International Standard Bible EncyclopediaBLOODY SWEAT
(swet hosei thromboi haimatos): Described in Luke 22:44 as a physical accompaniment of our Lord's agony at Gethsemane (on the passage, which is absent in some manuscripts, see Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek). Many old writers take this to mean that the perspiration dropped in the same manner as clots of blood drop from a wound, regarding the Greek word prefixed as expressing merely a comparison as in Matthew 28:3, where leukon hos chion means "white as snow." Cases of actual exudation of blood are described in several of the medieval accounts of stigmatization, and Lefebvre describes the occurrence of something similar in his account of Louise Lateau in 1870. For references to these cases see the article "Stigmatization" in Encyclopedia Britannica (11th edition), XXII, 550. It is perhaps in favor of the older interpretation that the word used by Aeschylus for drops of blood is stagon (Agam. 1122) and by Euripides stalagmos, not thromboi. None of the instances given by Tissot (Traite des nerfs, 279), or Schenck (Observ. med., III, 45:5), can be said to be unimpeachable; but as the agony of our Lord was unexampled in human experience, it is conceivable that it may have been attended with physical conditions of a unique nature.
swet (ze`ah (Genesis 3:19), yeza` (Ezekiel 44:18); hidros (2 Maccabees 2:26; Luke 22:44)): "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread" (Genesis 3:19). Somewhat difficult is the passage, which the Revised Version (British and American) renders: "But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok.... shall have linen tires upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with anything that causeth sweat," literally, "they shall not gird themselves with sweat" (Ezekiel 44:15, 18). The idea is evidently that profuse perspiration would make their ministrations unpleasant. The rule was of special importance in the sultry climate of Palestine.
Luke, the physician, describing the agony of the Lord in Gethsemane, says: "His sweat became as it were great drops (thromboi) of blood falling down upon the ground" (Luke 22:44, the Revised Version (British and American), following Codex Sinaiticus (a), Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Vaticanus etc., notes in margin: "Many ancient authorities omit Luke 22:43, 44 "). There are two difficulties of interpretation in this passage, apart from the difficulty which the physiological explanation of the phenomenon presents:
(1) the word (thrombos) translated "drop" means literally, "a clot of blood," "a lump," "a curd," and is nowhere else used in the sense of drop.
(2) It has been generally accepted that the sweat of the brow of Jesus had become bloody in appearance and in character, a symptom called in ancient medicine haimatodes hidros, "bloody sweat."
It must, however, be observed that this translation would make the Greek particle hosei, superfluous, by which, not the identity of the sweat with drops of blood, but a certain similarity or comparison must be intended. Ch. Th. Kuinoel, in his Latin commentary on the historical books of the New Testament (Leipzig, 1809, II, 654), has given all known parallel instances in history and legend, which seem to prove that under certain psychological or physiological conditions, though rarely, haimatodes hidros has occurred.
Olshausen in his Commentary, II, 469, thinks that the following points of comparison might have been in the mind of Luke:
(1) the sweat may have appeared on the forehead of Jesus in heavy drops;
(2) these may have dropped visibly to the ground, just as drops of blood fall from a wound;
(3) in addition, possibly a reddish color may have been noticeable, owing to an exudation of the arteries, though the latter is not directly expressed in the words of the evangelist. See also Dr. Stroud, On the Physical Cause of the Death of Christ, 183; Bynaeus, De morte Christi, II, 33.
The people of Palestine in Greek-Roman times were generally provided with handkerchiefs, used especially to wipe off the perspiration. The fashion was derived from Rome, whence the name of these napkins became soudarion, Latin sudarium. The late legend of Berenice or Veronica, who presented her handkerchief to the Saviour on His way to be crucified, and who found, when it had been returned to her by the Lord, that His features had been imprinted upon the cloth, is a reminiscence of this use. These handkerchiefs were frequently used to tie up small bundles of certain possessions, money, etc. (Luke 19:20). As a rule the dead had their faces covered with one, or had it tied around the head (John 11:44; John 20:7). In Ephesus the handkerchiefs of Paul were carried to the sick, and achieved miraculous cures (Acts 19:12).
The verb hidroo, "to sweat," is found in a rather difficult passage of the Didache (i.6), which is introduced as a quotation, the source of which, however, we do not know: "Let thy alms sweat into (in ?) thy hands, until thou knowest to whom thou givest." The context seems to show that we have here a free repetition of the arguments of Sirach 12:1;. so that the meaning would be: "In giving charity, do not give indiscriminately or thoughtlessly, but consider carefully so that no one who is unworthy receive your benefaction." Still it is not impossible that the text is corrupt in the passage.
H. L. E. Luering
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (imp. & p. p.
) of Sweat
2. (v. i.) To excrete sensible moisture from the pores of the skin; to perspire.
3. (v. i.) Fig.: To perspire in toil; to work hard; to drudge.
4. (v. i.) To emit moisture, as green plants in a heap.
5. (v. t.) To cause to excrete moisture from the skin; to cause to perspire; as, his physicians attempted to sweat him by most powerful sudorifics.
6. (v. t.) To emit or suffer to flow from the pores; to exude.
7. (v. t.) To unite by heating, after the application of soldier.
8. (v. t.) To get something advantageous, as money, property, or labor from (any one), by exaction or oppression; as, to sweat a spendthrift; to sweat laborers.
9. (n.) The fluid which is excreted from the skin of an animal; the fluid secreted by the sudoriferous glands; a transparent, colorless, acid liquid with a peculiar odor, containing some fatty acids and mineral matter; perspiration. See Perspiration.
10. (n.) The act of sweating; or the state of one who sweats; hence, labor; toil; drudgery.
11. (v. i.) Moisture issuing from any substance; as, the sweat of hay or grain in a mow or stack.
12. (n.) The sweating sickness.
13. (n.) A short run by a race horse in exercise.
Strong's Hebrew3154. yeza -- sweat... sweat
. Transliteration: yeza Phonetic Spelling: (yeh'-zah) Short Definition: sweat
Word Origin from an unused word Definition sweat
NASB Word Usage sweat
(1). ... /hebrew/3154.htm - 5k
2188. zeah -- sweat
... sweat. Transliteration: zeah Phonetic Spelling: (zay-aw') Short Definition: sweat.
Word Origin from the same as yeza Definition sweat NASB Word Usage sweat (1). ...
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