Dumb

DUMB, DUMBNESS. See DISEASE, DISEASES.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


Temporary dumbness was inflicted as a sign upon Ezekiel (3:26; 24:27; 33:22) and as a punishment for unbelief upon Zacharias (Lu 1:22). There are several cases recorded of our Lord’s healing the dumb (Mt 15:30; Mr 7:37; Lu 11:14, etc.). Dumbness is often associated with imbecility and was therefore regarded as due to demoniac possession (Mt 9:32; 12:22). The evangelists therefore describe the healing of these as effected by the casting out of demons.

This is especially noted in the case of the epileptic boy (Mr 9:17). The deaf man with the impediment in his speech (Mr 7:32) is said to have been cured by loosening the string of his tongue. This does not necessarily mean that he was tongue- tied, which is a condition causing lisping, not stammering; he was probably one of those deaf persons who produce babbling, incoherent and meaningless sounds. I saw in the asylum in Jerusalem a child born blind and deaf, who though dumb, produced inarticulate noises.

In an old 14th-century psalter "dumb" is used as a verb in Ps 39: "I doumbed and meked and was ful stille."