From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

GIFT. —Christ continually reminds His disciples that the Father is the source of all gifts. To Him we must trustfully turn. ‘Ask, and it shall be given’ ( Matthew 7:7); ‘Everyone that asketh receiveth’ ( Luke 11:10), and not only ‘daily bread’ ( Matthew 6:11,  Luke 11:3), but ‘whatsoever’ is asked ( John 15:16;  John 16:23). He will never refuse the gift of the Holy Spirit to them that ask ( Luke 11:11-13,  Matthew 7:11), for it is His ‘good pleasure’ to give them ‘the kingdom’ ( Luke 12:32). When Christ has ascended, it is the Father who will send ‘another Comforter’ ( John 14:16); and when trials and persecution shall arise, it is the Father by whom, Christ says, ‘it shall be given you in that hour what ye shall say’ ( Matthew 10:19). We see this confidence inspiring the multitude to glorify God ‘which had given such power unto men’ in the healing of the palsied man ( Matthew 9:8), and making the practical Martha say, ‘I know that whatsoever thou shalt ask of God, God will give unto thee’ ( John 11:22).

It is notable that Christ’s only recorded request for a personal favour should have been the occasion of that deep saying concerning ‘the gift of God’ ( John 4:10). The word used (τὴν δωρεάν) implies a peculiar freedom in the giving; something of bounty not to be purchased. It is used nowhere else in the Gospels (save in the OT quotation in  John 15:25); but in the Acts and Epistles it usually occurs as the distinguishing word for God’s highest gifts, as of grace itself ( Ephesians 3:7), of the ‘heavenly gift’ ( Hebrews 6:4), of the ‘unspeakable gift’ ( 2 Corinthians 9:15), of the saving power of Christ’s life and death ( Romans 5:15), of Christ in us ( Ephesians 4:7), or of the Holy Spirit ( Acts 2:38;  Acts 8:20;  Acts 10:45;  Acts 11:17). In  John 4:10 some hold that our Lord spoke of Himself as ‘the gift of God’ (cf.  John 3:16), others that He meant the unique opportunity the woman now had of gaining religious enlightenment from Him; and the two ideas blend in His words. But the uppermost thought would be the parabolic suggestion of the water for which Jesus had asked, and ‘the gift of God’ would most naturally be that ‘living water’ which He Himself could give her, and which would solve her dimly discerned problems of conduct and worship. The Jews had long connected the precious gift of ‘living water’ with that ever-new and quickening power of the Spirit which, coming from God, can alone satisfy the soul’s thirst for Him ( Zechariah 14:8,  Jeremiah 2:13;  Jeremiah 17:13). So Christ seems to use it here. If the woman but knew ‘the gift of God,’ that fount of the living Spirit which, springing up within, and independent of Samaritan books of the Law, is the assurance of eternal life ( Jeremiah 17:14), and if she could but recognize the supremacy of love and spiritual power in Him who was speaking, then she would not hesitate to ask an infinitely greater gift than He had asked of her. Thus Christ would be the agency; the Eternal Spirit would be ‘the gift.’

The greatest of all gifts would be one’s life. This Christ gave. All other gifts of His are included in this. They are the fruit of this complete self-surrender, which could yield up all things for love of men. True, He gave, and gives His disciples, the unfathomable gift of a Peace which the world could not give ( John 14:27), a Rest for all weary spirits ( Matthew 11:28). To His own He is the Living Water ( John 4:14), the Bread of Life ( John 6:51). He gives the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven ( Matthew 16:10), the new commandment of Love ( John 13:34), and Life Eternal ( John 10:28). But the highest gift included these and more. It was the gift of His life, ‘a ransom for many’ ( Matthew 20:28,  Mark 10:45). This He offered to the Eternal Father, to that Righteousness whose final decision was beyond the Son of man’s bestowal: ‘To sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to giver ( Matthew 20:23,  Mark 10:40). For the gift of the Holy Spirit see art. Holy Spirit. See also art. Giving.

