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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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אמן , in Hebrew, signifies true, faithful, certain. It is used likewise in affirmation; and was often thus employed by our Saviour: "Amen, amen," that is, "Verily, verily." It is also understood as expressing a wish, "Amen! so be it!" or an affirmation, "Amen, yes, I believe it:" Numbers 5:22 . She shall answer, "Amen! amen!" Deuteronomy 27:15-17 , &c. "All the people shall answer, Amen! amen!" 1 Corinthians 14:16 . "How shall he who occupieth the place of the unlearned, say, Amen! at thy giving of thanks? seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest." "The promises of God are Amen in Christ;" that is, certain, confirmed, granted, 2 Corinthians 1:20 . The Hebrews end the five books of Psalms, according to their distribution of them, with "Amen, amen;" which the Septuagint translate, Γενοιτο , γενοιτο , and the Latins, Fiat, fiat. The Gospels, &c, are ended with AMEN. The Greek, Latin, and other churches, preserve this word in their prayers, as well as alleluia and hosanna. At the conclusion of the public prayers, the people anciently answered with a loud voice, "Amen!" and Jerom says, that, at Rome, when the people answered, "Amen!" the sound was like a clap of thunder, in similitudinem caelestis tonitrui Amen reboat. [Amen rings again like a peal of thunder.] The Jews assert that the gates of heaven are opened to him who answers, "Amen!" with all his might.

The Jewish doctors give three rules for pronouncing the word:

1. That it be not pronounced too hastily and rapidly, but with a grave and distinct voice.

2. That it be not louder than the tone of him that blesses.

3. That it be expressed in faith, with a certain persuasion that God would bless them, and hear their prayers.

AMEN is a title of our Lord, "The Amen, the true and faithful witness,"

Revelation 1:14 .

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Amen'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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Sunday, October 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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