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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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pḗ - kūl´yar : The Latin peculium means "private property," so that "peculiar" properly = "pertaining to the individual." In modern English the word has usually degenerated into a half-colloquial form for "extraordinary," but in Biblical English it is a thoroughly dignified term for "esp. one's own"; compare the "peculiar treasure" of the king in Ecclesiastes 2:8 (the King James Version). Hence, "peculiar people" (the King James Version Deuteronomy 14:2 , etc.) means a people especially possessed by God and particularly prized by Him. The word in the Old Testament (the King James Version Exodus 19:5 ; Deuteronomy 14:2 ; Deuteronomy 26:18 ; Psalm 135:4 ; Ecclesiastes 2:8 ) invariably represents סגלּה , ṣeghullāh , "property," an obscure word which Septuagint usually rendered by the equally obscure περιούσιος , perioúsios (apparently meaning "superabundant"), which in turn is quoted in Titus 2:14 . In Malachi 3:17 , however, Septuagint has περιποίησις , peripoı́ēsis , quoted in 1 Peter 2:9 . the English Revised Version in the New Testament substituted "own possession" in the two occurrences, but in the Old Testament kept "peculiar" and even extended its use (Deuteronomy 7:6 ; Malachi 3:17 ) to cover every occurrence of ṣeghullāh except in 1 Chronicles 29:3 ("treasure"). the American Standard Revised Version, on the contrary, has dropped "peculiar" altogether, using "treasure" in 1 Chronicles 29:3 ; Ecclesiastes 2:8 , and "own possession" elsewhere. the King James Version also has "peculiar commandments" (ἴδιος , ı́dios , "particular," the Revised Version (British and American) "several") in The Wisdom of Solomon 19:6, and the Revised Version (British and American) has "peculiar" where the King James Version has "special" in The Wisdom of Solomon 3:14 for ἐκλεκτή , eklektḗ , "chosen out."

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

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