BOND, BONDS (מﯴסֵר, H4591, and other forms from אָסַר, H673, bind: NT δεσμοί with compounds). The meaning of the Eng. word varies from “prisoner’s shackles” to “solemn promise” and even “legal document.” As an adjective, “bond” is opposed to “free,” and composite nouns like “bondman” are used in the KJV in the sense of “slave.” Older VSS also use “bands” frequently. In the OT, since the root meaning of ’āsar seems to be “shutting in” or “restraining,” the basic meaning seems to be the “harness” that ties an ox to the yoke (
In the NT, the pattern is similar with either literal or metaphorical meaning. If literal, then “bonds” may be used in a bad sense of handcuffs (
Bibliography L. Koehler, Hebrew Lexicon (1951); W. F. Arndt and F. W. Gingrich, Greek-English Lexicon of the NT, 1957.