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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (v. t.) To try by the touch; to handle; as, to taste a bow.

2. (v. t.) To try by the touch of the tongue; to perceive the relish or flavor of (anything) by taking a small quantity into a mouth. Also used figuratively.

3. (v. t.) To try by eating a little; to eat a small quantity of.

4. (v. t.) To become acquainted with by actual trial; to essay; to experience; to undergo.

5. (v. t.) To partake of; to participate in; -- usually with an implied sense of relish or pleasure.

6. (v. i.) To try food with the mouth; to eat or drink a little only; to try the flavor of anything; as, to taste of each kind of wine.

7. (v. i.) To have a smack; to excite a particular sensation, by which the specific quality or flavor is distinguished; to have a particular quality or character; as, this water tastes brackish; the milk tastes of garlic.

8. (v. i.) To take sparingly.

9. (v. i.) To have perception, experience, or enjoyment; to partake; as, to taste of nature's bounty.

10. (n.) The act of tasting.

11. (n.) A particular sensation excited by the application of a substance to the tongue; the quality or savor of any substance as perceived by means of the tongue; flavor; as, the taste of an orange or an apple; a bitter taste; an acid taste; a sweet taste.

12. (n.) The one of the five senses by which certain properties of bodies (called their taste, savor, flavor) are ascertained by contact with the organs of taste.

13. (n.) Intellectual relish; liking; fondness; -- formerly with of, now with for; as, he had no taste for study.

14. (n.) The power of perceiving and relishing excellence in human performances; the faculty of discerning beauty, order, congruity, proportion, symmetry, or whatever constitutes excellence, particularly in the fine arts and belles-letters; critical judgment; discernment.

15. (n.) Manner, with respect to what is pleasing, refined, or in accordance with good usage; style; as, music composed in good taste; an epitaph in bad taste.

16. (n.) Essay; trial; experience; experiment.

17. (n.) A small portion given as a specimen; a little piece tastted of eaten; a bit.

18. (n.) A kind of narrow and thin silk ribbon.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

tast (Hebrew Ta`am, "the sense of taste," "perception," from Ta`am, "to taste," "to perceive"; Aramaic Te`em, "flavor," "taste" (of a thing); Hebrew chekh, "palate," "roof of the mouth" = "taste"; geuomai; noun geusis; in 2 Maccabees 7:1 the verb is ephaptomai):

(1) Literal:

(a) Gustation, to try by the tongue: "The taste (ta`am) of it manna was like wafers made with honey" (Exodus 16:31); "Doth not the ear try words, even as the palate (chekh) tasteth (Ta`am) its food?" (Job 12:11); "Belshazzar, while he tasted (literally, "at the taste of," Te`em) the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines, might drink therefrom" (Daniel 5:2).

(b) "To sample," "to eat but a small morsel": "I did certainly taste (Ta`am) a little honey with the end of the rod that was in my hand; and, lo, I must die" (1 Samuel 14:43).

(2) Figurative:

"To experience," "to perceive": "Oh taste and see that Yahweh is good" (Psalm 34:8; compare 1 Peter 2:3); "How sweet are thy words unto my taste!" (margin "palate," chekh) (Psalm 119:103); "That by the grace of God he should taste of death for every man" (Hebrews 2:9); "For as touching those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come...." (Hebrews 6:4, 5).

H. L. E. Luering


de-ses' (rapha', plural repha'im, "ghosts," "shades," is translated by "dead," "dead body," and "deceased" in both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American)): The word seems to mean "soft," "inert," but its etymology is uncertain (see REPHAIM). The various writers of the Old Testament present, as is to be expected on such a subject, different conceptions of the condition of the deceased. In the beginning probably a vague idea of the continuation of existence was held, without the activities (Isaiah 59:10) and the joys of the present life (Psalm 49:17). They dwell in the "land of forgetfulness" (Job 14:21 Psalm 88:5; compare Isaiah 26:14), they "tremble" of cold (Job 26:5), they totter and "stumble at noonday as in the twilight" (Isaiah 59:10), their voice is described as low and muttering or chirping (Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 29:4), which may refer to the peculiar pitch of the voice of the spirit medium when a spirit speaks through him. (The calling up of the dead, which was strictly forbidden to Israel (Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:27) is referred to in 1 Samuel 28:13 and perhaps in Isaiah 14:9.) The deceased are separated from their friends; love and hatred have both ceased with them (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6); "There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). The deceased are unable to praise Yahweh (Psalm 6:5; Psalm 88:10-12 Isaiah 38:18; Baruch 2:17; Sirach 17:27, 28). Nor does there seem to have been at first an anticipation of reward or punishment after death (Psalm 88:10; Sirach 41:4), probably because the shades were supposed to be lacking the organs by which either reward or punishment could be perceived; nevertheless they are still in the realm of God's power (1 Samuel 2:6 Psalm 86:13; Psalm 139:8 Proverbs 15:11 Isaiah 7:11 Hosea 13:14 Amos 9:2; Tobit 13:2).

Gradually the possibility of a return of the departed was conceived (Genesis 5:24 2 Kings 13:21 Psalm 49:15; Psalm 73:24; Psalm 86:13 Hosea 13:14; The Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-7; 4:13, 14; 6:18, 19; 10:14). Even here it is often more the idea of the immortality of the soul than that of the resurrection of the body, and some of these passages may be interpreted as allegorical expressions for a temporal rescue from great disaster (e.g. 1 Samuel 2:6); nevertheless this interpretation presupposes the existence of a deliverance from the shadows of Sheol to a better life in the presence of Yahweh. Some passages refer clearly to such an escape at the end of the age (Daniel 12:2 Isaiah 26:19). Only very few of the Old Testament believers reached the sublime faith of Job (19:25, 26) and none the blessed expectation taught in the New Testament, for none but Christ has "brought life and immortality to light" (2 Timothy 1:10 John 5:28, 29).