Edgar Daplyn.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [2]

In Old Testament times a gift was customarily given for the price of a bride ( Genesis 34:12 ). The gifts of all the wave offerings of the Israelites were given by God to the priests and their families ( Numbers 18:11 ). Fathers gave gifts to sons before sending them away ( Genesis 25:6 ); sons would receive inheritances from their fathers ( 2 Chronicles 21:3 ). Gifts were often given to the poor. Gifts were sometimes spiritual in orientation: gifts would be given to God ( Exodus 28:38 ) or for service by the Levites and priests ( Numbers 18:6,9 ).

Gifts can be used to gain friends ( Proverbs 19:6 ) or influence ( Proverbs 18:16 ). God gives gifts to people so that they can enjoy life ( Ecclesiastes 3:13 ). Some people boast of gifts, and then never give them ( Proverbs 25:14 ).

In the New Testament a gift was given by the priest as an offering to God ( Hebrews 5:1 ). The magi presented gifts to the infant Jesus ( Matthew 2:11 ). God gave the gift of redemption to humankind ( Ephesians 2:8 ).

God's righteousness is a gift ( Romans 5:17 ); God has provided for us an "indescribable" gift ( 2 Corinthians 9:15 ). Paul talks about the gifts of the Spirit ( 1 Corinthians 12 ). Those who have tasted the heavenly gift have been enlightened ( Hebrews 6:4 ). Paul is a servant of the gospel by the gift of God's grace ( Ephesians 3:7 ).

In general, in Scripture the word "gift" has three senses: gifts men give to men; sacrificial offerings presented to God; and gifts God gives to men, especially in connection with salvation, righteousness, and his grace.

Louis Goldberg

See also Offerings and Sacrifices.

Bibliography . F. F. Bruce, ISBE, 2:395-96; F. Buchsel, TDNT, 2:860-66; D. G. Burke, ISBE, 2:465-67; W. Kaiser, TWOT, 2:600-602; G. Thompson and W. A. Elwell, EDT, pp. 1042-46; W. White, Jr., ZPEB, 2:721.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [3]

  • Simply a thing given ( Matthew 7:11;  Luke 11:13;  Ephesians 4:8 ); sacrifical ( Matthew 5:23,24;  8:4 ); eleemosynary ( Luke 21:1 ); a gratuity ( John 4:10;  Acts 8:20 ). In  Acts 2:38 the generic word dorea is rendered "gift." It differs from the charisma (  1 Corinthians 12:4 ) as denoting not miraculous powers but the working of a new spirit in men, and that spirit from God.

    The giving of presents entered largely into the affairs of common life in the East. The nature of the presents was as various as were the occasions: food ( 1 Samuel 9:7;  16:20 ), sheep and cattle ( Genesis 32:13-15 ), gold ( 2 Samuel 18:11 ), jewels ( Genesis 24:53 ), furniture, and vessels for eating and drinking ( 2 Samuel 17:28 ); delicacies, as spices, honey, etc. ( 1 Kings 10:25;  2 Kings 5 ::  22 ). The mode of presentation was with as much parade as possible: the presents were conveyed by the hands of servants ( Judges 3:18 ), or still better, on the backs of beasts of burden ( 2 Kings 8:9 ). The refusal of a present was regarded as a high indignity; and this constituted the aggravated insult noticed in  Matthew 22:11 , the marriage robe having been offered and refused.

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Gift'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • King James Dictionary [4]

    GIFT, n. from give. A present any thing given or bestowed any thing, the property of which is voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation a donation. It is applicable to any thing movable or immovable.

    1. The act of giving or conferring. 2. The right or power of giving or bestowing. The prince has the gift of many lucrative offices. 3. An offering or oblation.

    If thou bring thy gift to the altar.  Matthew 5

    4. A reward.

    Let thy gifts be to thyself.  Daniel 5

    5. A bribe any thing given to corrupt the judgment.

    Neither take a gift for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise.  Deuteronomy 16

    6. Power faculty some quality or endowment conferred by the author of our nature as the gift of wit the gift of ridicule.

