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Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [1]

We ought not to pass over this expression, though the word itself is so generally understood. There is somewhat in it so truly blessed, when we consider it in relation to Christ, as the Christ of God; and also, in relation to the church, considered from her union with Christ, and interest in Christ, that the word beloved, when spoken of either, comes home to the affection peculiarly sweet and endeared. To refer to all the passages of Scripture, in which Christ is declared beloved, would be very many indeed. It will be fully sufficient to all the present purposes intended, to remark, that in all the parts of the divine word, at every place, and upon every occasion, when God the Father is represented as speaking of his dear Son, or to him, he expresseth himself with the greatest rapture and delight. He calls him his elect, his chosen, his only beloved, his dear Son; as if he would have every individual member of his church, (and which is indeed the case) to fall in love with him. And what I would beg the reader particularly to remark with me on this occasion is, that this love of the Father to the Son is specially spoken of in Scripture, not with reference to his divine nature, but in his mediatorial character. It would have been of no profit to us, (for the subject is above our faculties of apprehension) to have been told of the love of the Father to the Son, in the nature and essence of the Godhead How the divine persons love each other in the infinity and eternity of their nature, none but themselves in their eternal nature can have any conceptions concerning. But the love of God, yea, all the persons of the GODHEAD to the person of Christ, as God-man Mediator; this is a subject concerning which we find somewhat for the mind to lean upon; and, under divine teaching, can make discovery sufficient to create a joy from it, "unspeakable and full of glory." What a rapturous thought to the soul is it, that our Jesus is beloved of Jehovah because he undertook our cause, became our Surety, lived for us as such, and died for us as such, and is now carrying on the one glorious design for which he became incarnate, in bringing "many sons unto glory." The Lord Jesus speaks of his Father's love to him on this very account. "Therefore, (saith Jesus) doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." ( John 10:17-18. See also  Isaiah 42:21)

And as Christ is thus beloved on the account of his gracious office and undertaking as Mediator, so is the church on his account, and for his sake beloved also. He it is, indeed, that gives this loveliness to his church, for there is nothing in the church, or in the acts of the church, which can be lovely, but on the Lord's account, and as beheld and accepted in him. But as considered as one with Christ, and made comely, from the comeliness which Jesus hath imparted to her, and put upon her, she is lovely in God the Father's view, and beloved by JEHOVAH for ever. Yea, the Lord Jesus not only calls her his beloved, and tells her that she is all fair, and that there is no spot in her, but he saith, in that sweet prayer he put up to the Father, in the night before his sufferings and death, that "the Father loveth the church as the Father loved him." (See  John 17:23)

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [2]

Beloved —Wherever the word rendered ‘beloved’ (ἀγαπητός—in 9 places Authorized Version has ‘dearly beloved’ and in 3 places ‘well-beloved’; in every case Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 has ‘beloved’ only) is used in the NT, it seems to imply a love deeper and more intimate than the common affections, and is therefore but sparingly employed. In the Epistles it is the indication of the inner brotherhood, and its very form ‘beloved brethren’ has passed into every liturgy. St. Paul uses it to distinguish, as with peculiar honour, those whom he has personally enlightened with the new faith, as Epaenetus ( Romans 16:5), Timothy ( 1 Corinthians 4:17), or a whole community ( 1 Corinthians 10:14,  Philippians 2:12). But in the Gospels the word is used solely concerning Christ, and marks out the Son’s especial relationship to the Father. There is abundance of love throughout the Gospels: whether of Jesus for John and the rest, or of the disciples and others for Him: and there is no weakness or timidity in the expression of the love. But to none other save Himself is the word ‘beloved’ applied. He Himself uses it but once, and then in the parable of the Lord of the Vineyard, wherein the ‘beloved son’ is the evident picture of the Son of Man ( Mark 12:6 [Authorized Version ‘well-beloved’],  Luke 20:13). Elsewhere the Evangelists (Synoptists only), who give the word, report it as the utterance of God, the Divine recognition and approval of the Son. The influence of the OT is plainly visible in the words heard at the Baptism. Jesus hears the voice of God pronouncing a benediction in clearest remembrance of  Psalms 2:7, ‘Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee,’ and of  Isaiah 42:1 ‘My chosen, in whom my soul delighteth’ (quoted in  Matthew 12:18; cf. Bruce, Expos. Gr. Test., in loc. ); for the Synoptists agree in the phrase ‘My beloved son in (thee whom) I am well pleased’ ( Matthew 3:17,  Mark 1:11,  Luke 3:22). And there is something beautifully fitting in this consecration of the opening of His ministry by a blended echo of psalm and prophecy. The other occasion of the word is that record of another great revealing moment of His life—the Transfiguration, when two of the three tell of ‘a voice out of the cloud (saying), This is my beloved son, hear ye him’ ( Matthew 17:5,  Mark 9:7; in the ||  Luke 9:36 the true reading is ἐκλελεγμένος).

