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The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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We meet with this word but once in the whole Bible, namely, Matthew 23:5. Our blessed Lord condemned the Jews for making broad their phylacteries. It should seem that the Jews had a superstition, that by wearing certain amulets or borders with words of Scripture upon them, they would act like so many charms, and preserve them from danger. The word phylacteries, which is derived from the Greek, means to preserve. The Jews, it is said by some, justified this from what was commanded in Scripture. "And it shall be for a sign unto thee, upon thine head, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord's law may be in their mouth." (Exodus 33:3) But had the Jews observed the pure sense of this precept, it was their wonderful deliverance from Egypt that was to be the memorial, and not the preservation from future dangers to which this command had respect. It should rather seem, therefore, that that natural proneness the children of Israel had to imitate their idolatrous neighbours, tempted them to do as the heathen did, whose superstition is well known to have been of this kind; though Israel in the midst of their using charms like them, still had respect to words of Scripture. That this was the case, seems highly probable, in that the Lord Jesus reproved them for it. See Frontlets

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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Phylacteries'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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Thursday, May 28th, 2020
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