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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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This word is neither Hebrew nor Syriac, and some have thought that the transcribers have not exactly copied it, and that the word was benereen βενερεεν , which expresses the sound of the Hebrew of the phrase, "sons of thunder." Parkhurst judges the word to be the Galilean pronunciation of the Hebrew בנו רעש expressed in Greek letters. Now, רעש properly signifies a violent trembling or commotion, and may therefore be well rendered by βροντη , thunder, which is a violent commotion in the air; so, vice versa, any violent commotion is figuratively, and not unusually, in all languages, called thunder. When our Saviour named the sons of Zebedee, Boanerges, he perhaps had an eye to that prophecy of Haggai, "Yet once, and I will shake the heavens and the earth," Haggai 2:6 ; which is, by the Apostle to the Hebrews 12:26 , applied to the great alteration made in the economy of the Jews by the publication of the Gospel. The name Boanerges, therefore, given to James and John, imports that they should be eminent instruments in accomplishing the wondrous change, and should, like an earthquake or thunder, mightily bear down all opposition, by their inspired preaching and miraculous powers. That it does not relate to their mode of preaching is certain; for that clearly appears to have been calmly argumentative, and sweetly, persuasive —the very reverse of what is usually called a thundering ministry.

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

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Monday, October 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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