Saturday, March 31, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: ar-ra-BON
Strong’s Number: 728
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 775
Key Verse: “… who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory." -- Ephesians 1:14

Arrabon is a transliteration from a Hebrew word, in the sense of exchange, or a pawn, given as security. It is found in the Septuagint in Genesis 38:17 when Judah gave Tamar his seal, cord, and staff, as a pledge that he would send her a goat from his flock. Fundamentally, the word is a legal and commercial term signifying a first installment, deposit, or downpayment. It pays part of a purchase price in advance, thus securing a legal claim to the article in question. It is common in the papyri as earnest money in a purchase for a cow or a wife, for her dowry. In today’s modern Greek, “arrabona” is an “engagement ring.”

Arrabon appears only 3 times in the New Testament, each time referring to the Holy Spirit as a pledge to believers. In 2 Corinthians 1:22, 2 Corinthians 5:5, and Ephesians 1:14, it is translated as pledge; in KJV, it is earnest; in NKJV, it is guarantee; and in NIV, it is deposit. The Holy Spirit is a divine pledge of future blessedness and eternal inheritance. The word teaches the doctrine of eternal security of a believer.

Wuest says, “The bestowal of the Holy Spirit is God’s part payment in the salvation He gives the believing sinner, that part payment guaranteeing the full delivery of all parts of the salvation given: justification, sanctification, and glorification. The believer has the first two now. The Holy Spirit, indwelling the believer, is God’s earnest money, guaranteeing to him the future glorification of his body.”

Matthew Henry writes, “The illumination of the Spirit is an earnest of everlasting life, and the comforts of the Spirit are an earnest of everlasting joy. The veracity of God, the mediation of Christ, and the operation of the Spirit, are all engaged that the promises shall be sure to all the seed, and the accomplishment of them shall be to the glory of God.”

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