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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Line

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LINE. 1. qaw , which is of most frequent occurrence, is properly a measuring line ( e.g . Jeremiah 31:39 , Ezekiel 47:3 , Zechariah 1:16 ). Figuratively it denotes a rule of life (cf. ‘precept upon precept, line upon line’ of Isaiah’s teaching, Isaiah 28:10 ). Psalms 19:4 their line is gone out through all the earth’ has been variously interpreted. The LXX [Note: Septuagint.] , taking the line to be a resonant cord, rendered by phthonggos ‘a musical sound,’ and St. Paul quotes that version in Romans 10:18 (EV [Note: English Version.] ‘sound’). More probably, however, the idea is still that of a measuring line. Cf. Perowne ( Psalms, in toc. ), who gives ‘line or boundary’ ‘as the heavens seems to measure and mark out the earth (whence the term horizon or boundary).’ 2 . hebhel , a rope or cord, esp. a measuring cord used in measuring and dividing land (cf. Psalms 78:55 , Amos 7:17 , Zechariah 2:1 ). ‘The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places’ ( Psalms 16:6 ) alludes to the marking out of plots of land with a measuring cord. 3 . tiqwâh (fr. the same root as qaw ) is used of the cord of scarlet thread that Rahab bound in the window ( Joshua 2:18; Joshua 2:21 ). 4. chût , properly a sewing-thread, only in 1 Kings 7:15; 1 Kings 7:5 . pâthîl , a string or cord, only in Ezekiel 40:3; Ezekiel 40:6 . seredh in Isaiah 44:13 is misrendered ‘line,’ for which RV [Note: Revised Version.] gives ‘ pencil ,’ RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘red ochre.’ 7 . In NT ‘line’ occurs only in AV [Note: Authorized Version.] of 2 Corinthians 10:18 . The Gr. word is kanôn , a measuring rod (AVm [Note: Authorized Version margin.] ‘rule,’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘province,’ RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘limit’), and so, figuratively, a rule. Probably the Apostle’s idea is that of a measuring line, as defining the boundary between his own province and another’s.

J. C. Lambert.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Line'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/l/line.html. 1909.

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