Bible Dictionary
C
(* = the name meaning)

Caesar
(see-zur)

The emperor of Rome. "Caesar" was a title much like king or president. It started out as a name but over time, people started using Caesar as a title for their leader.
Matthew 22:17, 21
John 19:12-15
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Caesar Augustus
(see-zur uh-guhs-tuhss)
A title for the office of emperor adopted by Caesar Octavianus, the Roman emperor in
power when Jesus was born. It was Caesar Augustus who ordered the census that required Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem.
Luke 2:1
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Caesarea
(sess-uh-ree-uh)
A major seaport city in New Testament times on the eastern Mediterranean coast in Palestine.  The emperor Caesar Augustus gave it to Herod the Great, who thanked the emperor by naming the city after him.  Another city named after a Roman emperor was Caesarea Philippi. Some of the city's ruins survive to this day.
Acts 8:40
Acts 21:8-9
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Caesarea Philippi
(sess-uh-ree-uh  fil-i-pye)
A city in the Roman province of Judea at the southwest base of Mount Hermon, the source of Jordan River. The emperor Caesar Augustus gave the city to Herod the Great, who built a temple to the emperor there. It passed to Herod's distant relative Philip the tetrarch after Herod's death.  Philip added his own name to the city so people could tell it apart from Caesarea on the coast. This is the place where Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" (Matthew 16:13).
Matthew 16:13-16
Mark 8:27-30
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Caiaphas   (* depression)
(kye-uh-fuhss)
High priest of Israel from A.D.18 to  A.D.36.
Caiphas was in charge of the trial that condemned Jesus to die.
John 18:13-14
Acts 4:6
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Cain   (* possession)
(kane)
Adam and Eve's firstborn son, who murdered his brother Abel. Cain is famous for the line, "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9).
Genesis 4:1-8
Hebrews 11:4
1John 3:12
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Caleb    (* capable)
(kay-leb)
An Israelite of the tribe of Judah; son of Jephunneh. Moses chose him to represent Judah on the team of spies sent into the land of Canaan when the Israelites had reached Kadesh-Bornea during the Exodus. Besides Joshua, he was the only spy who believed God could give them victory over the Canaanites. He settled in Hebron.
Numbers 13:6
Joshua 14:7
Judges 1:12-15
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calendar
(kal-uhn-dur)
See month
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calf
(kaf)
A young bull or cow. Some of the offerings that God required of the Israelites involved sacrifice of a calf. Some of the meat from these offerings was given to the priests and their families for food.
Many false religions of Canaan involved worship of calf idols. Aaron once tried to do this when Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments from God at Mt. Sinai.
Exodus 32:4-5
1Kings 12:28-29
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Cana  (* place of reeds)
(kay-nuh)
A village in Galilee where Jesus attended a wedding and did his first miracle. Its exact location is unknown.
John 2:1,11
John 21:2
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Canaan       (* low, flat)
(kay-nuhn)
Son of Ham and therefore Noah's grandson.
Genesis 9:18
The land occupied by the descendants of Canaan, Noah's grandson; Palestine; the land directly south of Phoenicia or Lebanon, west of Syria, and northwest of Arabia.
Joshua 3:10
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Canaanites
(kay-nuhn-ites)
The descendants of Canaan.
Exodus 33:2
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Capernaum    (* village of Nahum)
(kuh-pur-nuhm)
A major city on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee during the time of Christ. Jesus settled there when he began his ministry (he had grown up in Nazareth).  Jesus called Simon, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew from their jobs in Capernaum.
Matthew 4:13
John 4:46-54
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Cappadocia
(kap-uh-doh-shuh)
A Roman province in Asia Minor (modem Turkey), east of Galatia and north of Cilicia.
Acts 2:9
1Peter 1:1
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carnal
(kar-nul)
An older word for worldly or unspiritual
1 Corinthians 3:1-3
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cast lots
(kast lots)
A method of decision-making used by believers both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. When Joshua and the leaders of Israel divided up the land of Canaan, they cast lots. When the apostles chose a replacement for Judas, they cast lots.
Esther 3:7
Jonah 1:7
Matthew 27:35
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Cenchrea
(sen-kruh-ee)
A port city 11 kilometers southeast of Corinth in New Testament times. The apostle Paul set sail from Cenchrea while on his second missionary journey.
Acts 18:18
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census
(sen-suhss)
A count of a population. The book of Numbers is so named because it records a census of Israel. Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem because the emperor Augustus ordered a census of the Roman Empire.