Literature.—The Lexicons of Cremer and Grimm-Thayer, s.v. ἀγατητός; R. H. Charles, Ascension of Isaiah (1900), p. 3 and passim  ; J. A. Robinson, Epistle to Ephesians (1904), 229; art. ‘Beloved’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible.

E. Daplyn.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [3]

A — 1: Ἀγαπητός (Strong'S #27 — Adjective — agapetos — ag-ap-ay-tos' )

from agapao, "to love," is used of Christ as loved by God, e.g.,  Matthew 3:17; of believers (ditto), e.g.,  Romans 1:7; of believers, one of another,  1—Corinthians 4:14; often, as a form of address, e.g.,  1—Corinthians 10:14 . Whenever the AV has "dearly beloved," the RV has "beloved;" so, "well beloved" in  3—John 1:1; in  1—John 2:7 , AV, "brethren" (adelphos), the RV has "beloved," according to the mss. which have agapetos. See Dear.

B — 1: Ἀγαπάω (Strong'S #25 — Verb — agapao — ag-ap-ah'-o )

in its perfect participle Passive form, is translated "beloved" in  Romans 9:25;  Ephesians 1:6;  Colossians 3:12;  1—Thessalonians 1:4;  2—Thessalonians 2:13 . In  Jude 1:1 the best texts have this verb (RV); the AV, "sanctified" follows those which have hagiazo. See Love.

 Luke 9:35 Philemon 1:2

Webster's Dictionary [4]

(1): (n.) One greatly loved.

(2): (imp. & p. p.) of Belove

(3): (p. p. & a.) Greatly loved; dear to the heart.

King James Dictionary [5]

BELOV'ED, ppr. be and loved, from love. Belove, as a verb, is not used.

Loved greatly loved dear to the heart.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [6]

BELOVED . See Love .

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [7]

bē̇ - luv´ed , bē̇ - luv ' d ´ (ἀγαπητός , agapētós ): A term of affectionate endearment common to both Testaments; in the Old Testament found, 26 out of 42 times, in Solomon's Song of Love. Limited chiefly to two Heb words and their derivatives: אהב , 'āhēbh , "to breathe" or "long for," hence, to love, corresponding to the New Testament, ἀγαπάω , agapáō , "to prefer," i.e. a love based on respect and benevolent regard; דּוד , dōdh , "love," chiefly love between the sexes, based on sense and emotion, akin to φιλέω , philéō (Latin amare ). Used occasionally, in their nobler sense, interchangeably, e.g. the former of a husband's love for his wife ( Deuteronomy 21:15 ,  Deuteronomy 21:16 ); twice of a lover ( Song of Solomon 1:14 ,  Song of Solomon 1:16 ), Thus lifting the affection of the Song of Solomon out of mere amorousness into the realm of the spiritual and possibly Messianic. Both words used of God's love for His chosen: e.g. Solomon, "beloved of his God" ( Nehemiah 13:26 ); Benjamin "beloved of Yahweh" ( Deuteronomy 33:12 ); so even of wayward Israel ( Jeremiah 11:15 ).

In the New Testament "beloved" used exclusively of Divine and Christian love, an affection begotten in the community of the new spiritual life in Christ, e.g. "beloved in the Lord" ( Romans 16:8 ). The beauty, unity, endearment of this love is historically unique, being peculiarly Christian. "Brethren" in Christ are "beloved" ( 1 Thessalonians 1:4;  1 Corinthians 15:58;  James 1:16;  James 2:5 ). Many individuals are specified by name: Timothy ( 2 Timothy 1:2 ); Philemon ( Philippians 1:1 ); Amplias, Urbane, Stachys, Persis ( Romans 16:8 ,  Romans 16:9 ,  Romans 16:12 ), etc. The aged John is the conspicuous New Testament illustration of the depth and tenderness of Christian love. In his epistles alone he addresses his disciples 12 times as "beloved." Paul terms "God's elect" "holy and beloved" ( Colossians 3:12 ).

The term rises to still Diviner significance as an epithet of Christ, whom Paul, grateful for His "freely bestowed" grace, terms "the Beloved." This is the word used repeatedly to express God the Father's infinite affection for Jesus His "beloved Son" ( Matthew 3:17;  Matthew 12:18;  Matthew 17:5;  Mark 1:11;  Mark 9:7;  Luke 3:22;  Luke 20:13 ).

Agapētos rendered as above 47 times is 9 times "dearly beloved" (the Revised Version (British and American) uniformly omits "dearly") and 3 times "well beloved" (the Revised Version (British and American) omits "well"). The former rendering found only once in the Old Testament (ידידוּת , yedhı̄dhūth , "something beloved"), portraying God's tender love for His people: "dearly beloved of my soul" ( Jeremiah 12:7 ). Thrice is Daniel spoken of as "greatly beloved" of Gabriel and of God (חמוּדות , ḥămūdhōth , "precious," i.e. delight = beloved;  Daniel 9:23;  Daniel 10:11 ,  Daniel 10:19 ). Through the apostles the word has become familiar in pastoral and sermonic address. Few New Testament words better illustrate the power and impress of the Christian spirit on succeeding centuries than this.