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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Amen

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-men ´ (in ritual speech and in singing a-men', a'men) (אמן , 'āmēn ; ἀμήν , amḗn , = "truly," "verily"): Is derived from the reflexive form of a verb meaning "to be firm," or "to prop." It occurs twice as a noun in Isaiah 65:16 , where we have (the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American)) "God of truth." This rendering implies the pointing 'ōmēn or 'ēmūn i.e. "truth," or "faithfulness," a reading actually suggested by Cheyne and adopted by others. "Amen" is generally used as an adverb of assent or confirmation - fiat , "so let it be." In Jeremiah 28:6 the prophet endorses with it the words of Hananiah. Amen is employed when an individual or the whole nation confirms a covenant or oath recited in their presence ( Numbers 5:22 ; Deuteronomy 27:15 ; Nehemiah 5:13 , etc.). It also occurs at the close of a psalm or book of psalms, or of a prayer.

That "Amen" was appended to the doxology in the early church is evident both from Paul and Rev, and here again it took the form of a response by the hearers. The ritual of the installation of the Lamb (Revelation 5:6-14 ) concludes with the Amen of the four beasts, and the four and twenty elders. It is also spoken after "Yea: I come quickly" (Revelation 22:20 ). And that Revelation reflects the practice of the church on earth, and not merely of an ideal, ascended community in heaven, may be concluded from 1 Corinthians 14:16 , whence we gather that the lay brethren were expected to say "Amen" to the address. (See Weizsäcker's The Apostolic Age of the Christian Church , English translation, II, 289.)


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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Amen'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/isb/a/amen.html. 1915.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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