The opinion that the dead or at least the newly buried could partake of the food which was placed in graves, a custom which recent excavations have clearly shown to have been almost universal in Palestine, and which is referred to in Deuteronomy 26:14 and Tobit 4:17, was soon doubted (Sirach 30:18), and food and drink prepared for the funeral was henceforth intended as the "bread of comfort" and the "cup of consolation" for the mourners (Jeremiah 16:7 2 Samuel 3:35 Ezekiel 24:17). Similarly the offering and burning of incense, originally an homage to the deceased, became a relief for the mourner (2 Chronicles 16:14; 2 Chronicles 21:19 Jeremiah 34:5). See also The Wisdom of Solomon 3:2; 7:06; Sirach 38:23, and articles on CORPSE; DEATH; HADES; SHEOL.

H. L. E. Luering


(to apostasiou): The Scripture doctrine of divorce is very simple. It is contained in Matthew 19:3-12.

We are not called upon to treat of divorce in the Mosaic legislation (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). That was passed upon by Jesus in the above discussion and by Him ruled out of existence in His system of religion. After Jesus had spoken as above, the Mosaic permission of divorce became a dead letter. There could not be practice under it among His disciples. So such Old Testament divorce is now a mere matter of antiquarian curiosity.

It may be of interest in passing to note that the drift of the Mosaic legislation was restrictive of a freedom of divorce that had been practiced before its enactment. It put in legal proceedings to bar the personal will of one of the parties. It recognized marriage as a social institution which should not be disrupted without reference to the rights of society in it. In this restrictive character "the law is become our tutor to bring us unto Christ" (Galatians 3:24). But here, as in numerous other instances, Christ went behind the enactments to primitive original principles whose recognition would make the law of none effect, because no practice was to be permitted under it. Thus the Old Testament is disposed of.

Of course what Jesus said will dominate the New. In fact, Jesus is the only author in the New Testament who has treated of divorce. It has been thought that Paul had the subject in hand. But we shall find on examination, further along, that he did not. We need then look nowhere but to Matthew 19 for the Scripture doctrine of divorce.

True, we have other reports of what Jesus said (Mark 10:2-12 Luke 16:18). But in Matthew 19 we have the fullest report, containing everything that is reported elsewhere and one or two important observations that the other writers have not included. Luke has only one verse where Matthew has ten. Luke's verse is in no necessary connection with context. It seems to be a mere memorandum among others of the spiritual or ethical teachings of Christ. Luke however caught the gist of the whole teaching about divorce in recording the prohibition to put away one wife and marry another. The records in Matthew 19 and Mark 10 cover one and the same occasion. But there is nothing in Mark that is not in Matthew; and the latter contains nearly a third more of text than the former. There is nothing, however, essential in Matthew that is not in Mark, save the clause "except for fornication." That exception will be treated further along. We seem to be justified then in saying that the total doctrine of the Scripture pertaining to divorce is contained in Matthew 19.

Attention must be called to the fact that, in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:27-32), Jesus treated of divorce, and that in every essential particular it agrees with the elaboration in Matthew 19. Jesus there as plainly as in the argument with the Pharisees put Moses' permission of divorce under ban; as plainly there declared the putting away of one partner to marry another person to be adultery. This may also be noticed, that the exception to the absolute prohibition is in the text of the Sermon on the Mount.

We have then a summary of the New Testament doctrine of divorce stated by Christ Himself as follows: "Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery" (Matthew 19:9). This puts Him in line with the ideal of the monogamic, indissoluble family which pervades the whole of the Old Testament.

1. The Family:

It may be well here to treat of the exception which Christ made in His rule to the indissolubility of marriage. It is very widely maintained in the Christian church that there should be no divorce for any cause whatever. This position is in plain contradiction to Christ's teaching in Matthew 15 and Matthew 19. One of the grounds adduced for this denial of divorce in case a partner is guilty of adultery is that Luke and Mark do not record the exception. It is a difficult matter to invade the psychology of writers who lived nearly two thousand years ago and tell why they did not include something in their text which someone else did in his. Neither Luke nor Mark were personal disciples of the Lord. They wrote second hand. Matthew was a personal disciple of Christ and has twice recorded the exception. It will be a new position in regard to judgment on human evidence when we put the silence of absentees in rank above the twice expressed report of one in all probability present-one known to be a close personal attendant.

This may be said: Matthew's record stands in ancient manuscript authority, Greek and also the Versions. And on this point let it be noted that the testimony of the manuscripts was up before the English and American Revisers, and they have deliberately reaffirmed the text of 1611 and given us the exception in Christ's rule in each place (Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:9). This makes the matter as nearly res adjudicata as can be done by human wisdom.

Let us consider the rationality of the exception. That feature has had scant attention from theologians and publicists, yet it will bear the closest scrutiny. In fact it is a key to much that is explanatory of the basic principle of the family. To begin with, the exception is not on its face an after-thought of some transcriber, but was called out by the very terms of the question of the Pharisees: "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?" This plainly called for a specification from Jesus of exceptions which he would allow to the rule against divorce. It is fortunate that the Pharisees asked the question in the form they did, for that put on Jesus the necessity of enumerating such exceptions as he would allow. He mentioned one, and but one in reply. That puts the matter of exceptions under the rule in logic: Expressio unius-exclusio alterius. All other pretenses for divorce were deliberately swept aside by Christ-a fact that should be remembered when other causes are sought to be foisted in alongside this one allowed by Christ. The question may come up, Whose insight is likely to be truest?

