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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Seventy Times

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1: ἑβδομηκοντάκις

(Strong's #1441 — Adverb — hebdomekontakis — heb-dom-ay-kon-tak-is' )

occurs in Matthew 18:22 , where it is followed by hepta, "seven," "seventy times seven;" RV marg. has "seventy times and seven," which many have regarded as the meaning; cp. Genesis 4:24 (Winer, in Winer-Moulton, Gram., p. 314, remarks that while this would be the strict meaning, it "would not suit the passage;" his translator, W. F. Moulton, in a footnote, expresses the opinion that it would. So also J.H. Moulton, Prol., p. 98, says: "A definite allusion to the Genesis story is highly probable: Jesus pointedly sets against the natural man's craving for seventy-sevenfold revenge the spiritual man's ambition to exercise the privilege of seventy-sevenfold forgiveness").

The Lord's reply "until seventy times seven" was indicative of completeness, the absence of any limit, and was designed to turn away Peter's mind from a merely numerical standard. God's forgiveness is limitless; so should man's be.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Seventy Times'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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