WHAT DOES OLETHROS MEAN?

Volume 15, December 1953, # 6; Volume 16, February 1954, #1

2. Thess. 1:9, "Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power."

In the above verse we meet with one of the most dread terms in all Scripture, the word "destruction"-olethros in the Greek, which is also found at 1. Thess. 5:3; 1. Cor. 5:5; and 1. Tim. 6:9; while a verb form occurs at Acts 3:23; 1. Cor. 10:10; and Heb. 11:28.

We have already dealt at some length with the words rendered "everlasting," which should really be "eonian," or "age-lasting." But the other term appears to have been copied with most painful regularity and monotony in well-nigh every English version, as representing "destruction," "ruin," or "extermination." Sometimes the word "utter" is prefixed.

We have searched and hunted high and low to find some proper investigation of the true meaning of this term, but without success. Partly this is due to the fact that the Greek root of the word is hard to find.

When it is noted that about fifty Hebrew words are rendered destroy or destruction, while Dr. Bullinger's Greek lexicon lists ten words in the Greek so rendered, it will be seen that these two English words have been made the resting place for a great many different Hebrew and Greek ideas. This was doubtless very convenient for the early translators, as it saved them the trouble of differentiating the meanings.

The fate of countless millions of human beings depends upon the "accurate meaning of 2. Thess. 1:9. The Twentieth Century version says it is "unutterable ruin." Arthur S. Way says it is "irrevocable destruction." Moffatt says the penalty is "being destroyed eternally." Phillips says "eternal exclusion." Scarlett says" aeonian perdition." The Concordant version says "eonian extermination," a truly terrible prospect.

Let us go back to the earliest English versions. Wiclif (or Wycliffe; the name was spelt forty different ways) reads destroy for the three verb examples. For the noun he has perishing at 1. Cor. 5:5 and 2. Thess. 1:9. But strange to say, in the other two cases he only reads "death." Here is a gleam of light. It was of course the Latin Vulgate whence he got his information. So possibly the Latin term he found only signified some form of death?

Tyndale, who followed One hundred and fifty years after Wiclif, has much more of the true Calvinistic colour of the Reformation. He uses terms totally unmistakeable, destroy, destruction, damnation and perdition. Versions made since his time have all retained the Calvinistic flavour.

Liddell & Scott (Greek Lexicon) say the word means "ruin, destruction, death," and give quotations from Homer shewing that with him the word always meant death, usually as something gloomy, bitter, or miserable, or utter death. Other associations of the word are "pestilent," " pernicious," a curse or plague or ruin to others. We must therefore keep in view that there may be a possibility that 2. Thess. 1:9 refers to pestilence. The time must approximate fairly closely to that of Rev. 16, which details the pouring out of the seven bowls of God's fury into the earth. The first bowl produces malignant ulcers in those having the mark of the wild-beast and worshipping its image (verse 1). See also verses 10 and 11. The great mass of mankind in that day will be suffering from intolerable ulcers and other miseries, probably due to the eating of unclean foods and devitalized foods, and over consumption of drugs of all kinds.

MacKnight, in his "Apostolic Epistles" (1835), thinks olethros properly signifies that destruction of the animal life which is called death, but not necessarily annihilation. Dr. Bullinger's Lexicon-Concordance shews the word as meaning simply" ruin, death." It is rather striking that various other Greek lexicons say the meaning is death; in some cases this is the first meaning set forth. This is the one meaning given in the famous Etymologicum Magnum of the Greek Language, an ancient Byzantine collection of meanings and derivations. The derivation of olethros is therein stated as holOs, wholly, and thrauein, to break or shiver. The word might therefore signify death as a breaking-up.

We shall now cite the evidence of two ancient but most important witnesses, both of about the same period, 350 A.D., namely, the Latin Vulgate Version and the Gothic Version. For olethros (the noun) the Latin uses in each case a peculiarly interesting term, interitus. Dictionaries say this word means death, destruction, ruin, utter decay, extinction, annihilation, a slaying or killing, a bringing to naught. The root of this word is said to signify, to go among things, so as to be no longer perceived, hence to mingle with, or be lost among; to perish, go to ruin or decay, die, be undone (from inter, among, and eo, I go). In other words, this Latin word seems very like in meaning to dissolution, decaying away, what Paul called his analusis, or physical breaking-up.

