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Morrish Bible Dictionary


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This term signifies 'being set free, brought back.' God having smitten the firstborn of the Egyptians, claimed all the firstborn of Israel, and received the Levites instead of them; but there not being an equivalent number of the Levites, the residue of the firstborn were redeemed by money: they were thus set free. Numbers 3:44-51 . So the land, or one who sold himself, could be redeemed. Leviticus 25:23,24,47,54 . The Israeliteswere redeemed out of Egypt by the mighty power of God. Exodus 15:13 . From thence the subject rises to the redemption of the soul or life, forfeited because of sin. Man cannot give to God a ransom for his brother: for the redemption of the soul is precious, or costly, and it (that is, redemption) ceaseth, or must be given up, for ever: that is, all thought of attempting to give a ransom must be relinquished — it is too costly. Psalm 49:7,8 .

In the N.T. there are two words translated 'redemption,' embracing different thoughts. The one is λυτρόω, λύτρωσις, 'to loose, a loosing, a loosing away,' hence deliverance by a ransom paid, redeemed.

The other word is ἐξαγοράζω, 'to buy as from the market.' Christ has redeemed believers from the curse of the law. Galatians 3:13 ; Galatians 4:5 . Christians are exhorted to be "redeeming the time," that is, buying or securing the opportunity. Ephesians 5:16 ; Colossians 4:5 . A kindred word, ἀγοράζω, is translated in the A.V. 'to buy,' except in Revelation 5:9 ; Revelation 14:3,4 , where it is rendered 'redeem,' but would be better 'buy.' The difference is important in such a passage as 2 Peter 2:1 , where it could not be said 'redeemed,' for those spoken of are such as deny Christ's rights of purchase, and bring on themselves swift destruction though they had been 'bought.' Christ 'bought' all, but only believers are 'redeemed.' Christians sometimes speak of 'universal redemption' without really meaning it, because they do not observe the difference between 'buying' and 'redeeming.' Ephesians 1:14 embraces both thoughts: "the redemption of the purchased possession."

Redemption is sometimes used in the sense of the right or title to redeem (Psalm 130:7 ; Romans 3:24 ); and this right God has righteously secured to Himself in Christ, and in virtue of it He presents Himself to man as a Justifier. Hence redemption was secured for God before man entered into the virtue of it. But believers have it now by faith, in the sense of forgiveness of sins, in Christ, where it is placed for God. Ephesians 1:7 . And in result redemption will extend to the body. Romans 8:23 ; Ephesians 4:30 . In application, the term redemption covers the power in which it is made effectual, as well as the ground or condition on which it is founded; this was set forth in type in the case of Israel.

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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Redemption '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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Tuesday, January 21st, 2020
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