sis'-ter ('achoth): Used repeatedly in the Old Testament of a female (1) having the same parents as another; or (2) having one parent in common, with another, half-sister (Ge 20:12; Le 18:9), and also (3) of a female belonging to the same family or clan as another, so a kinswoman (Ge 24:60; Job 42:11); (4) also of a woman of the same country (Nu 25:18). (5) Figuratively, the two kingdoms, Israel and Judah, are sisters (Eze 23:7 ff). (6) Confederate cities are conceived of as sisters (Eze 16:45 ff). (7) 'Achoth is used of objects which go in pairs, as curtains, each `coupled to its sister' (Ex 26:3,6), and of wings in pairs (Eze 1:9; 3:13); (8) of virtues or conditions, with which one is closely related: "Say unto wisdom, thou art my sister" (Pr 7:4; compare Job 17:14); (9) of a lover concerning his spouse, as a term of endearment (Song 4:9 f; Song 5:1 f; Song 8:8).
In the New Testament, adelphe, used (1) in sense of physical or blood kinship (Mt 12:50; 13:56; 19:29; Lu 10:39 f; Lu 14:26; Joh 11:1 ff; Joh 19:25; Ac 23:16); (2) of fellow-members in Christ: "Phoebe, our sister" (Ro 16:1; see also 1Co 7:15; 1Ti 5:1; Jas 2:15); (3) possibly, of a church, "thy elect sister" (2Jo 1:13).
See RELATIONSHIPS, FAMILY.
Edward Bagby Pollard