Sign is the rendering in the A. V. of several Heb. and Gr. words, especially אות, 6th, σημεῖον, which usually denote a miraculous or, at least, divine or extraordinary token of an event, generally in the future. SEE MIRACLE. In Biblical language a sign is a token, or whatever serves to express or represent another thing. Thus the Lord gave to Noah the rainbow as a sign of his covenant (Ge 9:12-13), and for the same purpose he appointed circumcision to Abraham (Ge 17:11; see also Ex 3:12; Jg 6:17). In Isa 7:18 the word is used for a prophetic similitude Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel" (see also Eze 4:3).Signs and wonders, as they are usually connected, sometimes denote those proofs or demonstrations of power and authority which were furnished by miracles, and by other tokens of the divine presence (Joh 4:48; Mt 12:38; Ac 2:22); sometimes those unusual appearances which betoken the approach of great events (Lu 11:25), and at other times tokens or pledges as evidences of fulfilment (2:12; 1Co 1:22). This word is emphatically used in Scripture for a miraculous appearance, which would attest the divine authority of a prophet or teacher. The Jews asked our Lord for "a sign from heaven" (Mt 16:1),' meaning, thereby, the appearance of the Messiah coming in the clouds of heaven, which Daniel had foretold (Da 7:13), and which ,"the traditions of the elders," as appears from the Talmud, had declared to be the only certain sign of the advent of the promised inheritor of David's throne and deliverer of the Jewish nation. So our Lord refers to "the sign of the Son of man" (Mt 24:30), as prefigured by the national overthrow of the Jews (see Zettner, De Astre. Judceis quondam Ominoso [Alt. 1724], and the monographs cited by Hase, Leben Jesu, p. 187). SEE ESCHATOLOGY.

Bible concordance for SIGN.

Definition of sign

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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