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Holman Bible Dictionary


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The inability to hear. According to the Old Testament God makes persons deaf or hearing (Exodus 4:11 ). The deaf were protected by the Mosaic law (Leviticus 19:14 ). The inability to hear is used as an image for waiting on God rather than resisting attackers (Psalm 38:13-14 ). Deafness is also symbolic of inattentiveness to and rebellion against God (Isaiah 42:18-20 ; Isaiah 43:8 ). Part of the future hope of the prophets is that the deaf will hear (Isaiah 42:18-20 ; Isaiah 43:8 ). The enemies of Israel would experience deafness in response to God's restoration of Israel (Micah 7:16 ).

The New Testament interprets Jesus' healing of the deaf as evidence of Jesus's Messiahship (Matthew 11:5 ; Luke 7:22 ). Strangely, only Mark narrated the healing of a deaf person (Mark 7:33-35 ; compare Mark 9:14-29 ). Mark 9:25 attributes deafness to an evil spirit. The parallel narratives ( Matthew 17:14-19 ; Luke 9:37-42 ) emphasize epilectic-like fits rather than deafness.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Deafness'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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