An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 269 of 297
One aspect of this most important subject has been presented in the
article entitled Hell6, but a more positive approach is in mind now.
As we are all aware, the Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek, from
which the various translations have been made.  It is utter folly to bolster
up arguments and doctrines by words occurring in a translation; our only
appeal and absolute authority must be the words of the original Scriptures.
We therefore propose to bring under review the various words used in the
Scriptures, seeking to explain their meaning not merely from dictionaries or
lexicons, but from the usage of the words themselves within the bounds of the
written Word.
Abad.  For the sake of clearness we shall use English letters as
equivalents for the Hebrew and Greek, believing that those who desire a
fuller acquaintance with the originals will be able to discover the words
quite easily.  The first word which we will consider is the word abad.  It is
translated 'perish' 79 times in the Old Testament (A.V.); other renderings
are as follows, 'be perished' 12 times; 'be ready to perish' 4 times; 'cause
to perish' 3 times; 'make to perish' twice; 'destroy, be destroyed,
destruction' 63 times; 'be lost' 8 times.  Other translations of only one or
two occurrences are 'be broken'; 'be undone'; 'be void of'; 'fail'; 'lose'
and 'spend'.
Let us now consider some of the passages wherein this word occurs.  'Ye
shall perish among the heathen' (Lev. 26:38).  The context speaks of 'they
that are left'.  The word may not mean utter extinction here, but for the
purposes for which Israel were chosen and placed in their land, they are as
good as dead, perished.  The next reference, however, is quite clear in its
usage of the word.  'They ... went down alive into the pit, and the earth
closed upon them, and they perished from among the congregation' (Num.
16:33).  This doom is spoken of by Moses in verse 29, 'If these die the
common death of all men'.  They went down alive into the pit, but not to live
therein, for they died an uncommon death, and thereby perished from among the
Again in Numbers 17:12,13 the word 'perish' is used synonymously with
dying, 'Behold we die, we perish ... shall we be consumed with dying?' The
words are used with full unequivocal meaning by Esther, before she dared,
unbidden, to enter the presence of the king, 'If I perish, I perish' (Esther
4:16).  The perishing here is again explained by the words of verse 11, 'All
the king's servants ... do know that whosoever ... shall come unto the king
into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him
to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre,
that he may live'.  Esther dared the death penalty, and expressed her
feelings by the words quoted, 'If I perish, I perish'.  The multiplication of
terms in Esther 7:4 is striking, 'For we are sold, I and my people, to be
destroyed, to be slain, and to perish.  But if we had been sold for bondmen
and bondwomen, I had held my tongue'.  Here it is evident that perishing is
much more than the horrors of eastern slavery; it is used in connection with
destruction and death, not life in misery.