Why, then, will reason stand by this exception? Because adultery is per se destructive of monogamic family life. Whoever, married, is guilty of adultery has taken another person into family relation. Children may be born to that relation-are born to it. Not to allow divorce in such case is to force an innocent party in marriage to live in a polygamous state. There is the issue stated so plainly that "the wayfaring man need not err therein," and "he who runs may read," and "he who reads may run." It is the hand of an unerring Master that has made fornication a ground for divorce from the bond of matrimony and limited divorce to that single cause. Whichever way we depart from strict practice under the Savior's direction we land in polygamy. The society that allows by its statutes divorce for any other cause than the one that breaks the monogamic bond, is simply acting in aid of polygamy, consecutive if not contemporaneous.

Advocates of the freedom of divorce speak of the above view as "the ecclesiastical." That is an attempt to use the argument ad invidiam. The church of Christ held and holds its views, not because ecclesiastics taught it, but because Christ taught it, and that in His teaching we have a statement out from the righteousness, wisdom, insight and rationality of the all-wise God.

2. Paul:

Paul is the only other New Testament author besides Christ who has been supposed to treat of divorce. But a careful examination of Paul's writing will disclose the fact that he has nowhere discussed the question-for what cause or causes a man might put away his wife, or a woman her husband, with liberty of marriage to another person. If Paul has treated of divorce at all it is in 1 Corinthians 7. But even a careless reading of that chapter will disclose the fact that Paul is not discussing the question for what causes marriage might be disrupted, but the question of manners and morals in the relation. Paul has not modified Christ in any respect. It has been supposed that in 7:15 Paul has allowed divorce to a believing partner who has been deserted by one unbelieving, and so he has been sometimes understood as adding desertion to the exception Christ made as cause for divorce.

But Paul has not said in that verse or anywhere else that a Christian partner deserted by a heathen may be married to someone else. All he said is: "If the unbelieving departeth, let him depart: the brother or the sister is not under bondage (dedoulotai) in such cases: but God hath called us in peace." To say that a deserted partner "hath not been enslaved" is not to say that he or she may be remarried. What is meant is easily inferred from the spirit that dominates the whole chapter, and that is that everyone shall accept the situation in which God has called him just as he is. "Be quiet" is a direction that hovers over every situation. If you are married, so remain. If unmarried, so remain. If an unbelieving partner deserts, let him or her desert. So remain. "God hath called us in peace." Nothing can be more beautiful in the morals of the marriage relation than the direction given by Paul in this chapter for the conduct of all parties in marriage in all trials.

Many reasons might be given why Paul could not have given liberty of remarriage, besides the one that he did not in his text; but attention should be called to the fact that such an assumption of authority in divorce would soon have brought him into conflict with the Roman government. Paul's claim that he was a Roman citizen was of some value to himself. Would not some Roman citizen have claimed to scrutinize pretty closely Paul's right to issue a decree of divorce against him because he had "departed" from a wife who had become a Christian? There would be two sides to such divorces. Would not Paul, careful, shrewd, politic as he was, have known that, and have avoided an open rupture with a government that did not tolerate much interference with its laws? That neither Paul nor anyone else ever put such construction upon his language, is evidenced by the fact that there is no record in history of a single case where it was attempted for 400 years after Paul was in his grave, and the Roman Empire had for a century been Christian. Then we wait 400 years more before we find the suggestion repeated. That no use was ever made of such construction of Paul in the whole era of the adjustment of Christianity with heathenism is good evidence that it was never there to begin with. So we shall pass Paul as having in no respect modified the doctrine of divorce laid down by Christ in Matthew 19.

3. Remedies for Marriage Ills:

In all civilized countries the machinery of legislation and law can always be open for removal or relief of troubles in marriage without proceeding to its annulment. If a father is cruel to his children, we do not abolish the parental relation, but punish the father for his cruelty. If he deserts his children, we need not assist him to rear other children whom he can desert in turn, but we can punish him for his desertion. What can be done by law in case of parent and child can be done in case of husband and wife. By putting in absolute divorce (frequently for guilty and innocent alike) we invite the very evils we seek to cure. We make it the interest of a dissatisfied party to create a situation that a court will regard as intolerable, and so he or she may go free. Then by affording an easy way out of the troubles of married life we are inviting carelessness about entering marriage. We say by divorce statutes to a young woman: "If your husband deserts you, you may have another. If he is cruel, you may have another. If he fails to support you, you may have another. If he is drunken, you may have another. If he is incompatible or makes you unhappy, you may have another"-and yet others beyond these. When an easy road is thus made out of marriage, will there be proper caution about entering into marriage? By just as much as a crevice for relief of the miseries of married life is opened by divorce, by so much the flood gates are opened into those miseries. The more solemnly society is impressed that the door of marriage does not swing outward as well as inward the more of happiness and blessing will it find in the institution. SeeFAMILY.

