Smith's Bible DictionaryFather
The position and authority of the father as the head of the family are expressly assumed and sanctioned in Scripture, as a likeness of that of the Almighty over his creatures. It lies of course at the root of that so-called patriarchal government, (Genesis 3:16; 1 Corinthians 11:3) which was introductory to the more definite systems which followed, and which in part, but not wholly, superseded it. The father's blessing was regarded as conferring special benefit, but his malediction special injury, on those on whom it fell, (Genesis 9:25,27; 27:27-40; 48:15,20; 49:1) ... and so also the sin of a parent was held to affect, in certain cases, the welfare of his descendants. (2 Kings 5:27) The command to honor parents is noticed by St. Paul as the only one of the Decalogue which bore a distinct promise, (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:2) and disrespect towards them was condemned by the law as one of the worst crimes. (Exodus 21:15,17; 1 Timothy 1:9) It is to this well-recognized theory of parental authority and supremacy that the very various uses of the term "father" in Scripture are due. "Fathers" is used in the sense of seniors, (Acts 7:2; 22:1) and of parents in general, or ancestors. (Daniel 5:2; Jeremiah 27:7; Matthew 23:30,32)
ATS Bible DictionaryFather
Is often synonymous with ancestor, founder, or originator, as Genesis 4:20-21 John 8:56 Romans 4:16. Joseph was a father to Pharoah, Genesis 45:8, as his counselor and provider. God is the FATHER of men, as their Creator, De 32:6 Isaiah 63:16 64:8 Luke 3:38. But as we have forfeited the rights of children by our sins, it is only through Christ that we can call God by that endearing name, "our Father," John 20:17 Romans 8:15-17.
In patriarchal times, a father was master and judge in his own household, and exercised and authority almost unlimited over his family. Filial disobedience or disrespect was a high offence. Under the law, certain acts of children were capital crimes, Exodus 21:15,17 Le 20:9; and the father was required to bring his son to the public tribunal, De 21:18-21. See MOTHER.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaFATHER
fa'-ther (Anglo-Saxon, Foeder; German, Vater; Hebrew 'abh, etymology uncertain, found in many cognate languages; Greek pater, from root pa, "nourisher," "protector," "upholder"):
1. Immediate Male Ancestor:
Immediate male ancestor. The father in the Hebrew family, as in the Roman, had supreme rights over his children, could dispose of his daughter in marriage (Genesis 29), arrange his son's marriage (Genesis 24), sell his children (Exodus 21:7), but not his daughter to a stranger (Nehemiah 5:5), had power of life and death, as in the case of Isaac (Genesis 22), Jephthah's daughter (Judges 11:34), the sacrificing of his children to Molech (Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:3-5), etc. Respect, reverence and affection for fathers (and equally for mothers) is most tenderly, explicitly and sternly prescribed from the earliest times (Exodus 20:12 Leviticus 19:3 Deuteronomy 5:16 Micah 7:6 Ezekiel 22:7, etc.). A symmetrical and beautiful picture of the duties and character of the ideal human father may be built up from the Old Testament, with added and enlarged touches from the New Testament. He loves (Genesis 37:4); commands (Genesis 50:16 Proverbs 6:20); instructs (Proverbs 1:8, etc.); guides, encourages, warns (Jeremiah 3:4 1 Thessalonians 2:11); trains (Hosea 11:3); rebukes (Genesis 34:30); restrains (Eli, by contrast, 1 Samuel 3:13); punishes (Deuteronomy 21:18); chastens (Proverbs 3:12 Deuteronomy 8:5); nourishes (Isaiah 1:2); delights in his son (Proverbs 3:12), and in his son's wisdom (Proverbs 10:1); is deeply pained by his folly (Proverbs 17:25); he is considerate of his children's needs and requests (Matthew 7:10); considerate of their burdens, or sins (Malachi 3:17, "As a man spareth his own son"); tenderly familiar (Luke 11:7, "with me in bed"); considerately self-restrained (Ephesians 6:4, "Provoke not your children to wrath"); having in view the highest ends (ibid., "Nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord"); pitiful (Psalm 103:13, "as a father pitieth his children"); the last human friend (but one) to desert the child (Psalm 27:10: "When (a thing to the psalmist incredible) my father and my mother forsake me, then Yahweh will take me up").
2. Ancestors, Immediate or Remote:
(a) Ancestor, immediate or remote: Genesis 28:13, "Abraham thy father" (grandfather); 1 Kings 22:50, "Jehoshaphat. David his father"; Jeremiah 35:6, "Jonadab, the son of Rechab, our father"; Daniel 5:11, "Nebuchadnezzar thy father" (personal or official ancestor); Genesis 15:15, "Go to thy fathers in peace" (and so (in the plural) in over 500 passages). The expressions "slept with his fathers," "go down to his fathers," "buried with his fathers," "gathered to his fathers," are self-explanatory euphemisms.
