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Vessels

A vessel may be defined as any object that is used as a container. Vessel is most-often used to translate the Hebrew word of the Old Testament, pronounced kel-ee, which had a variety of applied meanings, from implements to containers, and the Greek word of the New Testament pronounced sky-oos, which also had a number of applied meanings, most of which were very similar to that for the Hebrew word, implements or containers. In the Holy Bible, "vessel" also has both physical and spiritual applications.

Earthly Vessels

The most common form of vessels were cups, bowls or jugs used for storage of liquid or dry consumer goods (see also Biblical Weights and Measures). During Bible History, vessels were made from stone, pottery, wood (barrels), straw or reeds (baskets), leather or metals ranging from copper and bronze to silver and gold. There were routine household vessels and there were holy vessels used in the Tabernacle and the Temple. A few examples from the hundreds found in the Scriptures:

Vessels

"And The Lord [see also YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone" (Exodus 7:19 KJV)

"And they brought up The Ark of The Lord, and the Tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the Tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up" (1 Kings 8:4 KJV)
(note: only Levites were permitted to carry, or even touch, the Ark of The Covenant, which itself was a vessel. Anyone else faced The Lord's lethal wrath - a prime clue as to what eventually happened to the Ark when it was "lost" - see Raiders Of The Lost Ark)

"Vessel" was also used figuratively for humans who also exist in a great variety as they were created:

"But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." (2 Timothy 2:20-21 KJV) (see also Works Means Obedience)

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (2 Corinthians 4:6-7 KJV)

Fact Finder: Are Christians "vessels," or "temples," of the Holy Spirit?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
See also The Holy Ghost and The Holy Spirit


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