C. Caverno



1. Subordinate Position of Woman:

Woman, among the Hebrews, as among most nations of antiquity, occupied a subordinate position. Though the Hebrew wife and mother was treated with more consideration than her sister in other lands, even in other Semitic countries, her position nevertheless was one of inferiority and subjection. The marriage relation from the standpoint of Hebrew legislation was looked upon very largely as a business affair, a mere question of property. A wife, nevertheless, was, indeed, in most homes in Israel, the husband's "most valued possession." And yet while this is true, the husband was unconditionally and unreservedly the head of the family in all domestic relations. His rights and prerogatives were manifest on every side. Nowhere is this more evident than in the matter of divorce. According to the laws of Moses a husband, under certain circumstances, might divorce his wife; on the other hand, if at all possible, it was certainly very difficult for a wife to put away her husband. Unfortunately a double standard of morality in matters pertaining to the sexes is, at least, as old as Moses (see Exodus 7-11).

2. Law of Divorce: Deuteronomy 24:1-4:

The Old Testament law concerning divorce, apparently quite clear, is recorded most fully in Deuteronomy 24:1. A perusal of the commentaries will, nevertheless, convince anyone that there are difficulties of interpretation. The careful reader will notice that the renderings of the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) differ materially. the King James Version reads in the second part of Deuteronomy 24:1: "then let him write a bill," etc., the Revised Version (British and American) has "that he shall write," etc., while the Hebrew original has neither "then" nor "that," but the simple conjunction "and." There is certainly no command in the words of Moses, but, on the other hand, a clear purpose to render the proceeding more difficult in the case of the husband. Moses' aim was "to regulate and thus to mitigate an evil which he could not extirpate." The evident purpose was, as far as possible, to favor the wife, and to protect her against an unceremonious expulsion from her home and children.

3. Marriage a Legal Contract:

As already suggested, marriage among the Hebrews, as among most Orientals, was more a legal contract than the result of love or affection. It would be, however, a great mistake to assume that deep love was not often present, for at all times the domestic relations of the Hebrew married couple have compared most favorably with those of any other people, ancient or modern. In its last analysis it was, nevertheless, a business transaction. The husband or his family had, as a rule, to pay a certain dowry to the parents or guardians of the betrothed before the marriage was consummated. A wife thus acquired could easily be regarded as a piece of property, which, without great difficulty, could be disposed of in case the husband, for any reason, were disposed to rid himself of an uncongenial companion and willing to forfeit the mohar which he had paid for his wife. The advantage was always with the husband, and yet a wife was not utterly helpless, for she, too, though practically without legal rights, could make herself so intolerably burdensome and hateful in the home that almost any husband would gladly avail himself of his prerogatives and write her a bill of divorcement. Thus, though a wife could not divorce her husband, she could force him to divorce her.

4. Divorce Applicable Only to Wives:

The following words of Professor Israel Abrahams, Cambridge, England, before "the Divorce Commission" (London, November 21, 1910), are to the point: "In all such cases where the wife was concerned as the moving party she could only demand that her husband should divorce her. The divorce was always from first to last, in Jewish law, the husband's act." The common term used in the Bible for divorce is shilluach 'ishshah, "the sending away of a wife" (Deuteronomy 22:19, 29). We never read of "the sending away of a husband." The feminine participle, gerushah, "the woman thrust out," is the term applied to a divorced woman. The masculine form is not found.

5. Process and Exceptions:

The Mosaic law apparently, on the side of the husband, made it as difficult as possible for him to secure a divorce. No man could unceremoniously and capriciously dismiss his wife without the semblance of a trial. In case one became dissatisfied with his wife,

(1) he had to write her a BILL OF DIVORCEMENT (which see) drawn up by some constituted legal authority and in due legal form. In the very nature of the case, such a tribunal would use moral suasion to induce an adjustment; and, failing in this, would see to it that the law in the case, whatever it might be, would be upheld.

(2) Such a bill or decree must be placed in the hand of the divorced wife.

(3) She must be forced to leave the premises of her former husband. Divorce was denied two classes of husbands:

(1) The man who had falsely accused his wife of antenuptial infidelity (Deuteronomy 22:13), and

(2) a person who had seduced a virgin (Deuteronomy 22:28 f). In addition, a heavy penalty had to be paid to the father of such damsels.

It is probable that a divorced wife who had not contracted a second marriage or had been guilty of adultery might be reunited to her husband. But in case she had married the second time she was forever barred from returning to her first husband, even if the second husband had divorced her or had died (Deuteronomy 24:3 f). Such a law would serve as an obstacle to hasty divorces. Divorces from the earliest times were common among the Hebrews. All rabbis agree that a separation, though not desirable, was quite lawful. The only source of dispute among them was as to what constituted a valid reason or just cause.