(b) The founders of the (Hebrew) race, specifically the patriarchs:' Romans 9:5, "whose are the fathers," considered here also as in a sense the religious ancestors of all believers.
(c) Progenitors of clans, i.e. (Revised Version (British and American)) "fathers' houses": Exodus 6:14 1 Chronicles 27:1, etc.
(d) Gods as progenitors of men: Jeremiah 2:27, "Who say to a stock, thou art my father."
3. Figurative and Derived Uses:
(a) A spiritual ancestor, one who has infused his own spirit into others, whether good, as Abraham, the father of the faithful, Romans 4:11; or bad, as John 8:44, "Ye are of your father the devil."
(b) Indicating closest resemblance, kinship, affinity: Job 17:14, "If I have said to corruption, Thou art my father."
(c) A source: Ephesians 1:17, "Father of glory"; Job 38:28, "Hath the rain a father?"
(d) Creator: James 1:17, "the Father of lights."
(e) The inventor or originator of an art or mode of life: Genesis 4:20, "father of such as dwell in tents" (a hint here of hereditary occupations? Probably not).
(f) One who exhibits the fatherly characteristics: Psalm 68:5, "a father of the fatherless."
(g) One who occupies a position of counsel, care, or control (frequently applied by sultans to their prime ministers): Genesis 45:8, "a father to Pharaoh"; Judges 17:10, "Be unto me a father and a priest."
(h) A revered or honored superior: 2 Kings 5:13, "My father, if the prophet had bid thee"; but especially applied to prophets: 2 Kings 2:12, "My father, my father!" also to elderly and venerable men: 1 John 2:13, "I write unto you, fathers"; hence also, with perhaps an outlook on (2) (a), deceased early Christians: 2 Peter 3:4, "from the day that the fathers fell asleep." An ecclesiastical title, condemned (in principle) by our Lord: Matthew 23:9, "Call no man your father on the earth"; but applied, under the power of the Spirit, to members of the Sanhedrin (probably) by Stephen: Acts 7:2; and by Paul: 22:1, but the latter, perhaps also the former, may simply refer to the elderly among his hearers. Christ's condemnation is clearly of the praise-seeking or obsequious spirit, rather than of a particular custom.
"Father," used by Mary of Joseph, in relation to Jesus, equals "putative father," a necessary reserve at a time when the virgin birth could not yet be proclaimed (Luke 2:49). But note Jesus' answer: "my Father's house."
Philip Wendell Crannell
FATHER, GOD THE
In the Christian religion God is conceived of as "Father," "Our Father. in heaven" (Matthew 6:9, 14, 26, etc.), "the God and Father of the Lord Jesus" (2 Corinthians 11:31, etc.). The tenderness of relation and wealth of love and grace embraced in this profound designation are peculiar to Christ's gospel. Pagan religions also could speak of God as "Father" (Zeus Pater), and in the general sense of Creator God has a universal fatherly relation to the world (Acts 17:24-28). In the Old Testament God was revealed as Father to the chosen nation (Exodus 4:22), and to the special representative of the nation, the king (2 Samuel 7:14), while fatherly love is declared to be the image of His pity for those who fear Him (Psalm 103:13). In the gospel of Jesus alone is this Fatherhood revealed to be of the very essence of the Godhead, and to have respect to the individual. Here, however, there is need for great discrimination. To reach the heart of the truth of the Divine Fatherhood it is necessary to begin, not with man, but with the Godhead itself, in whose eternal depths is found the spring of that Fatherly love that reveals itself in time. It is first of all in relation to the eternal Son-before all time-that the meaning of Fatherhood in God is made clear (John 1:18). In "God the Father" we have a name pointing to that relation which the first Person in the adorable Trinity sustains to "Son" and "Holy Spirit"-also Divine (Matthew 28:19). From this eternal fountain-head flow the relations of God as Father
(1) to the world by creation;
(2) to believers by grace.
Man as created was designed by affinity of nature for sonship to God. The realization of this-his true creature-destiny-was frustrated by sin, and can now only be restored by redemption. Hence, the place of sonship in the gospel, as an unspeakable privilege (1 John 3:1), obtained by grace, through regeneration (John 1:12, 13), and adoption (Romans 8:14, 19). In this relation of nearness and privilege to the Father in the kingdom of His Son (Colossians 1:13), believers are "sons of God" in a sense true of no others. It is a relation, not of nature, but of grace. Fatherhood is now the determinative fact in God's relation to them (Ephesians 3:14). It is an error, nevertheless, to speak of fatherhood as if the whole character of God was therein sufficiently expressed. God is Father, but equally fundamental is His relation to His world as its Moral Ruler and Judge. From eternity to eternity the holy God must pronounce Himself against sin (Romans 1:18); and His fatherly grace cannot avert judgment where the heart remains hard and impenitent (Romans 2:1-9). For the fuller discussion of these points see GOD; CHILDREN OF GOD; TRINITY.
GOD, THE FATHER
See FATHER, GOD THE.
