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Dictionaries :: Household

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International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia


hous'-hold: Three words are usually found in the Bible where the family is indicated. These three are the Hebrew word bayith and the Greek words oikia and oikos. The unit of the national life of Israel, from the very beginning, was found in the family. In the old patriarchal days each family was complete within itself, the oldest living sire being the unquestioned head of the whole, possessed of almost arbitrary powers. The house and the household are practically synonymous. God had called Abraham "that he might command his children and household after him" (Ge 18:19). The Passover-lamb was to be eaten by the "household" (Ex 12:3). The "households" of the rebels in the camp of Israel shared their doom (Nu 16:31-33; De 11:6). David's household shares his humiliation (2Sa 15:16); the children everywhere in the Old Testament are the bearers of the sins of the fathers. Human life is not a conglomerate of individuals; the family is its center and unit.

Nor is it different in the New Testament. The curse and the blessing of the apostles are to abide on a house, according to its attitude (Mt 10:13). A divided house falls (Mr 3:25). The household believes with the head thereof (Joh 4:53; Ac 16:15,34). Thus the households became the nuclei for the early life of the church, e.g. the house of Prisca and Aquila at Rome (Ro 16:5), of Stephanas (1Co 16:15), of Onesiphorus (2Ti 1:16), etc. No wonder that the early church made so much of the family life. And in the midst of all our modern, rampant individualism, the family is still the throbbing heart of the church as well as of the nation.

Written by Henry E. Dosker

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
A-1 Noun Strong's Number: g3624 Greek: oikos


is translated "household" in Act 16:15; 1Cr 1:16; in the AV of 2Ti 4:19 (RV, "house").
See HOUSE, No. 1.

A-2 Noun Strong's Number: g3614 Greek: oikia


is translated "household" in Phl 4:22.
See HOUSE, No. 2.

A-3 Noun Strong's Number: g3610 Greek: oiketeia


denotes "a household of servants," Mat 24:45 (some mss. have No. 4 here).

A-4 Noun Strong's Number: g2322 Greek: therapeia


"service, care, attention," is also used in the collective sense of "a household," in Luk 12:42 (see No. 3).


(1) In Rom 16:10, 11, the phrase "those of the household" translates a curtailed phrase in the original, lit., "the (persons) of (ek, 'consisting of') the (members of the household of)."

(2) In 1Cr 1:11, "they which are of the household (AV, house) of Chloe" is, lit., "the... of Chloe," the Eng. translation being necessary to express the idiom.

B-1 Adjective Strong's Number: g3609 Greek: oikeios


akin to A, No. 1, primarily signifies "of, or belonging to, a house," hence, "of persons, one's household, or kindred," as in 1Ti 5:8, RV, "household," AV "house," marg., "kindred;" in Eph 2:19, "the household of God" denotes the company of the redeemed; in Gal 6:10, it is called "the household of the faith," RV. In these two cases oikeios is used in the same sense as those mentioned under oikos (A, No. 1).

B-2 Adjective Strong's Number: g3615 Greek: oikiakos


from A, No. 2, denotes "belonging to one's household, one's own;" it is used in Mat 10:25, 36.


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