SPECIAL TOPIC: CURSE (ANATHEMA)
There are several words in Hebrew for "curse." Herem (BDB 356) was used of something given to God (cf. LXX as anathema, BAGD 54, Lev. 27:28), usually for destruction (cf. Deut. 7:26; Jos. 6:17-18; 17:12). It was a term used in the concept of "holy war." God said to destroy the Canaanites and Jericho was the first opportunity, the "first fruits."
In the NT anathema and its related forms were used in several different senses:
1. as a gift or offering to God (cf. Luke 21:5)
2. as a death oath (cf. Acts 23:14)
3. to curse and swear (cf. Mark 14:71)
4. a curse formula related to Jesus (cf. 1 Cor. 12:3)
5. a giving of someone or something to the judgment or destruction of God (cf. Rom. 9:3; 1 Cor. 16:22; Gal. 1:8-9).
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