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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Pass; Passage; Passenger

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pas , pas´ā́j , pas´en - jẽr : "To pass" bears different meanings and corresponds to various words in Hebrew and Greek. It occurs frequently in the phrase "and it came to pass" (literally, "and it was"). This is simply a Hebrew idiom linking together the different paragraphs of a continuous narrative. As a rule "pass" renders the Hebrew word עבר , ‛ābhar . This verb has various meanings, e.g. "to pass over" a stream ( Genesis 31:21 ); "to cross" a boundary (Numbers 20:17 ); "to pass through," or "traverse," a country (Numbers 21:22 ); "to pass on" (Genesis 18:5 ); "to pass away," "cease to exist" (Job 30:15 ). The word is used metaphorically, "to pass over," "overstep," "transgress" (Numbers 14:41 ). In the causative form the verb is used in the phrase "to cause to pass through fire" (Deuteronomy 18:10 ; 2 Kings 16:3 ). In the King James Version "pass" sometimes has the force of "surpass," "exceed," e.g. 2 Chronicles 9:22 , "King Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom"; compare also Ephesians 3:19 , "the love of Christ which passeth knowledge," and Philippians 4:7 , "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding."

Passage in the King James Version renders מעבר , ma‛ăbhār , or מעברה , ma‛ăbhārāh . The former word denotes (1) the ford of a river ( Genesis 32:23 King James Version margin); (2) the pass of a mountain range ( 1 Samuel 13:23 ). In the only other instance of the use of the shorter form (Isaiah 30:32 margin), the King James Version renders "where the grounded staff shall pass." A more correct translation would be, "and every sweep (or stroke) of the appointed staff." The longer form bears both meanings, namely, "ford" (e.g. Joshua 2:7 ; Judges 3:28 , etc.) and "pass" (1 Samuel 14:4 ; Isaiah 10:29 ). In Joshua 22:11 , the rendering 'towards the region opposite the children of Israel' would be more correct than the King James Version, "at the passage of the children of Israel." In English Versions of the Bible of Numbers 20:21 "passage" seems to mean "right of way," and renders the infinitive of the Hebrew verb. In Jeremiah 22:20 the King James Version the word rendered "passage" should be translated "from Abarim" (as in the Revised Version (British and American)), a mountain range in Moab, Northeast of the Dead Sea.

Passenger in the King James Version means a "passer-by." In Ezekiel 39:11 , Ezekiel 39:14 , Ezekiel 39:15 where the word occurs 4 times in the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) translates "them that pass through."

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Pass; Passage; Passenger'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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