Father’s House


In the NT it may mean a number of things: (1) a home, as in Acts 7:20, where it is said that Moses was brought up for three months in his father’s house, and in Luke 16:27, where the rich man tells Abraham to send someone from the place of burning to his father’s house to warn his brothers; (2) the Temple in Jerusalem, as when Jesus says in John 2:16, “You shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade”; (3) heaven, as when Jesus says (John 14:2), “In my Father’s house are many rooms.” See also Heaven.

Bibliography R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel (1961), 19-23.

Article 2

Father’s house in the Old Testament is

(1) a dwelling, the family home (Ge 12:1; 31:14,30; 38:11; 1Sa 18:2);

(2) a family or household (Ge 41:51; 46:31; Ex 12:3, the Revised Version (British and American) "fathers’ houses");

(3) the group of households, of several of which the "family’ or "clan" was constituted, aggregations of which formed the "tribe," generally "fathers’ houses" (Nu 1:18,20; 17:2; Ezr 2:59; Ne 10:34, etc.);

(4)the "family" (clan), mishpachah, "fathers’ houses" (Ex 6:14 f; Nu 3:20 );

(5) the tribe, "fathers’ house," "houses" (Nu 7:2; 17:1-3, etc.).

In the New Testament "father’s house" (oikos tou patros) occurs in the sense of dwelling, house (Lu 16:27; compare 16:4). our Lord also uses the phrase

(1) of the earthly temple-dwelling of God at Jerusalem (Joh 2:16, "Make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise"; compare Ps 11:4; Isa 63:15);

(2) of heaven as the abode of God and His children (Joh 14:2, "In my Father’s house are many mansions," the Revised Version, margin "abiding places," oikia "house," "dwelling," also household, family; compare Ps 33:13; Isa 63:15; Mt 6:9). The phrase occurs also (Ac 7:20) of Moses, "nourished .... in his father’s house" (oikos).

Revised Version has "father’s hquse" for "principal household" (1Ch 24:6), "heads of the fathers’ houses" for "chief fathers" (Nu 31:26; 32:28; 36:1; 1Ch 9:34, etc.); "one prince of a father’s house," for "each of" (Jos 22:14); "the heads of the fathers’ (houses)" for "the chief of the fathers," and "the fathers’ houses of the chief," for "the principal fathers" (1Ch 24:31).