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RICHES

rich'-ez, rich'-iz: Used to render the following Hebrew and Greek words: (1) `Osher, which should, perhaps, be considered the most general word, as it is the most often used (Gen 31:16; Eccl 4:8; Jer 9:23). It looks at riches simply as riches, without regard to any particular feature. Alongside this would go the Greek ploutos (Mt 13:22; Eph 2:7). (2) Chocen (Prov 27:24; Jer 20:5), nekhacim and rekhush (Gen 36:7; Dan 11:13,14 the King James Version) look at riches as things accumulated, collected, amassed. (3) Hon looks upon riches as earnings, the fruit of toil (Ps 119:14; Prov 8:18; Ezek 27:27). (4) Hamon regards riches in the aspect of being much, this coming from the original idea of noise, through the idea of a multitude as making the noise, the idea of many, or much, being in multitude (Ps 37:16 the King James Version). (5) Chayil regards riches as power (Ps 62:19; Isa 8:4; 10:14). (6) Yithrah means "running over," and so presents riches as abundance (Jer 48:36 the King James Version). Along with this may be placed shua`, which has the idea of breadth, and so of abundance (Job 36:19 the King James Version). (7) Qinyan regards riches as a creation, something made (Ps 104:24; compare margin); (8) (chrema) looks at riches as useful (Mk 10:23 f parallel). Like the New Testament, the Apoe uses only ploutos and chrema.
Material riches are regarded by the Scriptures as neither good nor bad in themselves, but only according as they are properly or improperly used. They are transitory (Prov 27:24); they are not to be trusted in (Mk 10:23; Lk 18:24; 1 Tim 6:17); they are not to be gloried in (Jer 9:23); the heart is not to be set on them (Ps 62:10); but they are made by God (Ps 104:24), and come from God (1 Ch 29:12); and they are the crown of the wise (Prov 14:24). Material riches are used to body forth for us the most precious and glorious realities of the spiritual realm. See, e.g., Rom 9:23; 11:33; Eph 2:7; Phil 4:19; Col 1:27.
Compare MAMMON; TREASURE; WEALTH.
E. J. Forrester
Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'riches'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE; 1915.

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