Band(s)

BAND(S), eight Heb. and three Gr. terms are so tr. in the various Eng. VSS. In the OT they are: (1). אֲגַפִּים, which occurs only in Ezekiel and exclusively in the pl. It is derived, as are a number of terms in Ezekiel from Akkad. agappu(m) and is developed in Aram. It means a “troop,” “squad” usually of soldiers.

(2). מוֹסֵרֹֽות, and its variants, most prob. a maqtal participle from the root, אָסַר, H673, “to bind.” The Heb. noun means “bonds,” “bands” (Job 39:5; Ps 2:3, et al.).

(3). מוֹטָה, H4574, meaning the “crossbar of a yoke” or the “carrying poles” used for heavy burdens. In Leviticus 26:13 and Ezekiel 34:27, KJV reads “bands” while for the same term in Jeremiah 28:10, et al., it reads “yoke,” while RSV reads “yoke-bars” in all such passages.

(4). חַרְצֻבֹּ֣ות, a rare word found only in Isaiah 58:6 (KJV reads “bands”); Psalms 42:11 (where a similar root occurs) and 73:4. The term ranges in meaning between “bindings” used in inflicting servitude and pain, and the “pains” or pangs themselves.

(5). מַחֲנֶה, H4722, “camp of soldiers” tr. by KJV as “bands” in Genesis 32:7, 10. However in Genesis 32:2 the term occurs twice, in the first instance it is properly tr. as “host” (JPS reads “camp”) and further on in the passage it is used as the proper name of the locale by Jacob, namely, Mahanaim.

(6). חֹבְלִים, H2482, occurs as a proper name designating a ceremonial staff in Zechariah 11:7, 14. It has been derived from Heb. חֶ֫בֶל, H2475, meaning “cord” or “rope” and by extension, “union” (KJV reads “Bands”). However, the context of the Zechariah passage which indicates that the one staff called Graciousness (KJV reads “Beauty”), was destroyed so that the judgment of the other staff might take place, infers that some retributive title was implied. Some rabbinical commentators rightly understand the name of the judging staff to mean “destroyer.” This second, more probable interpretation is assured on the basis of Akkad. ẖabālu, “to injure,” “to deprive,” and its occurrence in Amarna Letter 254:17, “habaluma,” demonstrates its dispersion among the Canaanite dialects.

(7). מֹשְׁכוֹת, H5436, an obscure term found only in Job 38:31, in reference to the stellar constellation Orion, the imagery of the text involves the parallelism of “A” word, the Pleiades, which are bound, with the “B” word, Orion, which is apparently also restrained in some fashion.

(8). חֹצֵ֣ץ, the qal participle of the root meaning “to separate,” is used to denote a “rank” or “squad” only in Proverbs 30:27. However, the context permits no other interpretation. In the NT the three Gr. terms are: 1. δεσμός, G1301, a late Hel. term describing any restraint upon a person’s movements such as “fetters” or a crippled limb. KJV tr. “bands” only in Luke 8:29; Acts 16:16; 22:30, but not in Mark 7:35 et al.

2. σύνδεσμος, G5278, a compound form of the above, more frequently distributed in later Gr. means also “bond of union” (Col 3:14, et al.).

3. ζευκτηρία, G2415, used only in Acts 27:40 for the ropes attached to a ship’s rudder to stay it in a storm. The word was used for such restraining lines since Aeschylus.