    GIFT, To endow with any power or faculty.

    Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [5]

    I should not have noticed this word, but with a view to speak of God's highest and best gift. The sweetest feature in the gospel is, that Christ, the great Author of it, is a gift of God; yea, the greatest and most important of all gifts, and including every other. For where Jesus is, there all blessings abound. Where he is not, it matters not what else there is. Hence Paul exclaims, "Now thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!" ( 2 Corinthians 9:15)

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [6]

    the rendering of seven Heb. and four Greek terms (with their variations from the same root) in the A.V., besides being the import of others differently rendered. Several of these have a distinct and special meaning, indicative of the relation of giver and receiver, or of the motive and object of the presentation. They are as follows:

    1. Properly and simply מִתִּן , Mattan', a Gratuity ( Proverbs 19:6), to secure favor ( Proverbs 18:16;  Proverbs 21:14), in religious thankfulness ( Numbers 18:11), or in dowry ( Genesis 4:12). From the same root ( נָתִן , Nathan', to Bestow, in the widest sense) are also מִתָּנָה , Mattanah', A Present, e.g. a divine bestowal ( Psalms 68:18), in charity ( Esther 9:22), in religious consecration ( Exodus 28:38 ;  Leviticus 23:38;  Numbers 18:6-7;  Numbers 18:29;  Deuteronomy 16:17;  Ezekiel 20:26;  Ezekiel 20:31;  Ezekiel 20:39), in inheritance ( Genesis 25:6;  2 Chronicles 21:3;  Ezekiel 46:16-17), or as a bribe ( Proverbs 15:27  Ecclesiastes 6:7); with its corresponding Chald מִתְּנָה , Mattenah', e.g. A Royal Bounty ( Daniel 2:6;  Daniel 2:48;  Daniel 5:17); and the synonymous מִתִּת , mattath', e.g. A Reward (as rendered in  1 Kings 13:7) or Fee ( Proverbs 25:14), or simple conferment ( Ecclesiastes 3:13;  Ecclesiastes 5:19) or contribution ( Ezekiel 46:5;  Ezekiel 46:11). From the same root likewise The Nethinim (sc. Given, i.e., consecrated,  Numbers 8:19).

    2. From the root נָשָׂא , Nasa', to Raise, in the "Piel" sense of Aiding, sc. by a gift, come מִשְׂאִת , Maseth', Pecuniary Assistance ( Esther 2:18; elsewhere in various altered significations, and with different renderings); and נַשֵּׂאת , Nisseth, A Present in token of respect ( 2 Samuel 19:42). Perhaps the inherent idea of these terms, however, is rather that of oblation to a superior, i.e., honorary gift; hence the former is also used of a dish of honor sent to special guests ("mess," 43:34;  2 Samuel 11:8), and of a Tax or fixed contribution towards the sanctuary ("collection,"  2 Chronicles 24:6;  2 Chronicles 24:9), or voluntary first-fruits offered ("oblation,"  Ezekiel 20:40); like the cognate מִשָּׂא , massa' ("tribute,"  2 Chronicles 17:11).

    3. More distinctly in the sense of a votive offering is מַנְחָה , Minchah', an oblation or propitiatory gift ( 2 Samuel 8:2;  2 Samuel 8:6;  1 Chronicles 18:2;  1 Chronicles 18:6;  2 Chronicles 26:8;  2 Chronicles 32:23;  Psalms 45:12; "present,"  Genesis 32:13; Genesis 18, 20, 21;  Genesis 33:10;  Genesis 43:11;  Genesis 43:15;  Genesis 43:25-26;  Judges 3:15;  Judges 3:17-18;  Judges 6:18;  1 Samuel 10:27;  1 Kings 4:21;  2 Kings 8:8-9;  2 Chronicles 9:24;  2 Chronicles 17:5;  2 Chronicles 17:11;  Psalms 72:10; in several of which passages the word has the accessory idea of Tribute; elsewhere usually rendered "offering"). Kindred in meaning with the last, but from an entirely different root ( שׁוּר , Shur, to travel about with a commodity Offered in sale), is תְּשׁוּרָה , Teshurah', A Conciliatory "present," e.g. to a seer-fee ( 1 Samuel 9:7). Different still is תְּרוּמָה , Terumah (from רוּם , Rum, to be Hglh), an Oblation ( Proverbs 29:4), especial Ly A Peace-Offering (as usually rendered). The word בְּרָכָה , blessing, is sometimes used of a Present ( Genesis 33:11;  1 Samuel 25:27;  2 Kings 5:15), munificence ( Proverbs 11:25), or benefaction ( Genesis 49:25;  Isaiah 19:24).

