Father's House, Fathers' House


(beth 'abh, beth 'abhoth):

Father's house in the Old Testament is

(1) a dwelling, the family home (Genesis 12:1; 31:14,30; 38:11; 1 Samuel 18:2);

(2) a family or household (Genesis 41:51; 46:31; Exodus 12:3, the Revised Version (British and American) "fathers' houses");

(3) the group of households, of several of which the "family' or "clan" was constituted, aggregations of which formed the "tribe," generally "fathers' houses" (Numbers 1:18,20; 17:2; Ezra 2:59; Nehemiah 10:34, etc.);

(4)the "family" (clan), mishpachah, "fathers' houses" (Exodus 6:14; Numbers 3:20);

(5) the tribe, "fathers' house," "houses" (Numbers 7:2; 17:1-3, etc.).

In the New Testament "father's house" (oikos tou patros) occurs in the sense of dwelling, house (Luke 16:27; compare 16:4). our Lord also uses the phrase

(1) of the earthly temple-dwelling of God at Jerusalem (John 2:16, "Make not my Father's house a house of merchandise"; compare Psalms 11:4; Isaiah 63:15);

(2) of heaven as the abode of God and His children (John 14:2, "In my Father's house are many mansions," the Revised Version, margin "abiding places," oikia "house," "dwelling," also household, family; compare Psalms 33:13; Isaiah 63:15; Matthew 6:9). The phrase occurs also (Acts 7:20) of Moses, "nourished .... in his father's house" (oikos).

Revised Version has "father's hquse" for "principal household" (1 Chronicles 24:6), "heads of the fathers' houses" for "chief fathers" (Numbers 31:26; 32:28; 36:1; 1 Chronicles 9:34, etc.); "one prince of a father's house," for "each of" (Joshua 22:14); "the heads of the fathers' (houses)" for "the chief of the fathers," and "the fathers' houses of the chief," for "the principal fathers" (1 Chronicles 24:31).

W. L. Walker

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

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