For the verb form in Heb. 11:28 the Latin uses the word vastabat, meaning "made empty, desolated, wasted." In Acts 3:23 and I. Cor. 10:10, the word used is "extermine" and "exterminator," the original meaning of which is, to drive out from the boundaries, to expel, banish, set aside. Our modern word exterminate has a very much more deadly and dread meaning, and is generally used of the rooting out of a body or collection of human beings or animals.

The Vulgate version therefore understood that he who would not hearken to the Prophet (Acts 3:23) would be banished or expelled from among the people.

The Gothic Version renders the Greek word olethros twice by fralust (1. Thess. 5:3; 2. Thess. 1:9). This word means "away-lost," that is, lost away. The word is cognate with our "forlorn," which has the same meaning. In 1. Tim. 6:9 the Gothic word is fravardeins, meaning very much the same as the previous word, which three times in Matt. 6 is used to translate the Greek aphanizO (disappear, disguise). In 1. Cor. 5:5 the word used is qistjan, meaning to crush, shake, shatter; cognate with our English word "quash." The flesh had to be quashed, in order that the spirit might be saved.

As this verse is a most important one in our enquiry, it will be useful to examine it more closely now. Paul decrees that that foul person who had taken his father's wife should be given up to Satan for the destruction or extermination of the flesh, that the spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. The action must be disciplinary, with the object of saving the spirit. Destruction of the flesh in the sense of physical death can hardly be meant. Alford says the sentence imports not mere excommunication, but was a delegation to the Church at Corinth of a special power, reserved to the Apostles themselves, of inflicting corporeal death or disease as a punishment for sin. Alford thinks the olethros of the flesh was more than mere destruction of the man's pride and lust by repentance. A breaking down of the culprit's general physical condition is probably what Paul had in view. Few can rise superior to severe physical misery, if long continued.

Schaff's Commentary cites the case of Hymenaeus and Alexander as parallel (1. Tim.l:20). These men Paul gave up to Satan that they might be disciplined not to be blaspheming. They had made shipwreck round about that very faith which they held in their possession. It may be that Satan made shipwreck of their physical constitution. Sometimes a total physical breakdown is necessary to check a moral breakdown. Many years ago in a large city I heard a lawyer making clever jokes about the Bible in the open air, before a big crowd, which he maintained in a state of ribald laughter. But when he was struck down later by severe illness and weakness, there was no more mockery of God.

Dr. John Wesley Hanson's splendid Excursus on "AiOn, AiOnios" (Chicago 1880) states that the destruction mentioned in 1. Cor. 5:5 is not final, and that "olethros is not annihilation, but desolation."

We now turn to 1. Thess. 5:3, "Now whenever they may be saying, 'Peace and security,' then, unawares, olethros is standing by over them, even as the travail over the pregnant woman; and they may by no means escape." The comparison here evidently conveys the idea of great pain to come, very suddenly, unawares. As One has suggested, probably when some universal mundane terror, such as a mighty Muscovite monster, has lost its power to cause intense dread to all nations, then the earth-dwellers will hail an era of "Peace and security." Does it not seem, that instead of peace and security, they will quickly experience the very opposite? So then, olethros is discomfiture of some sort, a debacle, something devastating, a shattering blow, economic disruption, wrack and ruin of some kind.

They may not at all escape the consequences. Literally, they cannot flee out of it, any more than the travailing woman can escape her pain.

Something is lost, something is destroyed, something is ruined, but there is nothing to tell us that the great mass of mankind is exterminated.

What does 2. Thess. 1:9 tell us? Paul tells us of those who at the Lord's coming will rightly incur eonian olethros from the Lord's face, and from the glory of His strength. Does not this speak of banishment, and thus loss? Why "from" the Lord's face? At the same time, according to Matt. 25:31, 32, whenever the Son of Mankind comes in His glory, all the Gentiles will be gathered in front of Him. Those who are banished from Him are despatched into the eonian fire (v. 41), which is explained in v. 46 as "eonian chastening." Does it not therefore seem likely that this chastening or restraint (kolasis) may be the continuing process, which follows upon the olethros, or sudden cutting-off, sudden discomfiture?

The eonian fire is clearly mental agony, for that is what Satan and his messengers or angels will suffer.

