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Bible Lexicons

Girdlestone's Synonyms of the Old Testament

Breach of Trust

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The word Maal (מעל ) probably points to the unfaithfulness and treachery of sin, and represents wrong-doing as a breach of trust, whether between man and man or between man and God. It is rendered trespass about thirty times, transgression fifteen times, and falsehood in Job 21:34 in the first passage where it occurs (Leviticus 5:15), it refers to the trespass committed in ignorance; in the second, to any sin committed against one's neighbour (Leviticus 6:2) in Joshua 7:1; Joshua 22:20, it is used of Achan's sin; the building of the altar on the east of Jordan was also described by this word (Joshua 22:16); it is applied to Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:18); to Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:22); to Manasseh (2 Chronicles 33:19); and to the people who married heathen wives (Ezra 9:2; Ezra 9:4; Nehemiah 13:27). Lastly, it is found in Proverbs 16:10, where we read that 'the king's mouth transgresseth not in judgment.' The breach of trust denoted by this word was regarded by God in a very serious light. See Ezekiel 14:13; Ezekiel 15:8; Ezekiel 18:24; Ezekiel 39:23. The re as on of this is manifest. The persons guilty of sin in this particular aspect were chiefly persons in authority. A certain trust had been reposed in them, which they had abused. Much had been given to them, and much was required of them. The nation of Israel as a whole were put in a position of high privilege and consequent responsibility, hence their departure from the way of God was marked specially by this word as an act of unfaithfulness. The word Bagad (בגד ), to deal treacherously, is sometimes used in the same sense.

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Girdlestone, Robert Baker. Entry for 'Breach of Trust'. Synonyms of the Old Testament.
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