6. Grounds of Divorce (Doubtful Meaning of Deuteronomy 24:1):

The language in Deuteronomy 24:1 has always been in dispute. The Hebrew words, `erwath dabhar, on which a correct interpretation depends, are not easy of solution, though many exegetes, influenced possibly by some preconceived notion, pass over them quite flippantly. The phrase troubled the Jewish rabbis of olden times, as it does Jewish and Christian commentators and translators in our day. the King James Version renders the two words, "some uncleanness," and in the margin, "matter of nakedness." The latter, though a literal translation of the Hebrew, is quite unintelligible. the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version both have: "some unseemly thing." Professor Driver translates the same words "some indecency." The German the Revised Version (British and American) (Kautzsch) has "etwas Widerwartiges" ("something repulsive"). We know of no modern version which makes `erwath dabhar the equivalent of fornication or adultery. And, indeed, in the very nature of the case, we are forced to make the words apply to a minor fault or crime, for, by the Mosaic law, the penalty for adultery was death (Deuteronomy 22:20). It is, however, a question whether the extreme penalty was ever enforced. It is well known that at, and some time before, the time of our Saviour, there were two schools among the Jewish rabbis, that of Shammai and that of Hillel. Shammai and his followers maintained that 'erwath dabhar signified nothing less than unchastity or adultery, and argued that only this crime justified a man in divorcing his wife. Hillel and his disciples went to the other extreme. They placed great stress upon the words, "if she find no favor in his eyes" immediately preceding `erwath dabhar (Deuteronomy 24:1), and contended that divorce should be granted for the flimsiest reason: such as the spoiling of a dish either by burning or careless seasoning. Some of the rabbis boldly taught that a man had a perfect right to dismiss his wife, if he found another woman whom he liked better, or who was more beautiful (Mishnah, GiTTin, 14 10). Here are some other specifications taken from the same book: "The following women may be divorced: She who violates the Law of Moses, e.g. causes her husband to eat food which has not been tithed... She who vows, but does not keep her vows... She who goes out on the street with her hair loose, or spins in the street, or converses (flirts) with any man, or is a noisy woman. What is a noisy woman? It is one who speaks in her own house so loud that the neighbors may hear her." It would be easy to extend the list, for the Mishna and rabbinic writings are full of such laws.

From what has been said, it is clear that adultery was not the only valid reason for divorce. Besides, the word adultery had a peculiar significance in Jewish law, which recognized polygamy and concubinage as legitimate. Thus a Hebrew might have two or more wives or concubines, and might have intercourse with a slave or bondwoman, even if married, without being guilty of the crime of adultery (Leviticus 19:20), for adultery, according to Jewish law, was possible only when a man dishonored the "free wife" of a Hebrew (Leviticus 20:10).

Divorcement, Bill of:

This expression, found in Deuteronomy 24:1, 3 Isaiah 50:1 Jeremiah 3:8 is the translation of the Hebrew cepher kerithuth. The two words, literally rendered, signify a document or book of cutting off, i.e. a certificate of divorce given by a husband to a wife, so as to afford her the opportunity or privilege of marrying another man. The Hebrew term is rendered by the Septuagint biblion apostasion. This is also found in the New Testament (Mark 10:4). Matthew 5:31 has "writing of divorcement" in English Versions of the Bible, but Matthew 19:7 the King James Version has "writing," while the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version have "bill." The certificate of divorce is called geT, plural giTTin, in the Talmud. There is an entire chapter devoted to the subjects in the Mishna It is not positively known when the custom of writing bills of divorcement commenced, but there are references to such documents in the earliest Hebrew legislation. The fact that Joseph had in mind the putting away of his espoused wife, Mary, without the formality of a bill or at least of a public procedure proves that a decree was not regarded as absolutely necessary (Matthew 1:19). The following was the usual form of a decree:

On the ____ day of the week ____ in the month ____ in the year ____ from the beginning of the world, according to the common computation in the province of ____ I ____ the son of ____ by whatever name I may be known, of the town of ____ with entire consent of mind, and without any constraint, have divorced, dismissed and expelled thee ____ daughter of____by whatever name thou art called, of the town who hast been my wife hitherto; But now I have dismissed thee ____ the daughter of ____ by whatever name thou art called, of the town of ____ so as to be free at thy own disposal, to marry whomsoever thou pleasest, without hindrance from anyone, from this day for ever. Thou art therefore free for anyone (who would marry thee). Let this be thy bill of divorce from me, a writing of separation and expulsion, according to the law of Moses and Israel. ____, the son of ____, witness

Spiritual Application.

The Hebrew prophets regarded Yahweh not only as the father and king of the chosen people, and thus entitled to perfect obedience and loyalty on their part, but they conceived of Him as a husband married to Israel. Isaiah, speaking to his nation, says: "For thy Maker is thy husband; Yahweh of hosts is his name" (54:5). Jeremiah too makes use of similar language in the following: "Return, O backsliding children, saith Yahweh; for I am a husband unto you" (3:14). It is perfectly natural that New Testament writers should have regarded Christ's relation to His church under the same figure. Paul in 2 Corinthians says: "I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I espoused you to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ" (11:2); see also Matthew 9:15 John 3:29 Revelation 19:7. Any unfaithfulness or sin on the part of Israel was regarded as spiritual adultery, which necessarily broke off the spiritual ties, and divorced the nation from God (Isaiah 1:21 Ezekiel 16:22 Revelation 2:22). See also MARRIAGE.


Amram, Jewish Law of Divorce according to the Bible and Talmud, London, 1897; Abrahams, Jewish Life in the Middle Ages, London, 1896; Mackie, Bible Manners and Customs, London, 1898; The Mishna, Translated into English, De Sola and Raphall, London, 1843; Benzinger, Hebraische Archdalogie, Freiburg, 1894; Nowack, Lehrbuch der hebraischen Archdologie, 1894.

W. W. Davies



(1) The word is used adjectivally to denote seniority (Luke 15:25 1 Timothy 5:2).

(2) Referring to the Jewish elders of the synagogue, usually associated with the scribes and Pharisees, and New Testament passages cited in the previous article.

(3) It denotes certain persons appointed to hold office in the Christian church, and to exercise spiritual oversight over the flock entrusted to them. From the references in Acts 14:23; Acts 20:17 it may be inferred that the churches generally had elders appointed over them. That "elders" and "bishops" were in apostolic and sub-apostolic times the same, is now almost universally admitted; in all New Testament references their functions are identical. The most probable explanation of the difference of names is that "elder" refers mainly to the person, and "bishop" to the office; the name "elder" emphasizes what he is, while "bishop," that is "overseer," emphasizes what the elder or presbyter does.