    4. Mercenary in character are the following: שֹׁחִר , Sho'Chad, A Bribe, especially given to a judge to obtain a favorable verdict ( Exodus 23:8;  Deuteronomy 16:19;  2 Chronicles 19:7;  Proverbs 6:35;  Proverbs 17:8;  Proverbs 17:23;  Isaiah 1:23;  Ezekiel 22:12; elsewhere rendered "bribe," "reward," "present"); אֶשְׁכָּר , Eshkar (from שָׁכִר , to Hire), Price, i.e., tribute ( Psalms 72:10; "present,"  Ezekiel 27:15). So also שַׁלּוּחַים , Shilluchim (literally Sendings away), dotal "presents" ( 1 Kings 9:16) (See Dowry); but נֵדֶה , ne'deh (lit. Liberality), signifies the prodigal wages of a harlot ( Ezekiel 16:35).

    5. In Greek the usual terms are some derivative from Δίδωμι , to Give, namely Δόμα , a Gift, simply, it is the thing given ( Matthew 7:11;  Luke 11:13;  Ephesians 4:8;  Philippians 4:17), Δόσις , the act of Giving ( James 1:17); Δῶρον , a Conferment in token of amity ( Matthew 2:11;  Ephesians 2:8;  Revelation 11:10), or sacrificial ( Matthew 5:23-24;  Matthew 8:4;  Matthew 23:18-19;  Hebrews 5:1;  Hebrews 8:3-4;  Hebrews 9:9;  Hebrews 11:4), or merely eleemosynary ( Luke 21:1) or in consecration ( Matthew 15:5;  Mark 7:11) (See Corban); whereas Δωρεά , a Gratuity ( John 4:10;  Acts 2:38;  Acts 8:20;  Acts 10:45;  Acts 11:17;  Romans 5:15;  Romans 5:17;  2 Corinthians 9:15;  Ephesians 3:7;  Ephesians 4:7;  Hebrews 6:4), and Δώρημα , endowment ( Romans 5:16;  James 1:17), refer to spiritual bestowments, i.e. grace. These significations are distributed in Ἀνάθημα , A Votive offering ( Luke 21:5, as being Hung up),.and Χάρις ( 2 Corinthians 8:4; "liberality,"  1 Corinthians 16:3; "benefit,"  2 Corinthians 1:15), Grace (as elsewhere usually rendered), and its cognate Χάρισμα , an Inpasrtation which is spoken of spiritual and unmerited endowments ( Romans 5:15, i6; 6:23), especially the miraculous or special powers granted to the early Christians ( Romans 1:11;  Romans 12:6;  1 Corinthians 1:7;  1 Corinthians 7:7;  1 Corinthians 12:4;  1 Corinthians 12:9;  1 Corinthians 12:28;  1 Corinthians 12:30-31;  2 Corinthians 1:11;  1 Timothy 4:14;  2 Timothy 1:6;  1 Peter 1:10); while Μεοισμός (a Dividing, as in  Hebrews 4:12), points out the distribution of these among believers ( Hebrews 2:4). Henderson has admirably analyzed the terms used in the above passage ( 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) for these various "operations" in his work on Divine Inspiration (Lond. 1847), lect. 4. (See Spiritual Gifts).

