Surname

sur'-nam (kanah; epikalein): A word derived from the French., meaning "an additional name"; in modern English always the family name of a person. Indeed, the spelling "surname" in the King James Version 1 Macc 1:10; 2:2; 6:43 may be due to a confusion with "sire's name." But the custom of family names was entirely unknown among the Hebrews. The word is used twice in the King James Version of the Old Testament, namely, Isa 44:5; 45:4. The Hebrew word means "to give flattering or honorary titles." In the former passage foreigners are so envious of the prosperity of the Jews that they are anxious to be surnamed by the name of Israel, i.e. to be enrolled as members of the Jewish nation. In the latter case Yahweh gives Cyrus an honorary title, namely, "servant of Yahweh," and thus appoints him to be His instrument in the restoration of His people. The same word is rendered in Job 32:21, the King James Version "give flattering titles." Elihu declares his intention to examine the situation without fear or favor. He will not allow such high-sounding titles as "Your Worship" or "My Lord" to stand in his way. He will not be overawed by Job's social position. In the New Testament the word is used in the case of Peter--Simon whose surname is Peter (Ac 10:5,32; 11:13); of Mark--John whose surname was Mark (Ac 12:12,25; 15:37); of Judas--surnamed Iscariot (Lu 22:3); of Barsabbas--who was surnamed Justus (Ac 1:23); and of Judas--surnamed Barsabbas (Ac 15:22). It was a widespread custom in the ancient world to give honorary and symbolical titles. our Lord surnamed Simon Peter (Mr 3:16), and James and John Boanerges (Mr 3:17). Ac 15:37 the King James Version has "surname" for the simple "call" (so the Revised Version (British and American)).

See the definition of surname in the KJV Dictionary

T. Lewis

See also the McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia.

 
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