Cherem. The vow thus called in Hebrew (חֵרֶם), "the accursed thing," is nowhere enjoined by Moses, nor does he specify by what solemnities or expressions it was distinguished from other vows, but takes it for granted all this was then well known. The species of cherem with which we are most familiar was the previous devoting to God of hostile cities against which they intended to proceed with extreme severity, and that with a view to inflaming the minds of the people to war. In such cases, not only were all the inhabitants put to death, but also, according as the terms of the vow declared, no booty was made by any Israelite; the beasts were slain; what would not burn, as gold, silver, and other metals, was added to the treasury of the sanctuary; and everything else, with the whole city, burnt, with an imprecation upon any attempt that should ever be made to rebuild it. Of this, the history of Jericho furnishes an example (Jos 6:17,19,274. In the time of Moses there was a similar vow against the king of Arad (Nu 21:1-3). SEE ACCURSED; SEE ANATHEMA.

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