A. C. Grant

1089. geuomai -- to taste, eat
... to taste, eat. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: geuomai Phonetic Spelling:
(ghyoo'-om-ahee) Short Definition: I taste, experience Definition: (a) I taste ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/1089.htm - 6k
Strong's Hebrew
2940. taam -- taste, judgment
... 2939, 2940. taam. 2941 . taste, judgment. Transliteration: taam Phonetic
Spelling: (tah'-am) Short Definition: taste. Word Origin ...
/hebrew/2940.htm - 6k

2938. taam -- to taste, perceive
... 2937, 2938. taam. 2939 . to taste, perceive. Transliteration: taam Phonetic
Spelling: (taw-am') Short Definition: taste. Word Origin a prim. ...
/hebrew/2938.htm - 6k

2942. teem -- taste, judgment, command
... 2941, 2942. teem. 2943 . taste, judgment, command. Transliteration:
teem Phonetic Spelling: (teh-ame') Short Definition: decree. ...
/hebrew/2942.htm - 6k

2441. chek -- palate, roof of the mouth, gums
... of the mouth, gums NASB Word Usage lips (1), mouth (6), palate (4), roof of its
mouth (1), roof of my mouth (1), roof of your mouth (1), speech (1), taste (3). ...
/hebrew/2441.htm - 6k

6310. peh -- mouth
... 5), proportionate (2), said* (1), say (1), settled* (1), so (1), sound (1), speech
(3), spoke (1), spoken* (1), spokesman (1), talking* (1), taste (1), terms (2 ...
/hebrew/6310.htm - 7k

2556. chamets -- to be sour or leavened
... A primitive root; to be pungent; ie In taste (sour, ie Literally fermented, or
figuratively, harsh), in color (dazzling) -- cruel (man), dyed, be grieved ...
/hebrew/2556.htm - 5k

2713. chaqar -- to search
... 1), found (2), investigated (2), make a search (1), pondered (1), probe (1), search
(8), searched (4), searches (1), sees through (1), sounded (1), taste (1). ...
/hebrew/2713.htm - 6k

35. abiyyonah -- the caperberry
... desire. From 'abah; provocative of desire; the caper berry (from its stimulative
taste) -- desire. see HEBREW 'abah. 34, 35. abiyyonah. 36 . Strong's Numbers
/hebrew/35.htm - 6k

2939. teem -- to feed
... make to eat, feed. (Aramaic) corresponding to ta'am; to taste; causatively to feed --
make to eat, feed. see HEBREW ta'am. 2938, 2939. teem. 2940 . ...
/hebrew/2939.htm - 6k

2785. chartsannim -- probably grape kernels, grape stones
... kernel. From charats; a sour grape (as sharp in taste) -- kernel. see HEBREW
charats. 2784, 2785. chartsannim. 2786 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/2785.htm - 6k


Of the Pleasures of Taste and Smell.
... the divine institutes Book VI. Of True Worship. Chap. XXII."Of the Pleasures
of Taste and Smell. But with regard to the pleasures ...
/.../lactantius/the divine institutes/chap xxii of the pleasures of.htm

Whether Temperance is About the Pleasures Proper to the Taste?
... OF TEMPERANCE (EIGHT ARTICLES) Whether temperance is about the pleasures proper
to the taste? Objection 1: It would seem that temperance ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether temperance is about the.htm

Under the Apple Tree. "I Sat Down under his Shadow with Great ...
... UNDER THE APPLE TREE."I sat down under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit
was sweet to my taste.""Song of Solomon ii. 3. UNDER THE APPLE TREE. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/spurgeon/till he come/under the apple tree i sat.htm

As in a Race Saw I the Disputers, the Children of Strife, [Trying] ...
... As in a race saw I the disputers, the children of strife, [trying] to taste fire,
to see the air, to handle the light: they were troubled at the gleaming, and ...
/.../ephraim/hymns and homilies of ephraim the syrian/hymn vii as in a.htm

Many Men Study the Same Things which have not the Taste Of
... THE THIRD CENTURY 41 Many men study the same things which have not the taste
of. Many men study the same things which have not the ...
/.../traherne/centuries of meditations/41 many men study the.htm

Interpretation of "Tasting of Death. "
... As then in the case of more common foods it is the practice at one time only to
taste them, and at another to eat of them more largely; so also, in the case of ...
/.../origens commentary on the gospel of matthew/33 interpretation of tasting of.htm

Of the Great Difference Between the Brightness of the Saints and ...
... But that they taste and know the Trinity in the Unity, and the Unity in the Trinity,
and know themselves united therewith, this is the highest and all ...
/.../john/the adornment of the spritual marriage/chapter xi of the great.htm

As the Appletree among the Trees of the Wood, So is My Beloved ...
... I sat down under the shadow of him whom I desired, and his fruit was sweet
to my taste. How much simplicity is there in this comparison! ...
/.../guyon/song of songs of solomon/3 as the appletree among.htm

Meaning of "Until. " no Limitation of Promise.
... since some one may think that the promise of the Saviour prescribes a limit of time
to their not tasting of death, namely, that they will not taste of death ...
/.../origen/origens commentary on the gospel of matthew/34 meaning of until no.htm

