Deliver

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Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [1]

A. Verbs. Nâthan ( נָתַן , Strong'S #5414), “to deliver, give, place, set up, lay, make, do.” This verb occurs in the different Semitic languages in somewhat different forms. The form nâthan occurs not only in Aramaic (including in the Bible) and in Hebrew (in all periods). The related forms nâdanu (Akkadian) and yâthan (Phoenician) are also attested. These verbs occur about 2,010 times in the Bible.

First, nâthan represents the action by which something is set going or actuated. Achsah asked her father Caleb to “give” her a blessing, such as a tract of land with abundant water, as her dowry; she wanted him to “transfer” it from his possession to hers (Josh. 15:19). There is a technical use of this verb without an object: Moses instructs Israel to “give” generously to the man in desperate need (Deut. 15:10). In some instances, nâthan can mean to “send forth,” as in “sending forth” a fragrance (Song of Sol. 1:12). When used of a liquid, the word means to “send forth” in the sense of “spilling,” for example, to spill blood (Deut. 21:8).

Nâthan also has a technical meaning in the area of jurisprudence, meaning to hand something over to someone—for example, “to pay” (Gen. 23:9) or “to loan” (Deut. 15:10). A girl’s parent or someone else in a responsible position may “give” her to a man to be his wife (Gen. 16:3), as well as presenting a bride price (Gen. 34:12) and dowry (1 Kings 9:16). The verb also is used of “giving” or “granting” a request (Gen. 15:2).

Sometimes, nâthan can be used to signify “putting” (“placing”) someone into custody (2 Sam. 14:7) or into prison (Jer. 37:4), or even of “destroying” something (Judg. 6:30). This same basic sense may be applied to “dedicating” (“handing over”) something or someone to God, such as the first-born son (Exod. 22:29). Levites are those who have been “handed over” in this way (Num. 3:9). This word is used of “bringing reprisal” upon someone or of “giving” him what he deserves; in some cases, the stress is on the act of reprisal (1 Kings 8:32), or bringing his punishment on his head.

Nâthan can be used of “giving” or “ascribing” something to someone, such as “giving” glory and praise to God (Josh. 7:19). Obviously, nothing is passed from men to God; nothing is added to God, since He is perfect. This means, therefore, that a worshiper recognizes and confesses what is already His.

Another major emphasis of nâthan is the action of “giving” or “effecting” a result. For example, the land will “give” (“yield”) its fruit (Deut. 25:19). In some passages, this verb means “to procure” (“to set up”), as when God “gave” (“procured, set up”) favor for Joseph (Gen. 39:21). The word can be used of sexual activity, too, emphasizing the act of intercourse or “one’s lying down” with an animal (Lev. 18:23).

God “placed” (literally, “gave”) the heavenly lights into the expanse of the heavens (Gen. 1:17—the first occurrence of the verb). A garland is “placed” (literally, “given”) upon one’s head (Prov. 4:9). The children of Israel are commanded not to “set up” idols in their land. A third meaning of nâthan is seen in Gen. 17:5: “… For a father of many nations have I made [literally, “given”] thee.” There are several instances where the verb bears this significance.

Nâthan has a number of special implications when used with bodily parts—for example, “to give” or “turn” a stubborn shoulder (Neh. 9:29). Similarly, compare expressions such as “turning [giving] one’s face” (2 Chron. 29:6). To “turn [give] one’s back” is to flee (Exod. 23:27). “Giving one’s hand” may be no more than “putting it forth,” as in the case of the unborn Zarah (Gen. 38:28). This word can also signify an act of friendship as when Jehonadab “gave his hand” (instead of a sword) to Jehu to help him into the chariot (2 Kings 10:15); an act of oathtaking, as when the priests “pledged” (“gave their hands”) to put away their foreign wives (Ezra 10:19); and “making” or “renewing” a covenant, as when the leaders of Israel “pledged” themselves (“gave their hands”) to follow Solomon (1 Chron. 29:24). “To give something into someone’s hand” is to “commit” it to his care. So after the Flood, God “gave” the earth into Noah’s hand (Gen. 9:2). This phrase is used to express the “transfer of political power,” such as the divine right to rule (2 Sam. 16:8). Nâthan is used especially in a military and judicial sense, meaning “to give over one’s power or control,” or to grant victory to someone; so Moses said God would “give” the kings of Canaan into Israel’s hands (Deut. 7:24).