Easton's Bible Dictionary
A name applied (1) to any ancestor (Deuteronomy 1:11
; 1 Kings 15:11
; Matthew 3:9
, etc.); and (2) as a title of respect to a chief, ruler, or elder, etc. (Judges 17:10
; 1 Samuel 10:12
; 2 Kings 2:12
; Matthew 23:9
, etc.). (3) The author or beginner of anything is also so called; e.g., Jabal and Jubal (Genesis 4:20
, 21; Comp. Job 38:28
Applied to God (Exodus 4:22; Deuteronomy 32:6; 2 Samuel 7:14; Psalm 89:27, 28, etc.).
(1.) As denoting his covenant relation to the Jews (Jeremiah 31:9; Isaiah 63:16; 64:8; John 8:41, etc.).
(2.) Believers are called God's "sons" (John 1:12; Romans 8:16; Matthew 6:4, 8, 15, 18; 10:20, 29). They also call him "Father" (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:4)
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
) One who has begotten a child, whether son or daughter; a generator; a male parent.
2. (n.) A male ancestor more remote than a parent; a progenitor; especially, a first ancestor; a founder of a race or family; -- in the plural, fathers, ancestors.
3. (n.) One who performs the offices of a parent by maintenance, affectionate care, counsel, or protection.
4. (n.) A respectful mode of address to an old man.
5. (n.) A senator of ancient Rome.
6. (n.) A dignitary of the church, a superior of a convent, a confessor (called also father confessor), or a priest; also, the eldest member of a profession, or of a legislative assembly, etc.
7. (n.) One of the chief ecclesiastical authorities of the first centuries after Christ; -- often spoken of collectively as the Fathers; as, the Latin, Greek, or apostolic Fathers.
8. (n.) One who, or that which, gives origin; an originator; a producer, author, or contriver; the first to practice any art, profession, or occupation; a distinguished example or teacher.
9. (n.) The Supreme Being and Creator; God; in theology, the first person in the Trinity.
10. (v. t.) To make one's self the father of; to beget.
11. (v. t.) To take as one's own child; to adopt; hence, to assume as one's own work; to acknowledge one's self author of or responsible for (a statement, policy, etc.).
12. (v. t.) To provide with a father.
Strong's Hebrew1. ab -- father...
<< 5624, 1. ab. 2 >>. father
. Transliteration: ab Phonetic Spelling: (awb)
Short Definition: father
. Word Origin from an unused word ... /hebrew/1.htm - 6k
2524. cham -- husband's father
... << 2523, 2524. cham. 2525 >>. husband's father. Transliteration: cham Phonetic
Spelling: (khawm) Short Definition: father-in-law. Word ...
/hebrew/2524.htm - 6k
2. ab -- father
... << 1, 2. ab. 3 >>. father. Transliteration: ab Phonetic Spelling: (ab) Short
Definition: father. Word Origin (Aramaic) corresponding ...
/hebrew/2.htm - 5k
1160. Beor -- "a burning," father of an Edomite king, also the ...
... Beor. 1161 >>. "a burning," father of an Edomite king, also the father of Balaam.
Transliteration: Beor Phonetic Spelling: (beh-ore') Short Definition: Beor. ...
/hebrew/1160.htm - 6k
85. Abraham -- "exalted father," the father of the Jewish nation
... << 84, 85. Abraham. 86 >>. "exalted father," the father of the Jewish nation.
Transliteration: Abraham Phonetic Spelling: (ab-raw-hawm') Short Definition: Abraham ...
/hebrew/85.htm - 6k
42. Abinoam -- "my father is delight," the father of Barak
... << 41, 42. Abinoam. 43 >>. "my father is delight," the father of Barak. Transliteration:
Abinoam Phonetic Spelling: (ab-ee-no'-am) Short Definition: Abinoam. ...
/hebrew/42.htm - 6k
2860b. chothen -- wife's father or mother
... << 2860a, 2860b. chothen. 2861 >>. wife's father or mother. Transliteration:
chothen Short Definition: father-in-law. Word Origin from ...
/hebrew/2860b.htm - 5k
25. Abi Gibon -- father of Gibeon
Abi Gibon. << 24, 25. Abi Gibon. 26 >>. father of Gibeon. Transliteration: Abi Gibon
Phonetic Spelling: (ab-ee' ghib-one') Short Definition: Gibeon. ... father of Gibeon ...
/hebrew/25.htm - 6k
5369. Ner -- father of Abner, also the father of Kish
... << 5368, 5369. Ner. 5370 >>. father of Abner, also the father of Kish.
Transliteration: Ner Phonetic Spelling: (nare) Short Definition: Ner. ...
/hebrew/5369.htm - 6k
256. Achab -- "father's brother," a king of Isr., also a false ...
... << 255, 256. Achab. 257 >>. "father's brother," a king of Isr., also a false prophet.
Transliteration: Achab Phonetic Spelling: (akh-awb') Short Definition: Ahab ...
/hebrew/256.htm - 6k