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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia


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Rabbinical term adopted from the Greek π α ρ ά κ λ η τ ό ς (= "advocate," "intercessor"): Targumic translation of (Job 16:20 , 33:23): "He who performs one good deed has gotten to himself one advocate [paraclete], and he who commits one transgression has gotten to himself one accuser" (Abot 4:11). "Whosoever is summoned before the court for capital punishment is saved only by powerful advocates [paracletes] such paracletes man has in repentance and good works, and if there are nine hundred and ninety-nine accusers and only one to plead for his exoneration he is saved" (Shab. 32a comp. Job 33:23-24 ). "The works of benevolence and mercy done by the people of Israel in this world become agents of peace and intercessors [paracletes] between them and their Father in heaven" (B. B. 10a Tos. Peah 4:21). The sin-offering is like the paraclete before God it intercedes for man and is followed by another offering, a "thank-offering for the pardon obtained" (Sifra, Meẓ ora' , 3:3 Tos. Parah 1:1). The two daily burnt offerings are called "the two paracletes" (Yer. Ber. 4:7b), and the four kinds of plants at Sukkot are termed "paracletes" for the year's rain (Yer. Ta' an. 1:63c).

The paraclete or intercessor created through each good deed is called "angel" (Ex. R. xxxii., with reference to Psalm 34:8 comp. Job 33:23— "an interceding angel," A. V. incorrectly translating "a messenger," "an interpreter"). In the sense of "Intercessor," the name "Paraclete" is given also to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament ( John 14:16,26 15:26 16:7 [A. V. incorrectly, "Comforter"] I John 2:1 [A. V. "advocate"]), just as the Midrash calls the Holy Spirit "Synegor," which is the same as "Paraclete" (Lev. R. 6:1 Deut. R. 3:12 ). In the same sense Philo speaks of the "Logos" ("De Vita Mosis," iii., § 14) as the "Paraclete" who is to procure for the high priest forgiveness of sins, just as he uses the term "paraclete" elsewhere in the sense of "advocate" and "intercessor" ("In Flaccum," § § 3,4 "De Opificiis Mundi," § 6: "God is in no need of an ' intercessor,' " i.e. , a helper).

Bibliography : Cheyne, Encyc. Bibl. Levy, Neuhebr. Wö rterb. Kohut. Aruch Completum , s.v. Taylor, Sayings of the Jewish Fathers , 1897, p. 69, note 18.K.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Paraclete'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901.

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