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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Apple of the Eye

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ap ´'l : The eyeball, or globe of the eye, with pupil in center, called "apple" from its round shape. Its great value and careful protection by the eyelids automatically closing when there is the least possibility of danger made it the emblem of that which was most precious and jealously protected. The Hebrew terms for it were, 'ı̄shōn , diminutive of 'ı̄sh , "man," little man or mannikin , referring perhaps specially to the pupil , probably from "the little image one sees of himself when looking into another's pupil" (Davies' Lexicon ). "He kept him (Israel) as the apple of his eye" (Deuteronomy 32:10 ); "Keep me as the apple of the eye," literally, "as the apple, the daughter of the eye" (Psalm 17:8 ). "Keep my law (the Revised Version, margin "teaching") as the apple of thine eye" (Proverbs 7:2 ). Compare Proverbs 7:9 where it is used to denote what is the center (American Revised Version, "in the middle of the night"; the English Revised Version "in, the blackness of night"; margin "Hebrew pupil (of the eye)"); bābhāh perhaps an "opening," "gate"; others regard it as a mimetic word akin to Latin pupa , pupilla ("He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye," i.e. Yahweh's; Zechariah 2:8 ); bath -‛ayin , "daughter of the eye"; "Give thyself no respite, let not the apple of thine eye cease" (Lamentations 2:18 ), which means, either "sleep not," or "cease not to weep." κόρη , kórē , "young girl," "pupil of the eye": "He (the Lord) will keep the good deeds (the Revised Version (British and American) "bounty") of a man as the apple of the eye" (Ecclesiasticus 17:22); the Septuagint also has korē in all instances except Lamentations 2:18 , where it has θυγάτηρ , thugátēr , "daughter."

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Apple of the Eye'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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