Again, it is Matthew alone who tells us about the outer darkness (8:12; 22:13; 25:30) into which are to be cast the "sons of the kingdom," and the useless slave kind. And in each case, it is there, in the outer darkness, that there will be the lamentation and the gnashing of the teeth.

It is suggested that as there is a part of the present earth which might well be called outer darkness, there might well be a similar part on the earth after the Lord returns, to which will be consigned all those who suffer banishment from His face. To-day, banishment for life to Siberia is a terrible ordeal to millions.

At any rate, there cannot be any wholesale destruction of human beings when the Lord returns in great power, if some are to undergo age-lasting chastening and mental agony, in the outer darkness.

We may note that the olethros is at least a sudden cutting off. That is implied by the banishment and the pain, and the contrast enjoyed by those who enter life.

The subject of our study, olethros, is found oftener in the Greek Old Testament than in the New-eleven times in all. It is the translation of the following Hebrew words: abad (lose, perish); aid (calamity); kachad (put out of sight); mshamah (desolation); Phachad (dread, terror); shaun (tumult); shod and shoded (spoil). This seems to shew that there is more, and also less, in this Greek word than the idea of destruction and extermination.

In a study of such scriptural terms, it is very necessary to watch and scrutinize closely their close relations, their neighbours, and their synonyms. Here are some examples:-

1. Kings 13:34: "And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off (Heb. hakchid, "put it out of sight"; Greek, "unto olethros") and to destroy it" (Heb. hashmid; Greek, "unto disappearance," aphanismon). Here we have disappearance probably equated with olethros.

Ezek. 6:14: "So will I stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate (Heb. mshamah, "desolation"; Greek, "unto disappearance "), yea, more desolate" (Heb; again mshamah; Greek, "unto olethros."). Here we find the same two Greek words closely associated.

Prov. 1:26: "I also will laugh at your calamity (Heb. eid); I will mock when your fear cometh." Bagster's rendering of the Greek is "therefore I also will laugh at your destruction (apOleia; lostness); and I will rejoice against you when ruin (olethros) shall come upon you." Here we have olethros associated with lostness, or calamity.

Jer. 48:3: "A voice of crying from Horonaim, spoiling (Heb. shod) and great destruction" (Heb. sheber, breaking). The Greek reads "olethros and great suntrimma (crushing)." Undoubtedly, whatever olethros really means, it includes the fact of being spoiled in some way. In v. 8 we read that "the spoiler (shoded; Greek olethros) shall come upon every city."

Obadiah verse 13: Three times the Hebrew speaks of "the day of their calamity" (eid). The Greek version reads first, "their miseries" (ponOn), then "their olethros," and finally "their lostness" (apOleia). This might indicate that olethros bore some relation to misery and lostness. Verse 12 mentions a day of "lostness" (A.V. destruction) and a day of distress. Three times in V. 13 Rotherham reads "misfortune" for calamity.

To understand the passage aright, however, it is necessary to observe that the negative used throughout verses 12 to 14 is not the common la, but the "al deprecative," meaning, "do not (I pray)." The Authorized King James version reads "thou shouldest not," but the marginal "do not" is correct, as Rotherham reads. The effect of this is that the whole passage may refer to the future, for verse 15 states that the Day of Jehovah is near upon all the Gentiles."

We can now state definitely that olethros cannot signify utter destruction or annihilation. It means some kind of calamity or catastrophe, which comes suddenly.

Verb forms from olethros shew the same general results. OlothreuO is found about a dozen times in the Septuagint. This word is found in Josh. 7:25, as a translation of the Hebrew "Why hast thou troubled us?" The Hebrew verb is akar. It also translates the following Hebrew words, haras (demolish, pull down); charam (doom, devote); karath (cut off); shadad (spoil); shachath (blight); yarash (drive out, evict).

A longer verb form, ex-olothreuO, occurs in the Greek Old Testament about 195 times. This word is of great use in our present study because in about 80 of these cases, it is a translation of the Hebrew word karath, which means to cut off, cut down. These 80 examples are found throughout the whole Hebrew Bible, in 27 different books, which indicates that all the seventy translators used the Greek word in the sense of "cut off." This in effect really means that the true sense of the word must be a cutting off of some kind, in every case. That cutting off may lead to death, but not necessarily always.

