American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
That is, a curse, a ban, signifies properly something set apart, separated, devoted. It is understood principally to denote the absolute, irrevocable, and entire separation of a person from the communion of the faithful, or from the number of the living, or from the privileges of society; or the devoting of any man, animal, city or thing, to be extirpated, destroyed, consumed, and, as it were, annihilated, Leviticus 27:1-34 . Thus Jericho, Joshua 6:17-21 , and Achan were accursed, Joshua 7:1-25 .
Another kind of anathema, very peculiarly expressed, occurs 1 Corinthians 16:22 : "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ let him be Anathema, Maranatha." This last word is made up of two Syriac words, signifying, "The Lord cometh," that is, the Lord will surely come, and will execute this curse, by condemning those who love him not. At the same time, the opposite is also implied, that is, the Lord cometh also to reward those who love him. See EXCOMMUNICATION .
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