The Berean Expositor
Volume 28 - Page 5 of 217
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The Use of Ab ("Father") in the O.T.
p. 142
Ab enters into the composition of a number of names in the Hebrew Bible, such as
Abner, Abigail, Abraham, etc. The Syro-Arabian languages demand that such names be
translated as Abner, father of light, Abigail, father of joy, etc. It is only because we fail
to appreciate the use of the word "father" in the Hebrew, that we find any difficulty in the
thought that a woman is called the "father of joy".
It is a common thing among the Syro-Arabic speaking people to use the word "father"
in the sense of source or cause, and in a figurative way. For example, Milk is called "the
father of white". If we refer to Gen. 4: 20, 21 we find that Jabal, one of the line of
Cain, is said to be "the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle". No
one, however, believes that Abraham was of the line of Cain. Again, Jubal is said to be
"the father of all such as handle the harp and organ", yet no one believes that David was
of the line of Cain.
A passage that needs care in handling is Isa. 9: 6:
"Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given . . . . . His name shall be . . . . . the
everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."
There is no confusion in this passage between the person of the Father and the Son.
Rotherham's translation reads "Father of futurity". The word Ad is translated eternity,
ever, everlasting, evermore, old, and perpetually. Isa. 9: 6 reveals that time, the ages,
all futurity are in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ, and assures us that inasmuch as the
government is upon His shoulder, He will bring the purpose of the ages to a glorious