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Either belonging to a king (kingdom) or having kingly power, dignity, authority, etc. In Hebrew, the word is expressed by using different nouns in the gen. case (the "construct state"). They are:

(1) melekh, "king":

"Asher .... shall yield royal dainties," literally, choice morsels of the king, meaning fit for a king (Genesis 49:20); "besides that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty," literally, which he gave her according to the hand (the wealth) of King Solomon (1 Kings 10:13; compare the Revised Version margin); "a royal statute," literally, statute of a malka', which is the emphatic Aramaic term for melekh, "king" (Daniel 6:7);

(2) mamlakhah, "the power and dignity of a king," "Gibeon .... one of the royal cities," i.e. a capital city with a king of her own (Joshua 10:2; compare 1 Samuel 27:5); "all the seed royal," literally, the seed of the kingdom (2 Kings 11:1; compare 2 Chronicles 22:10);

(3) malkhuth, "kinghood," "kingdom":

"royal majesty," literally, majesty of kinghood (1 Chronicles 29:25); quite frequently in the Book of Esther; royal wine (1:7); crown (1:11; compare 2:17; 6:8); commandment (1:19); "her royal estate," literally, her kinghood (1:19); house royal (2:16; compare 5:1); royal apparel (5:1; compare 6:8,15); throne (5:1);

(4) melukhah, "kingdom," "kingly power and dignity":

"royal city," literally, the city of the kingdom, meaning here that part of the city (Rabbah) in which the royal palace was situated (2 Samuel 12:26); "royal diadem," literally, turban of kinghood (Isaiah 62:3);

(5) in Jeremiah 43:10 we find the word shaphrir; its meaning is uncertain:

"royal pavilion" (the Revised Version (British and American) and the King James Version), "glittering" (Revised Version, margin), "scepter," "a carpet covering a throne."

The New Testament uses the word for basilikos, "belonging to king":

"royal apparel" (Acts 12:21); "the royal law," something like "the golden rule," being foremost because including all others (James 2:8), and for basileios (being vested with kingly power and honor), "royal priesthood," the Hebrew rendering would be mamlekheth kohanim, "a kingdom of priests," i.e. a kingdom whose citizens are priests, emphasizing the two facts that the true Christians have free access to the grace of God and that they enjoy the liberties and privileges of His kingdom (1 Peter 2:9).

William Baur

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

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