that the idolatrous priests wore black garments. Others take the root to mean, ‘to be sad,’ the chumra being a sad, ascetic person, a monk or priest.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Chemarim'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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