In the neighbor, or companion; ’ahabh, indicating affection natural or unnatural. In the also two words: hetairos, "a comrade," or "fellow," and philos, suggesting a more affectionate relation.two words, variously translated "friend" or "companion": re`eh, indicating a mere associate, passing friend,
Friendship in the Bible
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" (
The friendship of Ruth and Naomi is particularly interesting (
The best illustration of the double use of the word is that in
Friendship in the New Testament
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 (
Friendship in Literature
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.
"Friends" in the Maccabees
The expression, "Friends", is used in 1 and 2 Maccabees to designate the favored courtiers of the Antiochi. Mattathias is promised enrollment among the king’s Friends, to tempt him to apostatize (1 Macc 2:18); writes Jonathan among his (1 Macc 10:65). Compare also 1 Macc 3:38; 6:10,14; 10:60; 11:26,27; 2 Macc 8:9.