Brother (Heb. אָח [see AcH-]; Gr. ἀδελφός), a term so variously and extensively applied in Scripture that it becomes important carefully to distinguish the different acceptations in which it is used.

1. It denotes a brother in the natural sense, whether the offspring of the same father only (Ge 42:15; Ge 43:3; Jg 9:21; Mt 1:2; Lu 3:1,19), or of the same mother only (Jg 8:19), or of the same father and mother (Ge 42:4; Ge 44:20; Lu 6:14, etc.)

2. A near relative or kinsman by blood, e.g. a nephew (Ge 14:16; Ge 13:8; Ge 24:12,15), or in general a cousin (Mt 12:46; Joh 7:3; Ac 1:14; Ga 1:19), or even a husband (Song 4:9).

Bible concordance for BROTHER.

3. One of the same tribe (2Sa 10:13), e.g. a fellow Levite (Nu 8:26; Nu 16:10; Ne 3:1).

4. One born in the same country, descended from the same stock, a fellow- countryman (Jg 14:3; Eze 2:10; Eze 4:17; Mt 5:47; Ac 3:22; Heb 7:5), or even of a cognate people (Ge 9:25; Ge 16:12; Ge 25:18; Nu 20:14).

Definition of brother

5. One of equal rank and dignity (Pr 18:9; Mt 23:8).

6. Disciples, followers, etc. (Mt 25:40; Heb 2:11-12).

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

7. One of the same faith (Isa 66:10; Ac 9:30; Ac 11:29; 1Co 5; 1Co 11); from which and other texts it appears that the first converts to the faith of Jesus were known to each other by the title of brethren, till the name of Christians was given to them at Antioch (Ac 11:26).

8. An associate, colleague in office or dignity, etc. (Ezr 2:2; 1Co 1:1; 2Co 1:1,-etc.).

9. One of the same nature, a fellow-man (Ge 13:8; Ge 26:31; Mt 5:22-24; Mt 7:5; Heb 2:17; Heb 8:11).

10. One beloved, i.e. as a brother, in a direct address (Ac 2:29; Ac 6:3; 1Th 5:1).

11. An ally of a confederate nation (Am 1:9).

12. A friend or associate (Job 6:15; comp. 19:13; 1Ki 19:13; Ne 5:10,14).

13. It is a very favorite Oriental metaphor, as in Job 30:29, "I am become a brother to the jackals."

14. It is even applied (in the Heb.) to inanimate things in the phrase " one another" (lit. a man his brother), -e.g. of the cherubim (Ex 25:20; Ex 37:9). The term is still used in the East with the same latitude (Hackett's Illustra. of Script. p. 118). The Jewish schools, however, distinguish between "brother" and "neighbor;" "brother" meant an Israelite by blood, "neighbor" a proselyte. They allowed neither title to the Gentiles; but Christ and the apostles extended the name "brother" to all Christians, and "neighbor" to all the world, 1Co 5:11; Lu 10:29-30 (Lightfoot, Hor. Hebr. ad Matthew v, 22).

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