Bone; Bones


bon (`etsem, `otsem; Aramaic gerem, by extension used for "bony frame," "body," "strength," Psalms 35:10; "the whole man"; Luke 24:39, "flesh and bones" = the solid and tangible framework of the body; figuratively the substance, the idea of a thing, the thing, per se):

Figurative: Very often we find the use of these words in metaphorical phrases, in which a disease or a discomfort of the body denotes certain emotions or mental attitudes. Thus the expression "rottenness of the bones" (Proverbs 12:4; 14:30) signifies the feelings of a man whose wife causes him shame and confusion, or is equivalent to "envy," "jealousy." The translation of the Septuagint in these passages by skolex, "worm," and ses, "maggot," "moth," is incorrect. The same phrase is used in Habakkuk 3:16 for utter dejectedness through the anticipation of approaching evil. Similarly the "shaking of the bones" (Job 4:14) is expressive of fear, and denotes dejection and sadness in Jeremiah 23:9. The "burning of the bones" is found as a symptom of J ob's disease (Job 30:30), and stands for grief, depression of spirits in Psalms 102:3 and Lamentations 1:13, and also for the feeling of Jeremiah, when he attempted to hold back the Divine message (Jeremiah 20:9), while "dryness of bones" (Proverbs 17:22) is the opposite of "good health." Other similar expressions of mental distress are the "piercing of the bones" (Job 30:17), the bones are "troubled" (Psalms 6:2), "out of joint" (Psalms 22:14), "consumed" (Psalms 31:10 the King James Version), "wasted away" or "waxed old" (Psalms 32:3), "broken" (Psalms 51:8; Lamentations 3:4), "ill at rest" (Psalms 38:3), "bone of my bones," etc. (Genesis 2:23), having the same nature, and the nearest relation (2 Samuel 5:1) and affection (Ephesians 5:30). In the last-mentioned passage, the Revised Version (British and American) omits "of his flesh, and of his bones" as an interpolation from Genesis 2:23. The figs. in Micah 3:2,3 are expressive of the most cruel oppression and murder.

H. L. E. Luering

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