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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Path; Pathway

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path , path´wā ( ארח , 'ōraḥ , נתיבה , nethı̄bhāh , etc.; τρίβος , trı́bos , τροχιά , trochiá ):

(1) In the Old Testament. - I n addition to its obvious literal sense (e.g. Genesis 49:17 ), it has very frequently a figurative meaning. (a ) As applied to man, a course or manner of life: (i) man's outward lot in life, his career or destiny, whether of the just man (Isaiah 26:7 ) or of the ungodly (Job 8:13 ); (ii) frequently in an ethical sense, of men's conduct or inward life-purpose, whether it be good or evil (e.g. Proverbs 2:15 ), generally accompanied by a term defining the moral quality of the conduct, either an abstract noun (e.g. "the paths of uprightness," Proverbs 2:13 ; Proverbs 4:11 ; "the paths of justice," Proverbs 2:8 ; Isaiah 40:14 ; "the paths of life," Psalm 16:11 ; Proverbs 2:19 ), or a concrete adjective or noun (e.g. "crooked paths," Isaiah 59:8 ; "the paths of the righteous," Proverbs 2:20 ; Proverbs 4:18 ). (b ) The term is also applied to God either (i) of the methods of the Divine Providence, God's dealings with men (Psalm 25:10 ; Psalm 65:11 ), or (ii) of the principles and maxims of religion and morality divinely revealed to man ("Show me thy ways, O Y ahweh, teach me thy paths," Psalm 25:4 ; compare Isaiah 2:3 ).

(2) In the Apocrypha we have the "paths" of Wisdom ( tribos , Baruch 3:21,31 ); the "path" shown to men by the Law ( semita , 2 Esdras 14:22); and a man's "paths" ( tribos , Tobit 4:10 ).

(3) In the New Testament the word occurs only in Matthew 3:3 and parallel passages Mark 1:3 ; Luke 3:4 (of the forerunner's work), and in Hebrews 12:13 (in the Old Testament ethical sense).

Pathway occurs in Proverbs 12:28 ( derekh nethı̄bhāh ) and The Wisdom of Solomon 5:10 (atrapós ). See WAY .

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

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