“To give one’s heart” to something or someone is “to be concerned about it”; Pharaoh was not “concerned” about (“did not set his heart to”) Moses’ message from God (Exod. 7:23). “To put [give] something into one’s heart” is to give one ability and concern to do something; thus God “put” it in the heart of the Hebrew craftsmen to teach others (Exod. 36:2). “To give one’s face to” is to focus one’s attention on something, as when Jehoshaphat was afraid of the alliance of the Transjordanian kings and “set [his face] to seek the Lord” (2 Chron. 20:3). This same phrase can merely mean “to be facing someone or something” (cf. Gen. 30:40).

“To give one’s face against” is a hostile action (Lev. 17:10). Used with lipne (literally, “before the face of”), this verb may mean “to place an object before” or to “set it down before” (Exod. 30:6). It may also mean “to put before” (Deut. 11:26), “to smite” (cf. Deut. 2:33), or “to give as one’s possession” (Deut. 1:8).

Yâsha‛ ( יָשַׁע , Strong'S #3467), “to deliver, help.” Apart from Hebrew, this root occurs only in a Moabite inscription. The verb occurs over 200 times in the Bible. For example: “For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved  ; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not” (Isa. 30:15).

B. Nouns.

Yeshû‛âh ( יְשׁוּעָה , Strong'S #3444), “deliverance.” This noun appears 78 times in the Old Testament, predominantly in the Book of Psalms (45 times) and Isaiah (19 times). The first occurrence is in Jacob’s last words: “I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord” (Gen. 49:18).

“Salvation” in the Old Testament is not understood as a salvation from sin, since the word denotes broadly anything from which “deliverance” must be sought: distress, war, servitude, or enemies. There are both human and divine deliverers, but the word yeshû‛âh rarely refers to human “deliverance.” A couple of exceptions are when Jonathan brought respite to the Israelites from the Philistine pressure (1 Sam. 14:45), and when Joab and his men were to help one another in battle (2 Sam. 10:11). “Deliverance” is generally used with God as the subject. He is known as the salvation of His people: “But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation” (Deut. 32:15; cf. Isa. 12:2). He worked many wonders in behalf of His people: “O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvelous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath [worked salvation for him]” (Ps. 98:1). Yeshû‛âh occurs either in the context of rejoicing (Ps. 9:14) or in the context of a prayer for “deliverance”: “But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high” (Ps. 69:29).

Habakkuk portrays the Lord’s riding on chariots of salvation (3:8) to deliver His people from their oppressors. The worst reproach that could be made against a person was that God did not come to his rescue: “Many there be which say of my soul, there is no help for him in God [literally, “he has no deliverance in God”]” (Ps. 3:2).

Many personal names contain a form of the root, such as Joshua —(“the Lord is help”), Isaiah —(“the Lord is help”), and Jesus —(a Greek form of yeshu’ah ).

Yesha‛ ( יֶשַׁע , 3468), “deliverance.” This noun appears 36 times in the Old Testament. One appearance is in Ps. 50:23: “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.”

Teshû‛âh ( תְּשֻׁעָה , Strong'S #8668), “deliverance.” Teshû‛âh occurs 34 times. One example is Isa. 45:17: “But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation —ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.”

The Septuagint translations are: soteria —and soterion —(“salvation; preservation; deliverance”) and soter (“savior; deliverer”). The KJV gives these translations: “salvation; deliverance; help.”

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [2]

The Old Testament . The concept of deliverance occurs in the Old Testament with two meanings. The first is in a nontheological sense signifying "deliver over" or "give over into the possession or power of another." The Hebrew word, natan [   2 Chronicles 34:15 ), money ( 2 Kings 12:15 ), horses ( 2 Kings 18:23 ), and goods ( Esther 6:9 ). More often the term refers to people delivered in the power of others, usually their enemies: "The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us in the hands of the Amorites to destroy us" ( Deuteronomy 1:27 ).

The second usage of deliverance refers to the Acts of God whereby he rescues his people from danger. The key words nasal [נָשַׁל] ("draw out, snatch away"), palat [פָּלַט] ("make an escape"), malat [מָלַט מָלַט] ("to cause to escape"), halas [חָלַץ חָלַץ] (to "draw out"), and yasa [ישַׁע יָשַׁעמֹושִׁיעַ] ("to save") fall within the field of meaning describing God's redemptive activity on the part of his people. This usage of deliverance focuses on God's removal of those who are in the midst of trouble or danger.

In the Old Testament, God's deliverance is almost always from temporal dangers. He rescues his people from their enemies ( 1 Samuel 17:37;  2 Kings 20:6 ) and from the hand of the wicked ( Psalm 7:2;  17:13;  18:16-19;  59:2;  69:14;  71:4 ). He preserves them from famine ( Psalm 33:19 ), death ( Psalm 22:19-21 ), and the grave ( Psalm 56:13;  86:13;  Hosea 13:14 ). The most striking deliverance, the exodus ( Exodus 3:8;  6:6;  18:10 ), comprises the defining act of God as the deliverer of Israel. The promise that God delivers his people from sin and its consequences, although mentioned infrequently, completes the picture of God as the deliverer from all of humankind's fears ( Psalm 39:8;  40:11-13;  51:14;  79:9 ).