In our next part we shall give a few more examples of this Greek verb, with its closely related neighbours in the same contexts. OLETHROS UTTER DESTRUCTION?

Part 2

We have seen that in the Greek Old Testament the compound word exolothreuthO, commonly rendered into English as "utterly destroy," is, in about 80 of its 195 occurrences, the Greek rendering of the Hebrew word karath, which means to "cut off."

Exodus 8:24 states that the "land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies." The Hebrew word means "blighted" or "ruined," as land could be blighted by flies. That is all the Greek translation can mean here. Bagster's rendring is "was destroyed," as they could hardly say the land was utterly exterminated. The blight could only have been a temporary one. In v. 31, we learn that Jehovah called off the swarm of flies. Temporarily the production or productivity of the land was cut off from the Egyptians.

In 1. Kings 2:4 David informs Solomon of the conditions under which Jehovah promised "there shall not fail thee a man on the throne of Israel." As the margin shews, the Hebrew says, "there shall not be cut off from thee." Here, Bagster's translation of the Septuagint is unable to say "there shall not be utterly destroyed from thee," but reads "there shall not fail (literally, be destroyed to thee)." Here, however, the translator, Sir Lancelot Brenton, is quite wrong to suggest destruction.

In Psalm 44:2, where Bagsters render "Thine hand utterly destroyed the heathen," the Hebrew text only reads "Thou didst drive out" or "evict" the nations. The cutting off in this case was merely from the Land. The Hebrew text seems to be defective, and should perhaps read, "Thou, Thou alone, didst evict nations, and art planting them; Thou art causing evil to races, and art sending them out." It will be noted that the Hebrew text shews in front of "Thy hand" the note-line, or fault-mark, which indicates that the Hebrew text was reckoned dubious.

In Ezek. 6:6 all the verbs in the Hebrew indicate a cutting off in some way or other. The altars are to be laid waste (or, dried up) and made desolate, For these two terms the Greek has only one, namely the word usually rendered "utterly destroy." The high places were to be desolate, according to the Hebrew, but in the Greek they were only to disappear. The idols were to be broken and made to cease, and the images were to be hewn down. The works were to be wiped out. The predominant thought in all is a breaking up, entailing a cutting off.

In the passage Micah 5:10-14 our Greek word "utterly destroy" represents on four occasions nothing more than the Hebrew word for "cut off" (karath). The same Hebrew word is used of the waters of the Jordan being "cut off" in Joshua 3:13, 16; 4:7, There is no suggestion of the waters being either destroyed or exterminated. According to Gen. 9:11, all flesh was "cut off" by the Flood. They could effect no escape by climbing mountains. Finally their breath was cut off also.

The same Hebrew word (karath) is very often used in connection with making a covenant. Literally a covenant was "cut" or "cut off." The Oxford Hebrew Lexicon says this was "because of the cutting up and distribution of the flesh of the victim for eating in, the sacrifice of the covenants." A noun formed from this word occurs four times meaning divorce (krithuth), Such a cutting off did not imply death or destruction.

If the Greek word olethros really means extermination, let us see how this last term was used long ago, in the days of Jerome (fourth century). We have stated that the Latin word (extermino) meant to drive out of the boundaries, to banish. The Latin word terminus originally meant only a boundary or limit. At James 4:14 Jerome translated the Greek as, "It is a vapour appearing for a little, and thereafter it will be exterminated" (exterminabitur). So James wrote to the Twelve Tribes that they would enjoy a very brief life and then be exterminated? Not at all. Jerome's expression corresponded to the Greek term, which simply means "disappearing" (aphanizomenE). Those whom James addressed would merely pass over the boundary of life and disappear from human sight.

Another example from the Latin Vulgate will illustrate this old meaning of the Latin word exterminate. In Matt. 6:16 we read of the hypocrites who "disfigure" their faces so that they might appear to be fasting. Most versions use this word. The Concordant Version says "disguise." But the true meaning ought to be rather, "render unseen," as though their faces had disappeared. Jerome's Latin word was exterminant, which did not mean, to him, "they exterminate," but they put out of sight their faces, made them obscure. One thousand years after Jerome's day, in 1380, this word must have taken on a changed meaning, which Wiclif could not comprehend, as he translates at Matt. 6:16, "for they put their faces out of (kindly) termys," thus retaining the meaning of the Latin prefix ex (out) and the root word term. A few years later however, Wiclif's coadjutor John Purvey altered to "they deface their faces."

