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Bible Dictionaries

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types


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The word "heart" is used in the Scriptures to indicate many attitudes of the mind and many various kinds of affections and reactions. It is described as being deceitful in Jeremiah 17:9. This evidently means that it will lead us astray by its feelings and its attitudes so that we must not trust in our own desires, but rather be led by the Word of GOD.

We read that the Lord searches the heart, Jeremiah 17:10. By this is indicated that the Lord examines our motives, desires and feelings to see if they agree with His will.

In Joshua 24:23 we read about the heart that is inclined to the Lord.

Our Lord spoke of being "in the heart of the earth." Matthew 12:40. This does not refer to the grave which is on the surface of the earth. It refers to hell, which is actually in the center of this earth. The Lord JESUS did go down to that part of hell where the Old Testament saints were kept in conscious comfort until the Lord JESUS would shed His Blood for them. After Calvary, He went down into this place and "led captivity captive." They were now ready to go into GOD's presence because His Blood had blotted out their sins. The blood of the sacrifices which they had brought only covered their sins.

There is an honest and good heart described in Luke 8:15. This refers to that sweet attitude of confidence and trust in GOD wherein the person listens with a hunger and a thirst for the revelation of GOD's will through His Word. It indicates that this person loves to receive GOD's instructions, and to accept GOD's provisions.

A broken heart is described in Psalm 34:18, and Psalm 51:17. By this expression is meant that deep grief has fallen upon that friend, tears have flowed, the shadows have fallen, and grief has stricken the spirit.

In Hebrews 3:12 we read of an "evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God." Those who are afflicted in this way are those who doubt GOD, refuse to believe His promise, and seek relief from some other source. They do not believe that GOD is a living Person who will actually work on their behalf.

At the end of the Old Testament in Malachi 4:6, we read of a heart that is turned unto the Lord. This is a work of the Spirit of GOD in causing the mind and the desire of the person to come back to GOD from paths of disobedience and sin.

The stony heart is described in Ezekiel 11:19, and chapter 36:26. This describes the person who steadfastly and stubbornly refuses to believe GOD's Word, and will not have the authority of GOD in his life. He is not moved by any preaching, nor stirred by any invitation. The Word of GOD makes no impression on his soul.

The heart that fails describes that one who is overcome with fear, horror and despair. He has no strength left for the conflict. He is made weak. He seems to be helpless and hopeless. This heart is described in1Sa17:32, and in Luke 21:26.

We read in2Co3:3 of the fleshy heart. This passage really refers to the physical heart which is made of flesh. Somehow and in some mysterious way the Spirit of GOD works in our souls to bring about deep feelings of worship, love and devotion. One really does feel it in the bosom when those emotions arise.

The understanding heart is mentioned in1Ki3:9,12. The thought is that there is a deep and confiding trustful interest in GOD and in His Word. The figure is in contrast with a simple, mental knowledge which does not affect the life nor the actions.

The expression found in Luke 24:25 "slow of heart" refers to, that attitude of the heart wherein the person questions the truth of GOD's statements, and hesitates about believing in the Word and work of CHRIST JESUS.

One miracle of GOD's grace is found in the expression "the multitude was of one heart."

Acts 4:32. By this we understand that all this great crowd thought alike, felt alike, acted alike, and planned alike. What a wonderful church this would make. The expression "lay it to heart" describes that attitude in which one will accept the Word that he hears, and will apply it to his own soul. He will make the message a personal message to his own self, and will seek to act upon it. This is true in Ecclesiastes 7:2; Isaiah 47:7; Malachi 2:2.

Genesis 6:6 (a) This represents GOD's innermost feelings in regard to His dealings and relationships with men.

Job 23:16 (a) The troubles and sorrows that had come upon Job caused him to be very tender and soft in his spirit so that there was no pride, hardness, nor self-sufficiency in his heart.

Proverbs 16:1 (a) By this figure is represented the feelings and the desires of men.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 (a) This type represents the purposes and the desires which actuate the thoughts and actions of men.

Mark 7:21 (a) This figure represents the soul and mind of a human being, his innermost self, his real self.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Watson, Walter. Entry for 'Heart'. Wilson's Dictoinary of Bible Types. 1957.

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