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Easton's Bible Dictionary

 

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Propitiation
        that by which God is rendered propitious, i.e., by which it
        becomes consistent with his character and government to pardon
        and bless the sinner. The propitiation does not procure his love
        or make him loving; it only renders it consistent for him to
        execise his love towards sinners.
        In Rom. 3:25 and Heb. 9:5 (A.V., "mercy-seat") the Greek word
        _hilasterion_ is used. It is the word employed by the LXX.
        translators in Ex. 25:17 and elsewhere as the equivalent for the
        Hebrew _kapporeth_, which means "covering," and is used of the
        lid of the ark of the covenant (Ex. 25:21; 30:6). This Greek
        word (hilasterion) came to denote not only the mercy-seat or lid
        of the ark, but also propitation or reconciliation by blood. On
        the great day of atonement the high priest carried the blood of
        the sacrifice he offered for all the people within the veil and
        sprinkled with it the "mercy-seat," and so made propitiation.
        In 1 John 2:2; 4:10, Christ is called the "propitiation for
        our sins." Here a different Greek word is used (hilasmos).
        Christ is "the propitiation," because by his becoming our
        substitute and assuming our obligations he expiated our guilt,
        covered it, by the vicarious punishment which he endured. (Comp.
        Heb. 2:17, where the expression "make reconciliation" of the
        A.V. is more correctly in the R.V. "make propitiation.")

Bibliography Information
Easton, Matthew George. M.A., D.D., "Biblical Meaning for 'Propitiation' Eastons Bible Dictionary".
bible-history.com - Eastons; 1897.

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