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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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CUP . 1. In OT the rendering of various words, the precise distinction between which, either as to form or use, is unknown to us. The usual word is kôs , the ordinary drinking-vessel of rich ( Genesis 40:11 ; Genesis 40:13 ; Genesis 40:21 ) and poor ( 2 Samuel 12:3 ) alike, the material of which varied, no doubt, with the rank and wealth of the owner. Joseph’s divining cup ( gâbhîa’ , Genesis 44:2 ff.) was of silver, and, we may infer, of elaborate workmanship, since the same word is used for the bowls (AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ) or cups (RV [Note: Revised Version.] ), i.e. the flower-shaped ornamentation, on the candlestick of the Tabernacle. That the gâbhîa’ was larger than the kôs is clear from Jeremiah 35:5 . The kĕsâvôth of 1 Chronicles 28:17 were more probably flagons , as RV [Note: Revised Version.] in Exodus 25:29 ; Exodus 37:16 (but Numbers 4:7 RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘cups’). The ’aggân ( Isaiah 22:24 ) was rather a basin , as Exodus 24:6 , than a cup (EV [Note: English Version.] ).

In NT potçrion is the corresponding name of the ordinary drinking-cup (water Matthew 10:42 etc., wine Matthew 23:25 etc.). The ‘cup of blessing’ ( 1 Corinthians 10:16 ) is so named from the kôs habberâkhah of the Jewish Passover (wh. see, also Eucharist).

2. The word ‘cup’ has received an extended figurative application in both OT and NT. ( a ) As in various other literatures, ‘cup’ stands, esp. in Psalms, for the happy fortune or experience of one’s earthly lot, mankind being thought of as receiving this lot from the hand of God, as the guest receives the wine-cup from the hand of his host ( Psalms 16:5 ; Psalms 23:5 ; Psalms 73:10 etc.). But also, conversely, for the bitter lot of the wicked, Psalms 11:6 (cf ( c ) below), and in particular for the sufferings of Jesus Christ, Matthew 20:22-23 , Mark 10:38-39 ; Mark 14:36 , Luke 22:42 , John 18:11 . ( b ) Another figure is the ‘cup of salvation’ (lit. ‘of deliverances’), Psalms 116:13 . The reference is to the wine of the thank-offerings, part of the ritual of which was the festal meal before J″ [Note: Jahweh.] (cf. vv. Psalms 116:14 a, Psalms 116:17 ff.). ( c ) By a still bolder figure the punitive wrath of the offended Deity is spoken of as a cup which the guilty, Israelites and heathen alike, must drain to the dregs. So Jeremiah 25:15 ff. (the wine-cup [of] fury), Ezekiel 23:32-34 , Isaiah 51:17 ff. (‘the cup of trembling,’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘staggering’), Zechariah 12:2 (RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘cup of reeling’), Psalms 75:8 , Revelation 14:10 ; Revelation 16:19 ; Revelation 18:6 , for all which see the commentaries. ( d ) Lastly, we have ‘the cup of consolation’ offered to the mourners after the funeral-rites, Jeremiah 16:7 (cf. Proverbs 31:6 ).

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Cup'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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