Friday, October 10, 2014
“For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure” (Psalm 135:4 KJV).
Our King James Bible uses the term “peculiar” seven times; what does it mean?
While we use the word “peculiar” today to mean “strange,” in older English (as in the King James), it meant “of private property” (from Latin peculiaris, from peculium ‘property,’ from pecu ‘cattle’ [cattle being private property]; the sense [odd] dates from the early 17th century).
JEHOVAH God told the nation Israel in Exodus 19:5: “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine….” Deuteronomy 14:2 repeats, “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.” And Deuteronomy 26:18: “And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments….” Finally, 1 Peter 2:9: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light…” God wanted Israel to be His special nation in the Earth (see today’s Scripture). The Apostle Peter assures us that it will happen one day, after our dispensation!
Ecclesiastes 2:8 further explains how God’s Word uses the term “peculiar:” “I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces…” (notice “peculiar” means “belonging to kings…”).
Writing about us, the Church the Body of Christ, the Apostle Paul penned in Titus 2:14: “[Jesus Christ] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” While Israel is temporarily fallen (Romans chapter 11), God is forming us, Christ’s Body, that we may one day serve Him in the heavenly places.
God’s people are always “unique,” but they are “peculiar” primarily because they are His!