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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Certain; Certainly; Certainty

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sẽr´tin , sẽr´tin -li , sẽr´tin -ti : The rendering of some Hebrew words and forms expressive of what is definitely settled or determined.

(1) Translation of the Hebrew נכון , nakhon , "to be established" or "fixed," as in Deuteronomy 13:14 (Hebrew 15); Deuteronomy 17:4 ; 1 Samuel 23:23 (of Exodus 16:4 , "a certain rate every day" the King James Version). In the New Testament it is the rendering of ἀσφαλής , asphalḗs , ἀσφάλεια , aspháleia , from "a " privative and sphallein , "to shake" or "move"; as in Luke 1:4 , "the certainty of those things" = actual circumstances; Acts 21:34 ; Acts 22:30 ; Acts 25:26 .

(2) The word "certain" is also employed in the Old Testament to bring out the force of the absolute infinitive form used with the finite verb to express emphasis or to strengthen the idea of the main verb (Kautzsch-Gesenius, Hebrew Grammar , translation Collins-Cowley, 357, 3). Such usage occurs in Genesis 18:10 ; Joshua 9:24 ; Leviticus 5:19 ; Leviticus 24:16 ; 1 Samuel 20:3 the King James Version; 1 Kings 2:37 ; Jeremiah 26:15 ; Jeremiah 36:29 ; Jeremiah 42:19 , Jeremiah 42:22 ; Jeremiah 44:17 .

(3) The word "certain" is also made auxiliary to bring out the force of such expressions as the Hebrew יצב , yācabh , "to be firm," as in Daniel 2:8 ; also in the New Testament, of the verb ἀστατεῖν , astateı́n as in 1 Corinthians 4:11 , "have no certain dwelling-place."

(4) Mention might be made also of "certain" as the rendering of sundry words, as אך , 'akh , in Lamentations 2:16 ; כּי , kı̄ , in Exodus 3:12 ; and ὄντως , óntōs , in Luke 23:47 , all being expressions for what is sure, beyond doubt.

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Certain; Certainly; Certainty'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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