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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(usually בֶּטֶן, be'ten, κοιλία, especially the womb; also מֵעַים, meim', γαστήρ, especially the bowels). Among the Hebrews and most ancient nations, the belly was regarded as the seat of the carnal affections, as being, according to their notions, that which first partakes of sensual pleasures (Titus 1:2; Philippians 3:9; Romans 16:18). It is used likewise symbolically for the heart, the innermost recesses of the soul (Proverbs 18:8; Proverbs 20:27; Proverbs 22:18). The expression embittering of the belly signifies all the train of evils which may come upon a man (Jeremiah 4:19; Jeremiah 9:15; comp. Numbers 18:27). The "belly of hell" signifies the grave, or the under world. It is a strong phrase to express Jonah's dreadful condition in the deep (Jonah 2:2).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Belly'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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