Easton's Bible Dictionary: M. G. Easton, M.A., D.D.


In the Old Testament denotes

  1. a particular part of the body of man and animals (Gen. 2:21, 41:2; Ps. 102:5, marg.);
  2. the whole body (Ps. 16:9);
  3. all living things having flesh, and particularly humanity as a whole (Gen. 6:12,13);
  4. mutability and weakness (2 Chr. 32:8; comp. Isa. 31:3; Ps. 78:39). As suggesting the idea of softness it is used in the expression "heart of flesh" (Ezek. 11:19). The expression "my flesh and bone" (Judg. 9:2; Isa. 58:7) denotes relationship.

In the New Testament, besides these it is also used to denote the sinful element of human nature as opposed to the "Spirit" (Rom. 6:19; Mt. 16:17). Being "in the flesh" means being unrenewed (Rom. 7:5, 8:8,9), and to live "according to the flesh" is to live and act sinfully (Rom. 8:4,5, 7, 12).

This word also denotes the human nature of Christ (Jn. 1:14, "The Word was made flesh." Comp. also 1 Tim. 3:16; Rom. 1:3).

Original from The Bible Foundation - bf.org. They claim public domain status for their original text.