    "The giving and receiving of presents has in all ages been not only a usore frequent, but also a more formal and significant proceeding in the East than among ourselves. It enters largely into the ordinary transactions of life: no negotiation, alliance, or contract of any kind can be entered into between states or sovereigns without a previous interchange of presents: none of the important events of private life, betrothal, marriage, coming of age, birth, take place without presents: even a visit, if of a formal nature, must be prefaced by a present. The extent to which the custom prevailed admits of some explanation from the peculiar usages of the East: it is clear that the term 'gift' is frequently used where we would substitute 'tribute' or 'fee.' The tribute of subject states was paid, not in a fixed sum of money, but in kind, each nation presenting its particular product a custom which is frequently illustrated in the sculptures of Assyria and Egypt; hence the numerous instances in which the present was no voluntary act, but an exaction ( Judges 3:15-18;  2 Samuel 8:2;  2 Samuel 8:6;  1 Kings 4:21;  2 Kings 17:3;  2 Chronicles 17:11;  2 Chronicles 26:8); and hence the expression 'to bring presents' to own submission ( Psalms 68:29;  Psalms 76:11;  Isaiah 18:7).

    Again, the present taken to a prophet-was viewed very much in the light of a consulting 'fee,' and conveyed no idea of bribery ( 1 Samuel 9:7; comp. 12:3;  2 Kings 5:5;  2 Kings 8:9): it was only when false prophets and corrupt judges arose that the present was prostituted, and became, instead of a Minchah (as in the instances quoted), a shockad or bribe ( Isaiah 1:23;  Isaiah 5:23;  Ezekiel 22:12;  Micah 3:11). But even allowing for these cases, which are hardly 'gifts' in our sense of the term, there is still a large excess remaining in the practice of the East: friends brought presents to friends on any joyful occasion ( Esther 9:19;  Esther 9:22), those who asked for information or advice to those who gave it ( 2 Kings 8:8), the needy to the wealthy from whom any assistance was expected ( Genesis 43:11;  2 Kings 15:19;  2 Kings 16:8), rulers to their favorites ( Genesis 45:22;  2 Samuel 11:8), especially to their officers ( Esther 2:18; Josephus, Ant. 12:2, 15), on to the people generally on festive occasions ( 2 Samuel 6:19): on the occasion of a marriage,,the bridegroom not only paid the parents for his bride (A.V. 'dowry'), but also gave the bride certain presents ( Genesis 34:12; comp.  Genesis 24:22), while the father of the bride gave her a present on Sending Her away, as is expressed in the term Shilluch '''''Î''''' M'' ( שַׁלֻּחַים ( 1 Kings 9:16); and again, the portions of the sons of concubines were paid in the form of presents ( Genesis 15:6). "The nature of the presents was as various as were the occasions: food ( 1 Samuel 9:7;  1 Samuel 16:20;  1 Samuel 25:18), sheep, and cattle ( Genesis 32:13-15;  Judges 15:1), gold ( 2 Samuel 18:11;  Job 13:11;  Matthew 2:11), jewels ( Genesis 24:53), furniture, and vessels for eating and drinking ( 2 Samuel 17:28), delicacies, such as spices, honey, etc. ( Genesis 24:53;  1 Kings 10:25;  2 Kings 5:22), particularly in the case of persons inducted into high office ( Esther 6:8;  Daniel 5:16; comp. Herod. 3:20). The mode of presentation was with as much parade as possible; the presents were conveyed by the hands of servants ( Judges 3:18), or, still better on the backs of beasts of burden ( 2 Kings 8:9), even when such a mode of conveyance was unnecessary. The refusal of a present was regarded as a high indignity, and this constituted the aggravated insult noticed in  Matthew 22:11, the marriage robe having been offered and refused (Trench, Parables). No less an insult was it not to bring a present when the position of the, parties demanded it ( 1 Samuel 10:27). (See Present).