A somewhat similar case is found at Acts 3:23 (A.V. "every soul. . . shall be destroyed from among the people"; R.V. "shall be utterly destroyed. .." C.V. "shall be utterly exterminated. . . . ."). Here the Greek word (exolethreuthEsetai) ought to answer to the old Latin sense of Jerome's translation (exterminabitur), that is, they will be put out of sight, out of bounds. That is what Wiclif understood here, as he rendered by "shall be put out of the people and out of his terms" (that is, his boundaries). Wiclif uses two verbs to express one in the Greek and the Latin.

It must be kept in mind that our English word exterminate is comparatively modern, and probably only entered our language about two hundred years after Wiclif's time, bearing a meaning it never had with Jerome.

Reverting to the 6th chapter of Matthew, in verses 19 and 20 we meet with the same expression as is found in v. 16. As the Concordant Version correctly renders, "moth and corrosion are causing (it) to disappear." Just as in v. 16 the hypocrites wanted to "appear" to be fasting, so here moth and rust make materials "disappear" (aphanizO). Jerome says the moth and rust "demolish," that is, throw down, literally, down-exert.

In Acts 13:41 the proper idea is not perishing, but disappearance. So in Heb. 8:13, the old Covenant was near disappearance. There is a vast difference between disappearance and being utterly exterminated.

It will be seen that there is a very urgent need to sort out all Bible terms which seem to denote destruction. Just as Latin interfered with and corrupted the old meaning of the Greek word aiOnios (age lasting, eonian), so it has done to everyone of the words used in connection with future destiny. Wiclif knew and used the word "destroy," but the later Reformers viewed the doom of the great mass of mankind as nothing but utter destruction. Accordingly they imagined that it was quite safe to label any Hebrew or Greek word which seemed to point in that direction with the label "destruction."

As regards the root of the word olethros, it is generally reckoned to be the same as the root of the word apOleia (destruction, loss), namely ol, which Curtius describes as being "obscure." It is unlikely that olethros derives from holos (whole) and a root -thr- meaning "ruin," because no such root meaning "ruin" is known, and besides, the word olethros is not aspirated, to sound holethros. It is much more likely that olethros and aPOleia are related closely to the Latin word aboleo (from which our word abolish). This word has a very strange history. Oleo in Latin means to grow up, to increase. Adoleo (from which adolescent) means to cause to grow up; then to offer up, exactly like the Hebrew word ole (to ascend; cause to ascend; ascending offering, that is "burnt offering"). An adolescent person is a growing one. But in the Latin tongue, aboleo did not answer to our modern "abolish." Ab is like the Greek apo, ap, meaning away, away from, from, backwards. Thus this Latin word had the peculiar meaning of a reverse or check in growth, a growing backwards, a going downhill-which might easily lead to death. Even in English we find the word old, which is related to Latin altus, one grown up, grown old. In Hebrew we meet with oul, meaning young, young cow; oull, a young child; olm, an adolescent; olme, a young woman, or damsel. All these terms speak of growing people or animals.

Olethros might therefore mean originally a "break in growth," a check in development, a sudden discomfiture or cutting off from prosperity and ease and comfort. Some such idea is found in every occurrence of the word in the New Testament.

We have found this to be the case in 1. Cor. 5:5; 1. Thess. 5:3 and 2. Thess. 1:9. What of 1. Tim. 6:9? Those who scheme to become rich are falling into a trial and a trap and into many foolish and harmful excessive-desires, just those very things which are submerging mankind in olethros and loss (apOleia). The final words shew both terms which contain the root ol. Such foolish persons have become trapped. Then they become submerged. Surely this speaks of discomfiture brought on by excessive greed. The old saying becomes true, " The more they get the more they want." Instead of their wealth bringing contentment and peace, it brings the very opposite. It becomes oppressive, burdensome, nay, even positively harmful and pain-producing.

