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Hallow, Hallowed

HALLOW, HALLOWED (קָדַשׁ, H7727, to render or treat as holy; ἁγιάζω, G39, to hallow, to sanctify). Both the Heb. and Gr. bear the same meaning, namely, to set apart as holy for religious purposes, or to sanctify. Some other synonyms into which the originals are tr. are “consecrate,” “devote,” “dedicate,” and “revere.” This idea of sacred separateness is seen in application of the terms.

1. Offerings. Aaron, as priest, was to mediate in worship to God “the holy offering which the people of Israel hallow as their holy gifts” (Exod 28:38). The assistant Levites were ordered to give a tithe of the tithe of all gifts received to Aaron, and it was to be “from all the best of them, giving the hallowed part from them” (Num 18:29). Because it was hallowed, no ritually unclean person could approach “the holy things” (Lev 22:3; cf. 2 Sam 6:6f.).

2. Buildings. Any building, of whatever description, dedicated to the worship of Jehovah was hallowed. The altar was hallowed (Lev 16:19), even an improvised temporary one (1 Kings 8:64). The Tabernacle and all its furnishing (Exod 40:9) and the Temple (2 Chron 36:14), with particular emphasis on “the Holy of Holies” (Heb 9:1-12), were hallowed.

3. Times. “God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it” (Gen 2:3); and He commanded Israel to “hallow my sabbaths that they may be a sign between me and you” (Ezek 20:20; cf. Exod 20:8-11; Heb 4:1-11). Likewise God said, “you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty...it shall be a jubilee for you” (Lev 25:10).

4. Priests. Aaron and his sons, through an elaborate ceremonial, were solemnly set aside and consecrated for the priesthood (Exod 29). Christ Himself, the great “high priest of the good things” (Heb 9:11), said “for their sake I consecrate myself” (John 17:19). Consequently, Christians “are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people” (1 Pet 2:9).

5. God. Most of all, God Himself is hallowed; “You shall not profane my holy name, but I will be hallowed among the people of Israel” (Lev 22:32). Finally, this idea reached its peak and universal acclaim in the Lord’s Prayer: “Hallowed be thy name” (Matt 6:9; Luke 11:2).

Bibliography W. T. Purkiser, Exploring Our Christian Faith (1960), 367f.; R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel (1962), 175-177, 345-357.