Flesh

Easton’s Bible Dictionary

Flesh : in the Old Testament denotes

  1. a particular part of the body of man and animals (Genesis 2:21; 41:2; Psalm 102:5, marg.);
  2. the whole body (Psalm 16:9);
  3. all living things having flesh, and particularly humanity as a whole (Genesis 6:12,13);
  4. mutability and weakness (2 Chronicles 32:8; comp. Isaiah 31:3; Psalm 78:39). As suggesting the idea of softness it is used in the expression "heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 11:19). The expression "my flesh and bone" (Judges 9:2; Isaiah 58:7) denotes relationship.

In the New Testament, besides these it is also used to denote the sinful element of human nature as opposed to the "Spirit" (Romans 6:19; Matthew 16:17). Being "in the flesh" means being unrenewed (Romans 7:5; 8:8,9), and to live "according to the flesh" is to live and act sinfully (Romans 8:4,5,7,12).

This word also denotes the human nature of Christ (John 1:14, "The Word was made flesh." Comp. also 1 Timothy 3:16; Romans 1:3).

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  • Smith’s Bible Dictionary