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NAVE: Friendship
Frequent | Fresh | Fret, Fretting | Fried | Friends | Friendship | Fringes | Frock | Frog | Frogs | Frontier


Friendship [NAVE]

Deut. 13:6-9; Job 6:14, 15; Job 16:2, 20; Job 19:13-22; Psa. 35:13, 14; Psa. 41:9; Psa. 55:12-14; Psa. 88:8, 18; Prov. 11:13; Prov. 17:9, 17; Prov. 18:24; Prov. 22:24-27; Prov. 25:17, 19; Prov. 27:6, 9, 10, 14, 17, 19; Eccl. 4:9-12; Amos 3:3; 2 Tim. 4:16
Instances of
Abraham and Lot, Gen. 14:14-16.
Ruth and Naomi, Ruth 1:16, 17.
Samuel and Saul, 1 Sam. 15:35; 16:1.
David and Jonathan, 1 Sam. 18:1-4; 20; 23:16-18; 2 Sam. 1:17-27; 9:1-13.
David and Abiathar, 1 Sam. 22:23.
David and Nahash, 2 Sam. 10:2.
David and Hiram, 1 Kin. 5:1.
David and Mephibosheth, 2 Sam. 9.
David and Hushai, 2 Sam. 15:32-37; 16; 17:1-22.
David and Ittai, 2 Sam. 15:19-21.
Joram and Ahaziah, 2 Kin. 8:28, 29; 9:16.
Jehu and Jehonadab, 2 Kin. 10:15-27.
Job and his three friends, Job 2:11-13.
Daniel and his three companions, Dan. 2:49.
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, and Jesus, Luke 10:38-42; John 11:1-46.
The Marys, and Joseph of Arimathea, for Jesus, Matt. 27:55-61; 28:1-8; Luke 24:10; John 20:11-18; Luke and Theophilus, Acts 1:1.
Paul and his nephew, Acts 23:16.
Paul, Priscilla, and Aquila, Rom. 16:3, 4.
Paul, Timothy, and Epaphroditus, Phil. 2:19, 20, 22, 25.


FRIEND; FRIENDSHIP - frend, frend'-ship: In the Old Testament two words, variously translated "friend" or "companion": re`eh, indicating a mere associate, passing friend, neighbor, or companion; 'ahabh, indicating affection natural or unnatural. In the New Testament also two words: hetairos, "a comrade," or "fellow," and philos, suggesting a more affectionate relation.

Literature abounds in concrete examples of friendship of either kind noted above, and of profoundly philosophic as well as sentimental and poetic expositions of the idea of friendship. Notable among these are the Old Testament examples. Abraham, because of the intimacy of his relations, was called "the friend of God" (2 Ch 20:7; Isa 41:8; Jas 2:23). "Yahweh spake unto Moses face to face, as a man .... unto his friend" (Ex 33:11). The romantic aspect of the friendship of Ruth and Naomi is interesting (Ruth 1:16-18). The devotion of Hushai, who is repeatedly referred to as David's friend (2 Sam 15:37; 16:16), is a notable illustration of the affection of a subordinate for his superior. The mutual friendship of David and Jonathan (1 Sam 18:1), from which the author is made to say, "The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul," is another example. Again in his pathetic lament for Jonathan (2 Sam 1:26), David says in highly emotional tones that his love "was wonderful, passing the love of women." Elijah and Elisha form a unique illustration of semiprofessional affection (2 Ki 2).

In the New Testament, Jesus and His disciples illustrate the growth of friendship from that of teacher and disciple, lord and servant, to that of friend and friend (Jn 15:13-15). Paul and Timothy are likewise conspicuous (2 Tim 1:2).

In general literature we have the classic incident, recorded by Plutarch, of Damon and Pythias during the rule of Dionysius. Pythias, condemned to death, was about to be executed but desired to see his family. Damon offered himself as a ransom in case he should not return in time for the hour of execution. Returning in time, both were released by the great Dionysius, who asked to be taken into the secret of such friendship. The writings on friendship are many. Plato and Cicero have immortalized themselves by their comments. Cicero held dearly the friendship of Scipio, declaring that of all that Nature or Fortune ever gave him there was nothing which could compare with the friendship of Scipio. Bacon, Emerson, Black, Gladden, King, Hillis, and many others in later days have written extensively concerning friendship. The best illustration of the double use of the word (see above) is that in Prov 18:24, "He that maketh many friends doeth it to his own destruction; but there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Again, "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" (27:17). The honesty and frankness of genuine friends are set forth in the maxim, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend" (27:6).

Walter G. Clippinger

Also see definition of "Friendship" in Word Study

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