DEFINITION OF THE DAY “MASS”

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Hebrew term with several meanings. 1. Seventh son of Ishmael (Gen 25:14; 1 Chron 1:30). 2.  Arab tribe perhaps descended from 1. The Massa are listed among the people who paid tribute to King Tiglath-pileaser III (745-727 bc) of Assyria. Some interpret the use of Massa in the titles of collections of proverbs (Prov 30:1; 31:1) as referring to the

nationality of the person mentioned 3. Hebrew term for a load or burden (Exo 23:5; Num 4:24, 32) 4. Hebrew term found at the beginning of an OT book (Nahum, Habbakkuk, Malachi) or a smaller unit identifying the nature of the following literary unit. Once thought to be the same as 3., it is now understood as a distinct word and is usually translated “oracle,” “utterance,” or “pronouncement.” It often introduces a judgment oracle against a foreign nation (Isa 13:1; 14:28; 15:1; 17:1; 19:1; 21:1, 11, 13; 23:1; Nah 1:1; Zech 9:1), against Israel (Isa 22:1; 30:6; Ezek 12:10; Hab 1:1; Mal 1:1), or against an individual (2 Kings 9:25). But it also could refer to a message of blessing or of blessing and judgment (cp Jer 23:33-34, 36, 38; Zech. 12:1; Mal 1:1).

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