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Berean Expositor Volume 2 & 3.
The Wages of Sin
"Not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth,
but which the Holy Spirit teacheth" (I Cor. 2: 13).
On page 111 of Volume I, we commenced the consideration of the subject of eternal
punishment, giving room for some quotations from the writings of the exponents of the
doctrine of eternal conscious suffering, and adding a few words upon some texts often
misquoted, misinterpreted or mis-applied in the writings and discourses of orthodox
believers. We now desire to leave the traditions of men and the phraseology of the
schools, to consider the words of God Himself upon this great subject.
As we are all aware, the Bible is written in Hebrew and Greek, from which the various
translations have been made. It is utter folly to bolster up arguments and doctrines by
words occurring in a translation, our only appeal and absolute authority must be the
words of the original Scriptures. We therefore propose to bring under review the various
words used in the Scriptures, seeking to explain their meaning not merely from the
dictionaries or lexicons, but from the usage of the words themselves within the bounds of
For the sake of clearness we shall use English letters as equivalents for the Hebrew
and Greek, believing that those who desire a fuller acquaintance with the originals will be
able to discover the words quite easily. The first word which we will consider is the
word abad. It is translated "perish" 79 times in the Old Testament (A.V.); other
renderings are as follows, "be perished," 12 times; "be ready to perish," 4 times;
"cause to perish," 3 times; "make to perish," twice; "destroy, be destroyed,
destruction," 63 times; "be lost," 8 times. Other translations of only one or two
occurrences are, "be broken;" "be done;" "be void of;" "fail;" "lose" and "spend."
Let us now consider some of the passages where in this word occurs. "Ye shall perish
among the heathen" (Lev. 26: 38). The context speaks of "they that are left." The
word may not mean utter extinction here, but for the purposes for which Israel were
chosen and placed in their land, they are as good as dead, perished. The next reference,
however, is quite clear in its usage of the word. "They. . . . went down alive into the
pit, and the earth closed upon them, and they perished from among the congregation"
(Numb. 16: 33). This doom is spoken of by Moses in verse 29, "If these die the common
death of all men." They went down alive into the pit, but not to live therein, for they died
an uncommon death, and thereby perished from among the congregation.
Again in Numbers 17: 12, 13 the word "perish" is used synonymously with dying,
"Behold we die, we perish. . . . shall we be consumed with dying?" The words are