In the next verse Paul explains. It is not necessarily into "extermination and destruction" (as the C.V. reads) that such people are lured by their folly. "For a root of all the evils is money-fondness, which some, craving, are led astray from (the) faith, and probe themselves on all sides with many painful things." Paul is not writing about death or punishment after death. He describes those who prefer wealth to things of faith. Faith can rise to tremendous heights. Astray from a living faith, men can sink to agonizing depths. Put in a few words, Paul means that wealth-seeking leads to misery and unhappiness. The faith and contentment we may have in this life is only for this life. The discomfiture and loss suffered by wealthy people is also a feature of this life. That is all Paul says here. He is not writing a treatise on human destiny, but giving young Timothy very sound advice concerning his ministry in this life. Later on in the same chapter, the wealthy are advised to take hold of the real life, so that for the future they may lay a grand foundation.

Strange to say, in v. 9 most versions instead of reading "ruin and destruction," have somehow felt obliged to read "destruction and ruin." Both terms probably refer to a set-back in circumstances and morals and principles, the opposite of a growth in character and goodness. Such seekers of wealth come to a stage where they find themselves "cut-off" from the satisfaction they expected to find. Such satisfaction is exterminated, destroyed, lost, ruined.

Before summing up our conclusions, we must examine other passages which tell of God's judgments upon mankind when the Lord comes to earth.

Zech. 14 tells of the coming of the Day of Jehovah. All nations are gathered against Jerusalem to battle. But Jehovah will plague all these armies and smite them so that their flesh consumes away while they stand on their feet, even their eyes and their tongues consume away. To complete their destruction they turn upon each other. Such a tremendous discomfiture might aptly be termed an olethros; a wasting away and a slaughter which ends in death. This Greek word is often equated in dictionaries with the Latin word pernicies, which is given the meanings of disaster, ruin, calamity; death through poison or hunger, but without a weapon. Our word pernicious means hurtful, injurious, destructive, but not necessarily deadly. The Greek words nekros (dead) and nekus (corpse) are related to the root, and so is our word noxious.

Daniel 12:2 reveals to us another aspect of the end time. According to the crude and cruel rendering of reformation times, many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. The last few words should read, "these to life eonian, and these to reproaches and abhorrence eonian." Here the word for reproaches has the same root as the word rendered "winter" in Gen. 8:22, etc. The reproaches therefore seem to consist of cold treatment, cold shouldering we would say. Some of these Israelites may undergo chastening by being expelled to an outer darkness where there is real cold. Such a fate would be a true olethros or discomfiture, and quite in line with the kolasis of Matt. 25:46, "And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian." From the form of the word, kolasis signifies a process. It also would seem to be a real olethros. It is a curbing, a restraint, a restriction, and a severe chastening; just the kind of "fire eonian" made ready for Satan and his messengers (v. 41). To-day is it not God's true saints who often suffer much mental distress and even agony, through being too conscientious, or because they are cold shouldered by the world? Life in this world for a really conscientious believer is a most difficult trial. Why should not a righteous God send into eonian darkness and cold those of the Gentiles who neglect and abandon the Lord's own Race in the day of their direst peril? In, one sense we might admit this was an "extermination," because these "cursed" ones would be "driven out of the boundaries" into the outer darkness. The time seems to synchronize with Matt. 13:42. Those doing lawlessness will be cast into "the furnace of the fire," just where there will be the prophesied lamentation and gnashing of teeth. See also verse 50, and ch. 8:12, Luke 13:28.

To sum up what we gather to be the meaning of the word olethros, we should describe it first as some kind of cutting off. It may be by death of some kind, or it may be a cutting off or banishment from the face of the Lord and from Hisglory, as in 2. Thess. 1:9. If we allow what Matthew says to explain what Paul says in 2. Thess. 1:9, the latter verse implies banishment, into some kind of living death, for a. period. It consists also of a debacle, a decline, a discomfiture, often sudden, and always something serious, but not in every case entailing death.*

Readers must forgive us for thrusting upon them studies in the origins of certain words. These are usually very dry, but in this case there is no other way to attempt to reach the true force of the word we are studying.

Very truly did Max Muller say long years ago that every word in our language was a petrified poem. Studied as such they become of very great interest, and in the present case, full of illumination also.

If any reader can favour us with further illumination on the term olethros, we shall be most grateful. Meanwhile, we suggest that the word be understood as a disaster, always serious, but never of a permanent nature.

ALEXANDER THOMSON.

* We are pleased to see that the German Concordant Version uses, not a word meaning extermination, but the English word "Ruin."