hous’-hold: Three words are usually found in the Bible where the family is indicated. These three are the Hebrew word bayith and the Greek words oikia and oikos. The unit of the national life of Israel, from the very beginning, was found in the family. In the old patriarchal days each family was complete within itself, the oldest living sire being the unquestioned head of the whole, possessed of almost arbitrary powers. The house and the household are practically synonymous. God had called Abraham "that he might command his children and household after him" (Ge 18:19). The Passover-lamb was to be eaten by the "household" (Ex 12:3). The "households" of the rebels in the camp of Israel shared their doom (Nu 16:31-33; De 11:6). David’s household shares his humiliation (2Sa 15:16); the children everywhere in the Old Testament are the bearers of the sins of the fathers. Human life is not a conglomerate of individuals; the family is its center and unit.

Henry E. Dosker