The fact that God delivers as he does is a polemic against the pagan rulers who challenge his ability to rescue his people. Nebuchadnezzar ( Daniel 3:15,28 ), Pharaoh ( Exodus 5:2 ), and Sennacherib ( 2 Chronicles 32:10-15 ) railed against Israel for trusting in God's deliverance. The subsequent rescue serves as a demonstration of God's ability to deliver his people from the most powerful worldly forces.

While God is the great deliverer, there are no manipulative ploys by his people to effect his intervention. All Acts of deliverance are totally his initiative and express his mercy and his love ( Psalm 51:1;  71:2;  86:13 ). Therefore, there is no one to rescue the ungodly ( Psalm 50:22 ). God's deliverance is for his people, those who trust and fear him: "To the faithful you show yourself faithful You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty" ( Psalm 18:25,27 ). Often, the people's fear of God and trust in him are seen as a part of the deliverance ( Psalm 22:4;  33:18-19;  34:7;  Ezekiel 14:20 ). Their righteousness preserves them ( Proverbs 11:6;  Ezekiel 14:14,20 ) but if they indulge in sin and rebellion, God may deliver them over to their enemies ( 1 Kings 8:46;  Jeremiah 20:5;  Ezekiel 11:8-9 ).

The New Testament . As in the Old Testament, both meanings of deliverance are found in the New Testament. The Greek word paradidomai [   Matthew 5:25;  18:34;  20:19 ) and goods ( Matthew 25:14 ) over to another. Jesus uses this word as a prophecy of his death at the hands of the chief priests and Gentiles ( Matthew 20:18;  Mark 10:33;  Luke 9:44 ). Traditions and doctrine are also "delivered" to others ( Mark 7:13;  Acts 6:14;  Romans 6:17; 1Col 11:2) with the idea that those who receive them will take possession of them as valuable commodities.

The second usage of deliverance is seen in the occurrences of the words rhuomai [   2 Peter 2:9 ). God still delivers his people from deadly peril (2Col 1:10;  2 Timothy 4:17 ) and from wicked men ( Acts 12:11;  2 Thessalonians 3:2 ).

The dominant idea in the New Testament is God's deliverance from humankind's greatest fears: sin, evil, death, and judgment. These more theological usages closely align with the biblical terms for salvation and redemption. Believers are to pray for deliverance from the threat of evil that dominates the world ( Matthew 6:13;  Luke 11:4 ). By God's power, believers are delivered from "this present evil age" ( Galatians 1:4 ) and the power of Satan's reign ( Colossians 1:13 ).

The evil impulses that grip the human heart cause Paul's cry for deliverance: "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" ( Romans 7:24 ). The answer to Paul's cry is "Jesus Christ our Lord" (v. 25). All pleas for deliverance are answered by the person and work of Jesus Christ. He was delivered up for us ( Romans 4:25 ) that he might deliver us from all that threatens us in this life and in the life to come.

The ultimate deliverance for humankind is from the coming wrath of God on the final day of judgment. Here again, the people of God have hope in the "The Deliverer" ( Romans 11:26 ) who will intervene and save them from the terrible fate reserved for the ungodly: "Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath" ( 1 Thessalonians 1:10 ).

William E. Brown

See also Salvation

Bibliography . J. Schneider and C. Brown, NIDNTT, 3:200-205.

King James Dictionary [3]

Deliver, L Free, disengaged to free, to peel.

1. To free to release, as from restraint to set at liberty as, to deliver one from captivity. 2. To rescue, or save.

Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked.  Psalms 71:4 .

3. To give, or transfer to put into anothers hand or power to commit to pass from one to another.

Thou shalt deliver Pharoahs cup into his hand. Gen.40:11

So we say, to deliver goods to a carrier to deliver a letter to deliver possession of an estate.

4. To surrender to yield to give up to resign as, to deliver a fortress to an enemy. It is often followed by up as, to deliver up the city to deliver up stolen goods.

Th exalted mind

All sense of woe delivers to the wind.

5. To disbuden of a child. 6. To utter to pronounce to speak to send forth in words as, to deliver a sermon, an address, or an oration. 7. To exert in motion.

To deliver to the wind, to cast away to reject.

To deliver over, to transfer to give or pass from one to another as, to deliver over goods to another.

