ACCURSED (5k-karst'). The Heb. word khelf rem, and the Gr. civcikua, an-ath'em-,zh, which the A. V. often renders accursed, signify things set apart or devoted ; and with Jews and Chris tians marked the highest degree of excommuni cation. They generally imported the cutting off one from the community of the faithful, the num ber of the living, or the privileges of society, and of a thing from existence and common use. The cities of king Arad, the seven nations of Canaan, the sacrifices of false gods, were accursed, or devoted to destruction. Num. xxi :2, 3 ; Deut. vii :2, 26; Exod. xxii:19. The Hebrews devoted to a curse such as did not assist in punishing the Benjamites. Judg. xxi :5. Jephthah devoted whatever should first meet him from his house. Judg. xi:3o. Saul devoted such in his host as should taste any food before sunset while he pursued the Philistines. I Sam. xiv :2,4. About forty Jews devoted themselves under a curse, if they did eat or drink before they had killed Paul. Acts xxiii:i2-13. Nothing devoted to the Lord, under the form of a curse, could be redeemed.
Lev. xxvii :28, 29. The wealth of Jericho was accursed; the gold, silver, brass and iron were under the form of a curse, set apart to the service of God, and the rest devoted to ruin. Josh. vi :16, Igo; vii :I. The hanged malefactors were accursed of God, devoted to public punish ment. Deut xxi:23. To promote the salvation of his Jewish brethren, Paul could have wished himself accursed from Christ; not cast into hell, and forever under the power of sin, and em ployed in blaspheming God, but cast out of the church, and made himself a temporary monu ment of God's wrath (Rom. ix :3). The difficulty is removed at once by adopting what seems the proper translation—"I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart, for I was wont to wish myself occursed from Christ." His sorrow was for his kindred who determined to be ac cursed from Christ, a state which Paul, who once was in it, could now appreciate. (See ANATH EMA.)