Perdition, Son of

Perdition, Son Of (ὑιὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας). It was common among the Jews to express a man's character by calling him "the son of" some abstract quality. Thus we read in the New Testament of the sons of the kingdom, the sons of light, the sons of God, the sons of the devil, the sons of this age, the sons of disobedience, the sons of thunder; the children (τέκνα) of wisdom, of the promise, of wrath, of obedience, of a curse. So in the Sept. we read of a son of death (1Sa 20:30), a son of strength (2Sa 13:28), sons of the captivity, a son of a hundred years, sons of the bow (La 3:13), sons of wisdom (Sir. 4:12); children of unrighteousness (Ho 10:9), and children of perdition (Isa 57:4). By this last expression we understand that perdition marks both the character and destiny of the persons spoken of. Our Lord calls Judas Iscariot "the son of perdition," and refers to his end as the fulfillment of Scripture (Joh 17:12). The best commentary on this statement is that afforded by St. Peter (Ac 1:20), who refers directly to Psalm 69 as predicting the fate of the betrayer of the Lord. SEE BEN-.

But it may be gathered from 2Th 2:3, that another son of perdition is to be revealed, and he is identified as the Man of Sin, the great opponent of the Christian religion, who shall set himself up in the place of God. He is afterwards called "the lawless one," and his miraculous impostures are described, but he is to be destroyed at Christ's appearing. He appears to be the final incarnation of irreligion, and his character is drawn in the book of Revelation as the great deceiver and tormenter of nations, who, after becoming the instrument of the destruction of the mystic Babylon, aims at universal despotism, forbids all worship of the true God, and defies the power of Christ; but he is to be destroyed and cast into the lake of fire. The terms in which this "son of perdition" is described seem to imply that he will be a real person; but arguing from the very figurative character of prophecy many writers have been led to an opposite conclusion. SEE ANTICHRIST.

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