2. To surrender or resign to put into anothers power to commit to the discretion of to abandon to.

Deliver me not over to the will of my enemies.  Psalms 27 .

To deliver up, to give up to surrender.

DELIVER, a. Free nimble.

Webster's Dictionary [4]

(1): ( v. t.) To deliberate.

(2): ( v. t.) To set free from restraint; to set at liberty; to release; to liberate, as from control; to give up; to free; to save; to rescue from evil actual or feared; - often with from or out of; as, to deliver one from captivity, or from fear of death.

(3): ( v. t.) To give or transfer; to yield possession or control of; to part with (to); to make over; to commit; to surrender; to resign; - often with up or over, to or into.

(4): ( v. t.) To make over to the knowledge of another; to communicate; to utter; to speak; to impart.

(5): ( v. t.) To give forth in action or exercise; to discharge; as, to deliver a blow; to deliver a broadside, or a ball.

(6): ( v. t.) To free from, or disburden of, young; to relieve of a child in childbirth; to bring forth; - often with of.

(7): ( v. t.) To discover; to show.

(8): ( v. t.) To admit; to allow to pass.

(9): ( v. t.) Free; nimble; sprightly; active.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [5]

dē̇ - liv´ẽr ( נצל , nācal , נתן , nāthan  ; ῥύομαι , rhúomai , παραδίδωμι , paradı́dōmi ): Occurs very frequently in the Old Testament and represents various Hebrew terms. The English word is used in two senses, (1) "to set free," etc., (2) "to give up or over."

(1) The word most often translated "deliver" in the first sense is nācal , meaning originally, perhaps, "to draw out." It is used of all kinds of deliverance ( Genesis 32:11;  Psalm 25:20;  Psalm 143:9 , etc.;  Jeremiah 7:10;  Ezekiel 3:19 , etc.;  Zephaniah 1:18 , etc.). The Aramaic necal occurs in  Daniel 3:29;  Daniel 6:14;  Daniel 8:4 ,  Daniel 8:7; yāsha‛ , "to save," in  Judges 3:9 ,  Judges 3:31 the King James Version, etc.; mālaṭ , "to let or cause to escape," in  Isaiah 46:2 , "recover," etc. In the New Testament rhuomai , "to rescue," is most frequently translated "deliver" in this sense ( Matthew 6:13 the King James Version, "Deliver us from evil"); katargéō , "to make useless" or "without effect" ( Romans 7:6 the Revised Version (British and American), "discharged"). In the New Testament "save" takes largely the place of "deliver" in the Old Testament, and the idea is raised to the spiritual and eternal.

(2) For "deliver" in the sense of "give over, up," etc., the most frequent word is nāthan , the common word for "to give" ( Genesis 32:16;  Genesis 40:13 the King James Version;   Exodus 5:18 ). Other words are māghan ( Hosea 11:8 , the King James Version and the English Revised Version "How shall I deliver thee Israel?" i.e. "How shall I give thee up?" as in the first clause of the verse, with a different word ( nāthan ), the American Standard Revised Version "How shall I cast thee off?"), yehabh , Aramaic ( Ezra 5:14 ). In the New Testament paradidōmi , "to give over to," is most frequent ( Matthew 5:25;  Matthew 11:27 , "All things have been delivered (given or made over) unto me of my Father";  Mark 7:13;  Luke 1:2;  1 Timothy 1:20 , etc.); charı́zomai , "to grant as a favor" ( Acts 25:11 ,  Acts 25:16 the King James Version).

(3) Yāladh , "to bring forth," is also rendered "deliver" in the sense of childbirth ( Genesis 25:24;  Exodus 1:19 , etc.). In the New Testament this sense is borne by τίκτω , tı́ktō ( Luke 1:57;  Luke 2:6;  Revelation 12:2 ,  Revelation 12:4 ), and γεννάω , gennáō ( John 16:21 ).

In the Revised Version (British and American) there are many changes, such as, for "deliver," "restore" ( Genesis 37:22;  Genesis 40:13;  Exodus 22:26;  Deuteronomy 24:13 ); for "delivered," "defended" ( 1 Chronicles 11:14 ); for "cannot deliver thee," "neither ... turn thee aside" ( Job 36:18 ); for "betray," "betrayed" we have "deliver," "delivered up," etc. ( Matthew 10:4 margin;   Mark 13:12;  Mark 14:10 f;   Luke 21:16 ); for "delivered into chains," "committed to pits" ( 2 Peter 2:4 , margin "some ancient authorities read chains "; compare The Wisdom of Solomon 17:17); "Deliver us from evil," omitted in  Luke 11:4 , margin "Many ancient authorities add but deliver us from the evil one (or, from evil )."

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