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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Inwards, Inward Parts

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INWARDS, INWARD PARTS. 1. The former of these expressions is frequently found in EV [Note: English Version.] (Ex. and Lv.), meaning the entrails or bowels of the animals to be sacrificed according to the Levitical institutions ( Exodus 29:13 ; Exodus 29:22 , Leviticus 3:3 ; Leviticus 3:9 ; Leviticus 3:14 ; Leviticus 4:8 ; Leviticus 4:11 ; Leviticus 7:3 ; Leviticus 8:18 ; Leviticus 8:21 etc.). The same idea is found in Genesis 41:21 , where EV [Note: English Version.] has ‘had eaten them up,’ and LXX [Note: Septuagint.] renders ‘came into their belly’ (see AVm [Note: Authorized Version margin.] which gives the alternative ‘had come to the inward parts of them’; cf. also 1 Kings 17:21 AVm [Note: Authorized Version margin.] ). For the most part, however, the expression ‘inward parts’ is used in a metaphorical sense, to denote the contrast between the inward reality and the outward clothing of human character. Situated within the ‘inward parts’ is the capacity for wisdom ( Job 38:36 , see nevertheless EVm), truth ( Psalms 51:6 ), ethical knowledge, and moral renovation ( Jeremiah 31:33 , where ‘inward parts’ is almost synonymous with ‘heart,’ cf. Proverbs 20:30 ). Here, too, lie hidden the springs of active wickedness ( Psalms 5:9 ), and deceitful language ( Psalms 62:4 AVm [Note: Authorized Version margin.] ). The power of deceiving as to character and motives comes from man’s inherent ability to secrete, within the profound depths of the ‘innermost parts,’ his daily thoughts ( Proverbs 18:8 ; cf. Psalms 64:6 ). At the same time, these hidden designs are as an open book, beneath the bright light of a lamp, to the Lord ( Proverbs 20:27 ; cf., for a similar thought, Psalms 26:2 ; Psalms 7:9 , Jeremiah 11:20 , Revelation 2:23 etc.).

2. In the NT the expression is used only to denote the power of the hypocrites to deceive their fellow-men ( Luke 11:39 ; cf. Matthew 7:15 ; Matthew 23:28 ). The curious phrase ‘give for alms those things which are within’ ( Luke 11:41 ) may be taken as an incidental reference by Jesus to the necessity and the possibility of man’s inmost life being renewed and restored to a right relationship with God and men (cf. Isaiah 58:10 ). At least it is permissible to take the word rendered ‘the things which are within’ as equivalent to ‘the inward man,’ or ‘the inward parts’ (see Plummer, ICC [Note: CC International Critical Commentary.] , in loc. ; cf. Mark 7:18 f., Luke 16:9 ). It is not enough to give alms mechanically; the gift must be accompanied by the spontaneous bestowal of the giver’s self, as it were, to the receiver.

J. R. Willis.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Inwards, Inward Parts'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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