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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Oppression

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OPPRESSION.—The word does not occur in the Gospels or in connexion with the activity of Jesus except in the verbal form in Acts 10:38 (‘Jesus of Nazareth … went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed [καταδυναστευομένους] of the devil’). In ‘breaking the rod of the oppressor,’ Jesus delivered men not only from sin, but from sorrow and sickness (Luke 4:18, Matthew 11:4 f.), from the yoke of legalism (Luke 11:46), the tyranny of worldly circumstance (Luke 12:4-7), the fear of death (Acts 2:15), etc. Oppression of guilt weighing upon the sinner’s soul was a condition which never failed specially to elicit ‘Christ’s sympathy and pity (Matthew 11:28-30 according to the interpretation that commends itself to the present writer). The sense of this oppression could not exist without an earnest desire to be rid of the burden, and it was this desire that was a sign of a tendency towards a higher life.

It was the oppression of sin that Christ came to take away, and not the yoke of the Roman government which proved so galling to the Jewish nation after their glorious past. It was partly the mistake about the object of His mission that stirred up against Christ the opposition which is so marked a feature in the Gospels. See Opposition.

C. H. Prichard.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Oppression'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/o/oppression.html. 1906-1918.

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