From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

OPPRESSION. —The word does not occur in the Gospels or in connexion with the activity of Jesus except in the verbal form in  Acts 10:38 (‘Jesus of Nazareth … went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed [καταδυναστευομένους] of the devil’). In ‘breaking the rod of the oppressor,’ Jesus delivered men not only from sin, but from sorrow and sickness ( Luke 4:18,  Matthew 11:4 f.), from the yoke of legalism ( Luke 11:46), the tyranny of worldly circumstance ( Luke 12:4-7), the fear of death ( Acts 2:15), etc. Oppression of guilt weighing upon the sinner’s soul was a condition which never failed specially to elicit ‘Christ’s sympathy and pity ( Matthew 11:28-30 according to the interpretation that commends itself to the present writer). The sense of this oppression could not exist without an earnest desire to be rid of the burden, and it was this desire that was a sign of a tendency towards a higher life.

It was the oppression of sin that Christ came to take away, and not the yoke of the Roman government which proved so galling to the Jewish nation after their glorious past. It was partly the mistake about the object of His mission that stirred up against Christ the opposition which is so marked a feature in the Gospels. See Opposition.

C. H. Prichard.

Webster's Dictionary [2]

(1): ( n.) That which oppresses; a hardship or injustice; cruelty; severity; tyranny.

(2): ( n.) The act of oppressing, or state of being oppressed.

(3): ( n.) A sense of heaviness or obstruction in the body or mind; depression; dullness; lassitude; as, an oppression of spirits; an oppression of the lungs.

(4): ( n.) Ravishment; rape.

King James Dictionary [3]


1. The act of oppressing the imposition of unreasonable burdens, either in taxes or services cruelty severity. 2. The state of being oppressed or overburdened misery.

the Lord - saw the oppression of Israel.  2 Kings 8 .

3. Hardship calamity. 4. Depression dullness of spirits lassitude of body. 5. A sense of heaviness or weight in the breast, &c.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [4]

o - presh´un  : Used in the King James Version to translate a variety of Hebrew words, all of which, however, agree in the general sense of wrong done by violence to others. There are a few cases where the reference is to the oppression of Israel by foreigners, as by their Egyptian masters (  Exodus 3:9;  Deuteronomy 26:7 ), or by Syria ( 2 Kings 13:4 ), or by an unmentioned nation ( Isaiah 30:20 King James Version, margin). In all these cases the Hebrew original is להץ , laḥac . But in the vast number of cases the reference is to social oppression of one kind or another within Israel's own body. It is frequently theme of psalmist and prophet and wise man. The poor and weak must have suffered greatly at the hands of the stronger and more fortunate. The word laḥac , various forms of the root עשׁק , ‛āshaḳ , and other words are used by the writers as they express their sorrow and indignation over the wrongs of their afflicted brethren. In his own sorrow, Job remembers the suffering of the oppressed ( Job 35:9;  Job 36:15 ); it is a frequent subject of song in the Psalms ( Psalm 12:5;  Psalm 42:9;  Psalm 43:2;  Psalm 44:24;  Psalm 55:3;  Psalm 119:134 ); the preacher observes and reflects upon its prevalence ( Ecclesiastes 4:1;  Ecclesiastes 5:8;  Ecclesiastes 7:7 the King James Version); the prophets Amos (  Amos 3:9 ), Isaiah ( Isaiah 5:7;  Isaiah 59:13 ), Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 6:6;  Jeremiah 22:17 ) and Ezekiel ( Ezekiel 22:7 ,  Ezekiel 22:29 ) thundered against it. It was exercised toward strangers and also toward the Israelites themselves, and was never wholly overcome. In  James 2:6 , "oppress" is the rendering of καταδυναστεύω , katadunasteúō , "to exercise harsh control over one," "to use one's power against one."

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [5]

is the spoiling or taking away of men's property by constraint, terror, or force, without having any right thereto; working on the ignorance, weakness, or fearfulness of the oppressed. Men are guilty of oppression when they offer violence to the bodies, property, or consciences of others; when they crush or overburden others, as the Egyptians did the Hebrews ( Exodus 3:9). There may be oppression which maligns the character, or studies to vex and, other, yet does not affect his life; as there is much persecution, for conscience' sake, which is not fatal though distressing. God is the avenger of all oppression.