How Love Spreads Its Excellence Over the Other virtues, Perfecting ...
... trees always follow the graft, for if the graft be apple it will bear apples, if
cherry it will bear cherries; yet so that these fruits always taste of the ...
/.../francis/treatise on the love of god/chapter v how love spreads.htm

Taste (46 Occurrences)
... 1. (vt) To try by the touch; to handle; as, to taste a bow. ... 9. (vi) To have perception,
experience, or enjoyment; to partake; as, to taste of nature's bounty. ...
/t/taste.htm - 59k

Tasteless (4 Occurrences)
... 1. (a.) Having no taste; insipid; flat; as, tasteless fruit. 2. (a.) Destitute
of the sense of taste; or of good taste; as, a tasteless age. ...
/t/tasteless.htm - 7k

Tasted (18 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary (imp. & pp) of Taste. Multi-Version Concordance
Tasted (18 Occurrences). Matthew 27:34 They gave him sour ...
/t/tasted.htm - 11k

Relish (1 Occurrence)
... 1. (vt) To savor; to taste with pleasure; to partake of with gratification; hence,
to enjoy; to be pleased with or gratified by; to experience pleasure from; as ...
/r/relish.htm - 7k

Palate (15 Occurrences)
... 2. (n.) Relish; taste; liking; -- a sense originating in the mistaken notion that
the palate is the organ of taste. ... 5. (vt) To perceive by the taste. ...
/p/palate.htm - 10k

Manna (19 Occurrences)
... is described as "a small round thing," like the "hoar-frost on the ground," and
"like coriander seed," "of the colour of bdellium," and in taste "like wafers ...
/m/manna.htm - 21k

Savor (51 Occurrences)
... 1. (a.) That property of a thing which affects the organs of taste or smell; taste
and odor; flavor; relish; scent; as, the savor of an orange or a rose; an ...
/s/savor.htm - 28k

Flavor (2 Occurrences)
... 2. (n.) That quality of anything which affects the taste; that quality which gratifies
the palate; relish; zest; savor; as, the flavor of food or drink. ...
/f/flavor.htm - 7k

Foretaste (4 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (n.) A taste beforehand; enjoyment in advance;
anticipation. ... 3. (vt) To taste before another. Multi-Version Concordance ...
/f/foretaste.htm - 8k

Egg (3 Occurrences)
... Chickens were unknown in Palestine in the days of Job, so that his query concerning
the taste of the white of an egg might have referred to those of pigeons ...
/e/egg.htm - 10k

What does it mean to taste and see that the Lord is good in Psalm 34:8? | GotQuestions.org

Was Jesus' statement to the disciples in Luke 9:27 (also Matthew 16:28; Mark 9:1) incorrect? | GotQuestions.org

What is the meaning of bitter water in the Bible? | GotQuestions.org

Taste: Dictionary and Thesaurus | Clyx.com

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Taste (46 Occurrences)

Matthew 5:13
"*You* are the salt of the earth; but if salt has become tasteless, in what way can it regain its saltness? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown away and trodden on by the passers by.

Matthew 16:28
Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom."

Mark 9:1
He said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death until they see the Kingdom of God come with power."

Mark 9:50
Salt is a good thing, but if the salt should become tasteless, what will you use to give it saltness? Have salt within you and live at peace with one another."
(Root in WEY BBE)

Mark 14:25
I solemnly tell you that never again will I taste the produce of the vine till I shall drink the new wine in the Kingdom of God."

Luke 9:27
But I tell you the truth: There are some of those who stand here, who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Kingdom of God."

Luke 14:24
For I tell you that none of those men who were invited will taste of my supper.'"

Luke 14:34
Salt is good, but if the salt becomes flat and tasteless, with what do you season it?

John 8:52
Then the Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets; and you say,'If a man keeps my word, he will never taste of death.'

Acts 23:14
They came to the chief priests and the elders, and said, "We have bound ourselves under a great curse, to taste nothing until we have killed Paul.

1 Corinthians 9:7
What soldier ever serves at his own cost? Who plants a vineyard and yet does not eat any of the grapes? Or who tends a herd of cattle and yet does not taste their milk?

Colossians 2:21
"Don't handle, nor taste, nor touch"

Hebrews 2:9
But we see him who has been made a little lower than the angels, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God he should taste of death for everyone.

Hebrews 6:5
and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come,

Hebrews 11:25
Feeling that it was better to undergo pain with the people of God, than for a short time to have a taste of the pleasures of sin;

1 Peter 2:3
if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious:

Revelation 10:9
So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little book. "Take it," he said, "and eat the whole of it. You will find it bitter when you have eaten it, although in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey."

Genesis 25:28
Now Isaac's love was for Esau, because Esau's meat was greatly to his taste: but Rebekah had more love for Jacob.

Genesis 27:4
And make me food, good to the taste, such as is pleasing to me, and put it before me, so that I may have a meal and give you my blessing before death comes to me.

Genesis 27:9
Go to the flock and get me two fat young goats; and I will make of them a meal to your father's taste:

Genesis 27:14
So he went and got them and took them to his mother: and she made a meal to his father's taste.

Genesis 27:31
And he made ready a meal, good to the taste, and took it to his father, and said to him, Let my father get up and take of his son's meat, so that you may give me a blessing.

Exodus 16:31
The house of Israel called its name Manna, and it was like coriander seed, white; and its taste was like wafers with honey.

