Also see definition of "Brother" in Word Study
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NAVE: Brother
EBD: Brother
SMITH: BROTHER
ISBE: BROTHER
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Brother

Brother [EBD]

(1.) In the natural and common sense (Matt. 1:2; Luke 3:1, 19).

(2.) A near relation, a cousin (Gen. 13:8; 14:16; Matt. 12:46; John 7:3; Acts 1:14; Gal. 1:19).

(3.) Simply a fellow-countryman (Matt. 5:47; Acts 3:22; Heb. 7:5).

(4.) A disciple or follower (Matt. 25:40; Heb. 2:11, 12).

(5.) One of the same faith (Amos 1:9; Acts 9:30; 11:29; 1 Cor. 5:11); whence the early disciples of our Lord were known to each other as brethren.

(6.) A colleague in office (Ezra 3:2; 1 Cor. 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:1).

(7.) A fellow-man (Gen. 9:5; 19:7; Matt. 5:22, 23, 24; 7:5; Heb. 2:17).

(8.) One beloved or closely united with another in affection (2 Sam. 1:26; Acts 6:3; 1 Thess. 5:1). Brethren of Jesus (Matt. 1:25; 12:46, 50: Mark 3:31, 32; Gal. 1:19; 1 Cor. 9:5, etc.) were probably the younger children of Joseph and Mary. Some have supposed that they may have been the children of Joseph by a former marriage, and others that they were the children of Mary, the Virgin's sister, and wife of Cleophas. The first interpretation, however, is the most natural.

Brother [NAVE]

BROTHER
Signifies a relative, Gen. 14:16; 29:12; neighbor, Deut. 23:7; Judg. 21:6; Neh. 5:7; any Israelite, Jer. 34:9; Obad. 10; mankind, Gen. 9:5; Matt. 18:35; 1 John 3:15; companion, 2 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kin. 13:30; 20:33.
Love of, Prov. 17:17; 18:24; Song 8:1.
Unfaithful, Prov. 27:10.
Reuben's love for Joseph, Gen. 37:21, 22.
Joseph's, for his brethren, Gen. 43:30-34; 45:1-5; 50:19-25.
A fraternal epithet, especially among Christians. Instituted by Christ, Matt. 12:50; 25:40; Heb. 2:11, 12.
Used by disciples, Acts 9:17; 21:20; Rom. 16:23; 1 Cor. 7:12; 2 Cor. 2:13; Peter, 1 Pet. 1:22.
Used among the Israelites, Lev. 19:17; Deut. 22:1-4.
Brother's widow, law concerning Levirate marriage of, Deut. 25:5-10; Matt. 22:24; Mark 12:19; Luke 20:28.

BROTHER [SMITH]

The Hebrew word is used in various senses in the Old Testament, as,
  1. Any kinsman, and not a mere brother; e.g. nephew, (Genesis 13:8; 14:16) husband, (Solomon 4:9)
  2. One of the same tribe. (2 Samuel 19:13)
  3. Of the same people, (Exodus 2:11) or even of a cognate people. (Numbers 20:14)
  4. An ally. (Amos 1:9)
  5. Any friend, (Job 5:15)
  6. One of the same office. (1 Kings 9:13)
  7. A fellow man. (Leviticus 19:17)
  8. Metaphorically of any similarity, as in (Job 30:19) The word adelphos has a similar range of meanings in the New Testament.

BROTHER [ISBE]

BROTHER - bruth'-er ('ach; adelphos = kin by birth, from the same parents or parent): Used extensively in both Old Testament and New Testament of other relations and relationships, and expanding under Christ's teaching to include the universal brotherhood of man. Chiefly employed in the natural sense, as of Cain and Abel (Gen 4:8); of Joseph and his brethren (Gen 42:3); of Peter and Andrew, of James and John (Mt 10:2). Of other relationships: (1) Abram's nephew, Lot, is termed "brother" (Gen 14:14); (2) Moses' fellow-countrymen are "brethren" (Ex 2:11; Acts 3:22; compare Heb 7:5); (3) a member of the same tribe (2 Sam 19:12); (4) an ally (Am 1:9), or an allied or cognate people (Nu 20:14); (5) used of common discipleship or the kinship of humanity (Mt 23:8); (6) of moral likeness or kinship (Prov 18:9); (7) of friends (Job 6:15); (8) an equal in rank or office (1 Ki 9:13); (9) one of the same faith (Acts 11:29; 1 Cor 5:11); (10) a favorite oriental metaphor used to express likeness or similarity (Job 30:29, "I am a brother to jackals"); (11) a fellow-priest or office-bearer (Ezr 3:2); Paul called Sosthenes "brother" (1 Cor 1:1) and Timothy his spiritual son and associate (2 Cor 1:1); (12) a brother-man, any member of the human family (Mt 7:3-5; Heb 2:17; 8:11; 1 Jn 2:9; 4:20); (13) signifies spiritual kinship (Matt 12:50); (14) a term adopted by the early disciples and Christians to express their fraternal love for each other in Christ, and universally adopted as the language of love and brotherhood in His kingdom in all subsequent time (2 Pet 3:15; Col 4:7,9,15). The growing conception of mankind as a brotherhood is the outcome of this Christian view of believers as a household, a family (Eph 2:19; 3:15; compare Acts 17:26). Jesus has made "neighbor" equivalent to "brother," and the sense of fraternal affection and obligation essential to vital Christianity, and coextensive with the world. The rabbis distinguished between "brother" and "neighbor," applying "brother" to Israelites by blood, "neighbor" to proselytes, but allowing neither title to the Gentiles. Christ and the apostles gave the name "brother" to all Christians, and "neighbor" to all the world (1 Cor 5:11; Lk 10:29 ff). The missionary passion and aggressiveness of the Christian church is the natural product of this Christian conception of man's true relation to man.

See also FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS.

Dwight M. Pratt


Also see definition of "Brother" in Word Study


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