Book of Life

(cepher chayyim; he biblos tes zoes, "book of life"): The phrase is derived from the custom of the ancients of keeping genealogical records (Ne 7:5,64; 12:22-23) and of enrolling citizens for various purposes (Jer 22:30; Eze 13:9). So, God is represented as having a record of all who are under His special care and guardianship. To be blotted out of the Book of Life is to be cut off from God's favor, to suffer an untimely death, as when Moses pleads that he be blotted out of God's book--that he might die, rather than that Israel should be destroyed (Ex 32:32; Ps 69:28). In the New Testament it is the record of the righteous who are to inherit eternal life (Php 4:3; Re 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 21:27). In the apocalyptic writings there is the conception of a book or of books, that are in God's keeping, and upon which the final judgment is to be based (Da 7:10; 12:1; Re 20:12,15; compare Book Jubilees 39:6; 19:9).

See also the McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia.


L. Kaiser

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