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Dictionaries :: Lamp

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Easton's Bible Dictionary


(1.) That part of the candle-sticks of the tabernacle and the temple which bore the light (Exd 25:37; 1Ki 7:49; 2Ch 4:20; 13:11; Zec 4:2). Their form is not described. Olive oil was generally burned in them (Exd 27:20).

(2.) A torch carried by the soliders of Gideon (Jdg 7:16,20). (R.V., "torches.")

(3.) Domestic lamps (A.V., "candles") were in common use among the Hebrews (Mat 5:15; Mar 4:21, etc.).

(4.) Lamps or torches were used in connection with marriage ceremonies (Mat 25:1).

This word is also frequently metaphorically used to denote life, welfare, guidance, etc. (2Sa 21:17; Psa 119:105; Pro 6:23; 13:9).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g2985 Greek: lampas


denotes "a torch" (akin to lampo, "to shine"), frequently fed, like, a "lamp," with oil from a little vessel used for the purpose (the angeion of Mat 25:4); they held little oil and would frequently need replenishing. Rutherford (The New Phrynichus) points out that it became used as the equivalent of luchnos (No. 2), as in the parable of the Ten Virgins, Mat 25:1, 3, 4, 7, 8; Jhn 18:3, "torches;" Act 20:8, "lights;" Rev 4:5; 8:10 (RV, "torch," AV, "lamp"). See Note below. Cp. phanos, "a torch," Jhn 18:3 (translated "lanterns").

2 Strong's Number: g3088 Greek: luchnos


frequently mistranslated "candle," is a portable "lamp" usually set on a stand (see LAMPSTAND); the word is used

(a) literally, Mat 5:15; Mar 4:21; Luk 8:16; 11:33, 36; 15:8; Rev 18:23; 22:5;

(b) metaphorically, of Christ as the Lamb, Rev 21:23, RV, "lamp" (AV, "light"); of John the Baptist, Jhn 5:35, RV, "the lamp" (AV, "a... light"); of the eye, Mat 6:22; Luk 11:34, RV, "lamp;" of spiritual readiness, Luk 12:35, RV, "lamps;" of "the word of prophecy," 2Pe 1:19, RV, "lamp."

"In rendering luchnos and lampas our translators have scarcely made the most of the words at their command. Had they rendered lampas by 'torch' not once only (Jhn 18:3), but always, this would have left 'lamp,' now wrongly appropriated by lampas, disengaged. Altogether dismissing 'candle,' they might then have rendered luchnos by 'lamp' wherever it occurs. At present there are so many occasions where 'candle' would manifestly be inappropriate, and where, therefore, they are obliged to fall back on 'light,' that the distinction between phos and luchnos nearly, if not quite, disappears in our Version. The advantages of such a re-distribution of the words would be many. In the first place, it would be more accurate. Luchnos is not a 'candle' ('candela,' from 'candeo,' the white wax light, and then any kind of taper), but a hand-lamp, fed with oil. Neither is lampas a 'lamp,' but a 'torch'" (Trench Syn.,).

Note: There is no mention of a candle in the original either in the OT or in the NT. The figure of that which feeds upon its own substance to provide its light would be utterly inappropriate. A lamp is supplied by oil, which in its symbolism is figurative of the Holy Spirit.

Smith's Bible Dictionary


(1.) That part of the golden candlestick belonging to the tabernacle which bore the light; also of each of the ten candlesticks placed by Solomon in the temple before the holy of holies (Exodus 25:37; 1 Kings 7:49; 2 Chronicles 4:20; 13:11; Zechariah 4:2). The lamps were lighted every evening and cleansed every morning (Exodus 30:7-8).

(2.) A torch or flambeau, such as was carried by the soldiers of Gideon (Judges 7:16; 7:20 compare Judges 15:4). The use in marriage processions of lamps fed with oil is alluded to in the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1). Modern Egyptian lamps consist of small glass vessels with a tube at the bottom containing a cotton wick twisted around a piece of straw. For night travelling, a lantern composed of waxed cloth strained over a sort of cylinder of wire rings, and a top and bottom of perforated copper. This would, in form at least, answer to the lamps within pitchers of Gideon. "The Hebrews, like the ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as the modern Orientals, were accustomed to burn lamps all night. This custom, with the effect produced by their going out or being extinguished, supplies various figures to the sacred writers (2 Samuel 21:17; Proverbs 13:9; 20:20). On the other hand, the keeping up of a lamp's light is used as a symbol of enduring and unbroken succession (1 Kings 11:36; 15:4; Psalm 132:17). "-McClintock and Strong.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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