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EBD: Bitter
Bit And Bridle | Bith-ron | Bithiah | Bithron | Bithynia | Bitter | Bitter Herbs | Bitter Water | Bittern | Bitterness, Water Of | Bitumen


Bitter [EBD]

Bitterness is symbolical of affliction, misery, and servitude (Ex. 1:14; Ruth 1:20; Jer. 9:15). The Chaldeans are called the "bitter and hasty nation" (Hab. 1:6). The "gall of bitterness" expresses a state of great wickedness (Acts 8:23). A "root of bitterness" is a wicked person or a dangerous sin (Heb. 12:15).

The Passover was to be eaten with "bitter herbs" (Ex. 12:8; Num. 9:11). The kind of herbs so designated is not known. Probably they were any bitter herbs obtainable at the place and time when the Passover was celebrated. They represented the severity of the servitude under which the people groaned; and have been regarded also as typical of the sufferings of Christ.


BITTER; BITTERNESS - bit'-er, bit'-er-nes (mar, or marah = "bitter" (literally or figuratively); also (noun) "bitterness" or (adverb) "bitterly"; "angry," "chafed," "discontented," "heavy" (Gen 27:34; Ex 15:23; Nu 5:18,19,23,24,27; Est 4:1; Job 3:20; Ps 64:3; Prov 5:4; 27:7; Eccl 7:26; Isa 5:20; Jer 2:19; 4:18; Ezek 27:31; Am 8:10; Hab 1:6); the derivatives marar, meror, and merorah, used with the same significance according to the context, are found in Ex 1:14; 12:8; Nu 9:11; Job 13:26; Isa 24:9. The derivati ves meri and meriri occur in Dt 32:24; Job 23:2 (margin); and tamrur, is found in Jer 6:26; 31:15. In the New Testament the verb pikraino = "to embitter"; the adjective pikros = "bitter," and the noun pikria, "bitterness," supply the same ideas in Col 3:19; Jas 3:11,14; Rev 8:11; 10:9,10): It will be noted that the word is employed with three principal spheres of application: (1) the physical sense of taste; (2) a figurative meaning in the objective sense of cruel, biting words; intense misery resulting from forsaking God, from a life of sin and impurity; the misery of servitude; the misfortunes of bereavement; (3) more subjectively, bitter and bitterness describe emotions of sympathy;' the sorrow of childlessness and of penitence, of disappointment; the feeling of misery and wretchedness, giving rise to the expression "bitter tears"; (4) the ethical sense, characterizing untruth and immorality as the bitter thing in opposition to the sweetness of truth and the gospel; (5) Nu 5:18 the Revised Version (British and American) speaks of "the water of bitterness that causeth the curse." Here it is employed as a technical term.

Frank E. Hirsch


BITTERNESS - bit'-er-ness.


Also see definition of "Bitter" in Word Study

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