Pestilence is the invariable rendering in the A.V. (except in Ex 9:3, "murrain," and in Ho 13:14, "plagues") of the Heb. דֶּבֶר, deber (Sept. usually θάνατος), which originally seems to mean simply destruction, but is regularly applied to that common Oriental epidemic the plague (q.v.). The same term is also used in the Hebrew Scriptures for all epidemic or contagious diseases (Le 26:25). The writers everywhere attribute it either to the agency of God himself or of that legate or angel whom they denominate מלא, malak; hence the Sept. renders the word דבר, deber, or pestilence, in Ps 91:6, by δαιμόνιον μεσήμβρινον, "the daemon of noonday," and Jonathan also renders the same word in the Chaldee Targum (Hab 3:5) by the Chaldee word לא, angel or messenger. The prophets usually connect together sword, pestilence, and famine, being three of the most grievous inflictions of the Almighty upon a guilty people (2Sa 24:19). In the N.T. the term rendered "pestilence" is λοιμός (Mt 24:7; Lu 21:11; "pestilent fellow," Ac 24:5). SEE DISEASE.

Bible concordance for PESTILENCE.

Definition of pestilent

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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