Reign

ran: The Hebrew word malekhuth, may be rendered "kinghood," "royal dignity," "kingdom," "government" ("reign"). The verb is malakh, "to be king" ("to reign as king"), "to become king," "to accede to the throne," "to assume royal power publicly" and, generally speaking, "to become powerful." In the New Testament hegemonia, basileia, basileuein. The word is used, either as a noun or as a verb, of Yahweh (God), the Messiah (Christ) and men (kings, etc.); then of such terms as sin, death, grace; of the woman in Revelation and, conditionally, of the Christians; once, ironically, of the Corinthians. "Reign" as a noun referring to the time of reigning occurs in 1Ki 6:1 (Solomon); 2Ki 24:12 (Nebuchadnezzar); 1Ch 4:31 (David; compare 1Ch 29:30); 2Ch 36:20 ("until the reign of the kingdom of Persia"); Ne 12:22 (Darius); Es 2:16 (Ahasuerus); Lu 3:1 (Tiberius Caesar). More often occurs the verb "to reign," malakh, basileuein. It is applied to: (1) Yahweh at the close of the song of Moses (Ex 15:18); "Yahweh reigneth" (1Ch 16:31; compare Ps 93:1; 96:10; 99:1; Re 19:6); "God reigneth over the nations" (Ps 47:8); "Yahweh of hosts will reign in mount Zion" (Isa 24:23; compare Mic 4:7); "Thy God reigneth" (Isa 52:7); "Thou hast taken thy great power and didst reign" (Re 11:17, meaning probably "thou didst assume thy might"); (2) the Messiah (Christ) as a just and righteous king (Jer 23:5); an eternal king (Lu 1:33; compare Re 11:15); punishing and subduing His enemies (Lu 19:14,27; 1Co 15:25).

See the definition of reign in the KJV Dictionary

(3) Men (kings, etc.), in regard to the source of their power ("By me (i.e. the wisdom of God), kings reign" (Pr 8:15)); respecting legitimate succession (2Ch 23:3); meaning "to have power or dominion" (Ge 37:8 and Job 34:30); in regard to an essential characteristic (Isa 32:1); in connection with the covenant of Yahweh with David (Jer 33:21); then the word is used in 1Sa 12:12, where Samuel reminds the children of Israel of their demanding a king of him (compare verse 14); of Saul (1Sa 13:1; compare 1Sa 11:12); of Saul's son Ish-bosheth (2Sa 2:10); of David (2Sa 5:4 f; compare 2Sa 3:21); of Adonijah (1Ki 1:11,24; compare 1Ki 2:15); of Solomon (1Ki 1:13); quite frequently of the kings of Judah and Israel (in the Books of Kings and Chronicles); of the kings of Edom (Ge 36:31); of Jabin, king of Canaan, in Razor (Jg 4:2); of Abimelech, Jerubbaal's son, in Jotham's fable (Jg 9:8-15); of Hanun, king of the Ammonites (2Sa 10:1); of Rezon and his men in Damascus (1Ki 11:24); of Hazael and Ben-hadad, kings of Syria (2Ki 8:15 and 2Ki 13:24); of Esar-haddon, king of Assyria (2Ki 19:37); of Ahasuerus, king of Persia (Es 1:1); of Archelaus (Mt 2:22).

(4) In the New Testament the term basileuein, "to reign," is used to illustrate and emphasize the power of sin, death and grace (Ro 5:14,17,21 and Ro 6:12). Sin, the vitiating mental factor, is to be looked upon as being constantly and resolutely bent on maintaining or regaining its hold upon man, its power being exercised and reinforced by the lusts of the body. Death, the logical outcome of sin, at once testifies to the power of sin and its inherent corruption, while grace is the restoring spiritual factor following up and combating everywhere and always the pernicious influence of sin. It strives to dethrone sin, and to establish itself in man as the only dominating force. (5) In describing the future glorious state of the believers, the New Testament uses the expression of those who endure (in faith; compare 2Ti 2:12); of those `purchased unto God with the blood of the Lamb' (Re 5:10); of those partaking in the first resurrection (Re 20:6); of the servants of God, "they shall reign for ever and ever" (Re 22:5); on the other hand, it teaches us not to anticipate the privileges of heaven, while our Christian life is anything but satisfactory (1Co 4:8), and Re 17:18 shows us the terrible fate of the woman, the great city (the corrupt church), "which reigneth over the kings of the earth."

See further KING, KINGDOM.

William Baur

 
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