Numbers 11:5
Sweet is the memory of the fish we had in Egypt for nothing, and the fruit and green plants of every sort, sharp and pleasing to the taste:

Numbers 11:8
The people went around, gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in mortars, and boiled it in pots, and made cakes of it. Its taste was like the taste of fresh oil.

Judges 9:11
But the fig-tree said to them, Am I to give up my sweet taste and my good fruit and go waving over the trees?

1 Samuel 2:15
And more than this, before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was making the offering, Give me some of the flesh to be cooked for the priest; he has no taste for meat cooked in water, but would have you give it uncooked.

1 Samuel 14:24
The men of Israel were distressed that day; for Saul had adjured the people, saying, "Cursed is the man who eats any food until it is evening, and I am avenged of my enemies." So none of the people tasted food.

1 Samuel 14:43
Then Saul said to Jonathan, "Tell me what you have done!" Jonathan told him, and said, "I certainly did taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in my hand; and behold, I must die."

2 Samuel 3:35
All the people came to cause David to eat bread while it was yet day; but David swore, saying, "God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or anything else, until the sun goes down."

2 Samuel 19:35
I am this day eighty years old. Can I discern between good and bad? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be yet a burden to my lord the king?

2 Kings 7:2
Then the captain whose arm was supporting the king said to the man of God, Even if the Lord made windows in heaven, would such a thing be possible? And he said, Your eyes will see it, but you will not have a taste of the food.

2 Kings 7:19
And that captain said to the man of God, Even if the Lord made windows in heaven, would such a thing be possible? And he said to him, Your eyes will see it, but you will not have a taste of the food.

Job 6:6
Can that which has no flavor be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?

Job 6:30
Is there injustice on my tongue? Can't my taste discern mischievous things?

Job 12:11
Doesn't the ear try words, even as the palate tastes its food?

Job 27:2
"As God lives, who has taken away my right, the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter.
(See NIV)

Psalms 34:8
Oh taste and see that Yahweh is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Psalms 119:103
How sweet are your promises to my taste, more than honey to my mouth!

Proverbs 23:30
Those who are seated late over the wine: those who go looking for mixed wine.
(See NAS)

Proverbs 24:13
My son, eat honey, for it is good; the droppings of the honeycomb, which are sweet to your taste:

Song of Songs 2:3
As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, his fruit was sweet to my taste.

Song of Songs 4:16
Awake, north wind; and come, you south! Blow on my garden, that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and taste his precious fruits.

Isaiah 25:6
And in this mountain will the Lord of armies make for all peoples a feast of good things, a feast of wines long stored, of good things sweet to the taste, of wines long kept and tested.

Jeremiah 48:11
Moab has been at ease from his youth, and he has settled on his lees, and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither has he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remains in him, and his scent is not changed.

Jonah 3:7
He made a proclamation and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, "Let neither man nor animal, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, nor drink water;



Taste: The Sense of, Lost

Related Terms

Tasteless (4 Occurrences)

Tasted (18 Occurrences)

Relish (1 Occurrence)

Palate (15 Occurrences)

Manna (19 Occurrences)

Savor (51 Occurrences)

Flavor (2 Occurrences)

Foretaste (4 Occurrences)

Egg (3 Occurrences)

Disgust (18 Occurrences)

Apple-tree (3 Occurrences)

Cake (25 Occurrences)

Cooked (35 Occurrences)

Soft (36 Occurrences)

Tasty (7 Occurrences)

Fresh (41 Occurrences)

Standing (334 Occurrences)

Meal (288 Occurrences)

Cakes (65 Occurrences)

Crushed (199 Occurrences)

Apple (8 Occurrences)

Till (774 Occurrences)

Goes (472 Occurrences)

Oil-cakes (1 Occurrence)

Grind (12 Occurrences)

Gust (1 Occurrence)

Galbanum (1 Occurrence)

Wormwood (10 Occurrences)

Insipid (3 Occurrences)

Fancy (1 Occurrence)

Tasteful (6 Occurrences)

To (219938 Occurrences)

Rude (2 Occurrences)

Elegant (2 Occurrences)

Delicate (32 Occurrences)

Meats (9 Occurrences)

Mills (1 Occurrence)

Myrrh (22 Occurrences)

Millstones (6 Occurrences)

Mortar (16 Occurrences)

Moisture (8 Occurrences)

Mortars (1 Occurrence)

Pistachio (1 Occurrence)

Powder (14 Occurrences)

Purslane (1 Occurrence)

Purslain (1 Occurrence)

Pots (30 Occurrences)

Perverse (55 Occurrences)

Pans (19 Occurrences)

Baked (26 Occurrences)

Bitter (203 Occurrences)

Boiling (17 Occurrences)

Bittern (4 Occurrences)

Boiled (15 Occurrences)

Behavior (20 Occurrences)

Crushing (93 Occurrences)

Coriander (2 Occurrences)

Artist (1 Occurrence)

Acid (2 Occurrences)


Spice (25 Occurrences)

Seethed (2 Occurrences)

Sip (1 Occurrence)

Stand (542 Occurrences)

Wise (422 Occurrences)

Sharp (115 Occurrences)

Solemnly (62 Occurrences)

Certainly (415 Occurrences)

Pot (46 Occurrences)

Honey (62 Occurrences)

Hammering (7 Occurrences)

Olive (61 Occurrences)

Discern (49 Occurrences)

Meal-time (1 Occurrence)

Mealtime (1 Occurrence)

Truly (468 Occurrences)

Pan (26 Occurrences)

Meals (8 Occurrences)

Sweet (147 Occurrences)

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