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Divide

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words

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A. Verb.

Châlaq (חָלַק, Strong's #2505), “to divide, share, plunder, assign, distribute.” Used throughout the history of Hebrew, this verb is probably reflected in the ancient Akkadian term for “field” i.e., that which is divided. The word is found approximately 60 times in the Hebrew Old Testament; it appears for the first time in Gen. 14:15, where it is said that Abram “divided his forces” (RSV) as he rescued his nephew Lot from the enemy. Apparently, Abram was “assigning” different responsibilities to his troops as part of his strategy. The sense of “dividing” or “allotting” is found in Deut. 4:19, where the sun, moon, and stars are said to have been “allotted” to all peoples by God. A similar use is seen in Deut. 29:26, where God is said not to have “allotted” false gods to His people.

Châlaq is used in the legal sense of “sharing” an inheritance in Prov. 17:2. The word is used three times in reference to “sharing” the spoils of war in 1 Sam. 30:24. This verb describes the “division” of the people of Israel, as one half followed Tibni and the other half followed Omri (1 Kings 16:21). The word châlaq is also important in the description of the “dividing” of the land of Canaan among the various tribes and clans (Num. 26:52-55).

B. Noun.

Chêleq (חֵלֶק, Strong's #2506), “portion; territory.” The noun form of chêleq is used often in the biblical text. It has a variety of meanings, such as “booty” of war (Gen. 14:24), a “portion” of food (Lev. 6:17), a “tract” of land (Josh. 18:5), a spiritual “possession” or blessing (Ps. 73:26), and a chosen “pattern” or “life-style” (Ps. 50:18).

Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Divide'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​vot/​d/divide.html. 1940.
 
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