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Peculiar

Peculiar

as used in the phrase "peculiar people" in 1 Peter 2:9 , is derived from the Lat. peculium, and denotes, as rendered in the Revised Version ("a people for God's own possession"), a special possession or property. The church is the "property" of God, his "purchased possession" ( Ephesians 1:14 ; RSV, "God's own possession").

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Peculiar". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

PECULIAR

pe-kul'-yar:

The Latin peculium means "private property," so that "peculiar" properly equals "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; 26:18; Psalms 135:4; Ecclesiastes 2:8) invariably represents ceghullah, "property," an obscure word which Septuagint usually rendered by the equally obscure periousios (apparently meaning "superabundant"), which in turn is quoted in Titus 2:14. In Malachi 3:17, however, Septuagint has peripoiesis, 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 ceghullah 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" (idios, "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 eklekte, "chosen out."

Burton Scott Easton


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

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