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [7]

    gift ( מתּנה , mattānāh , מנחה , minḥāh , שׁחד , shōḥadh  ; δῶρον , dō̇ron , δωρεά , dōreá , χάρισμα , chárisma ): In   Genesis 25:6;  Exodus 28:38;  Numbers 18:6 ,  Numbers 18:7 ,  Numbers 18:29;  Ezekiel 20:26 , etc., mattānāh , "a gift," is so rendered; minḥāh , an offering or present, used especially of the "meat offerings," is translated "gift" ( 2 Samuel 8:2 ,  2 Samuel 8:6 the King James Version;   2 Chronicles 26:8 ), in which passages "tribute" is meant, as the Revised Version (British and American);  Ezekiel 32:23;  Psalm 45:12 . A few other words occur singly, e.g. 'eshkar , "a reward" ( Psalm 72:10 ); mas'ēth , "lifting up" ( Esther 2:18 ); nāthūn is translated "gifts" ( Numbers 8:19; the Revised Version, margin "Hebrew nethūnı̄m , given"); nēdheh , nādhān , "impure gifts" ( Ezekiel 16:33 ); nis - sē'th , "a thing lifted up" ( 2 Samuel 19:42 ); ה , shōḥadh means "a bribe" ( Exodus 23:8;  Deuteronomy 16:19;  2 Chronicles 19:7;  Proverbs 6:35;  Proverbs 17:8 ,  Proverbs 17:23;  Isaiah 1:23;  Ezekiel 22:12 ); in each instance the American Standard Revised Version has "bribe" except  Proverbs 6:35 , "gifts"; terūmāh , "a present" ( Proverbs 29:4 ), may also mean a bribe, the King James Version "he that receiveth gifts," the Revised Version (British and American) "he that exacteth gifts," margin "imposeth tribute, Hebrew a man of offerings."

    In the New Testament dōron , "a present," "gift" (from dı́dōmi , "to give"), is translated "gift" (  Matthew 2:11;  Matthew 5:23 ,  Matthew 5:14 bis  ;  Mark 7:11 the King James Version;   Hebrews 5:1;  Revelation 11:10 , etc., referring chiefly to gifts or offerings to God); dōrea , "a free gift" ( John 4:10;  Acts 2:38;  Romans 5:15 ,  Romans 5:17;  2 Corinthians 9:15;  Hebrews 6:4 , etc., referring to the gifts of God); dō̇rēma , "a free gift" ( Romans 5:16;  James 1:17 , the English Revised Version "boon"); dósis , "giving" ( James 1:17 , "every good gift," the Revised Version, margin "giving"); charisma , "grace," "favor," a benefit or good conferred, is also used of Divine gifts and favors, especially of the supernatural gifts imparted by the Holy Spirit ( charı́smata ) enumerated in Rom 12; 1 Cor 12; the word occurs translated "gift, gifts" ( Romans 1:11 ), "some spiritual gift" ( Romans 5:15 ,  Romans 5:16 , "free gift";  Romans 6:23 , "The gift of God is eternal life," the Revised Version (British and American) "free gift";  Romans 11:29;  1 Corinthians 1:7;  1 Corinthians 7:7;  2 Corinthians 1:11;  1 Timothy 4:14;  2 Timothy 1:6;  1 Peter 4:10 ); cháris , "grace," "favor" ( 2 Corinthians 8:4 , the Revised Version (British and American) "grace"); merismós , "distribution," "parting" ( Hebrews 2:4 , the Revised Version, margin "distributions"); anáthēma , "a thing devoted to God," is once ( Luke 21:5 ) used of "the goodly gifts" (the Revised Version (British and American) "offerings") which adorned the Temple at Jerusalem.

    In the Revised Version (British and American) "gift" is substituted in the text of  Genesis 33:11 for blessing, margin Hebrew "blessing"; "boasteth himself of his gifts falsely" (  Proverbs 25:14 ) for "boasteth himself of a false gift," margin Hebrew "in a gift of falsehood"; "a parting gift" for "presents" ( Micah 1:14 ); "Given to God" for "a gift" ( Mark 7:11 ).