2 Samuel 24:1
Luke 2:1
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centurion
(sen-tyur-ee-uhn)
A Roman officer in command of 100 men, one-sixtieth of a Roman legion. Jesus once praised a centurion for showing great faith.
Matthew 8:5-13
Acts 22:25
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Cephas   (* Peter)
(see-fuhss)
The Aramaic word for rock, equivalent to the Greek, Peter. Jesus gave this nickname to his disciple Simon.
John 1:42
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cereal offering
(seer-ee-uhl awf-ur-ing)
Another term for grain offering
Leviticus 2:1-3
Numbers 15:1-4
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ceremonially clean
(sair-ee-uh-mohn-ee-uh-lee kleen)
See clean
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ceremonially unclean
(sair-ee-uh-mohn-ee-uh-lee uhn-kleen)
See unclean
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Chaldea
(kal-dee-uh)
A major region in southern Babylonia, where the Tigris and Euphrates empty into the Persian Gulf. The word was often used as another name for all of Babylonia.
Acts 7:4
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Chaldeans
(kal-dee-uhnz)
The people of Chaldea. The word was sometimes used as another term for all the people of Babylonia (the Babylonians).
Genesis 11:28
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chariot
(chair-ee-uht)
A carriage of two wheels pulled by one or more horses. The Egyptians, several Canaanite peoples, and David and Solomon used chariots in their armies. Chariots gave attackers a deadly advantage against infantry.
Genesis 41:43
Psalm 68:17
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charioteer
(chair-ee-uh-teer)
A chariot driver.
1Kings 22:34
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charity
(chair-uh-tee)
An older word for love that appears in some translations of the Bible.
1 Corinthians 8:1
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Colossians 3:14
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Chemosh  (* subduer)
(kee-mosh)
The national god of the Moabites. Solomon built a high place to Chemosh in Jerusalem for his Moabite wives. Ahaz and Manasseh actually practiced the Moabite rituals of worship, which involved sacrifice. Josiah destroyed these high places in his famous reform.
Numbers 21:29
1 Kings 11:7,33
2 Kings 23:13
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cherub
(chair-uhb)
A spiritual being much like an angel but with a different function. The main job of a cherub is to guard and uphold God's holiness. God sent cherubim to guard the way to the tree of life in the garden of Eden after Adam and Eve's sin. The top of the Ark of the Covenant was adorned with a pair of golden cherubim statues. Cherubim are God's attendants.
Exodus 25:19
Genesis 3:24
Psalm 18:10
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cherubim
(chair-uh-bim)
Plural of cherub
Exodus 25:19-20
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chief priest
(cheef preest)
A leader among the priests of Israel and a member of the Sanhedrin in New Testament times. The chief priests were subordinate to the high priest.
2 Chronicles 26:20
John 11:47
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children of God
(chil-dren uhv god)
See sons of God
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chosen
(choh-zuhn)
A word often used in the Bible to describe God's people. God chose the people of Israel to be His, and He chooses people today to be His children.
1Chronicles 16:13
James 2:5
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Christ
(kriste)
The Greek form of the Hebrew word Messiah. Jesus is called the Christ because he fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies about the coming of the Messiah.
Matthew 1:16
John 11:27
Romans 3:24
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Christian
(kris-chuhn)
A follower of Christ; a "Christ-one." The word was first used in the New Testament city of Antioch.
Acts 11:26
Acts 26:28
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Chronicles, First
(kron-uh-kuhlz, furst)
Thirteenth book of the Old Testament and eighth of the books of history. First Chronicles tells about David's deeds as king, especially his efforts to organize the worship of God in Jerusalem. No one knows who wrote it.
1Chronicles 29:26-30
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Chronicles, Second
(kron-uh-kuhlz, sek-uhnd)
Fourteenth book of the Old Testament and tenth of the books of history. Second Chronicles tells about Solomon's deeds as king, and about the southern kingdom of Judah under Rehoboam, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Joash, Uzziah, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, and Josiah. It deals mainly with how well each of these leaders obeyed God. No one knows who wrote it.
2 Chronicles 7:14
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church
(church)
A group of Christians that meets in a particular area. Many of the New Testament letters were written to such churches.
1 Corinthians 1:2
1 Thessalonians 1:1
All Christians everywhere
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circumcision
(sur-kuhm-si-zhuhn)
A religious ceremony. Israelite males were circumcised on the eighth day after birth. God required this as a part of his covenant with Israel. It was a sign of their belonging to Him.
Genesis 17:12
Acts 16:3
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cistern
(sis-turn)
A hole or structure built to hold rain water. People of Old Testament and New Testament times used water collected in cisterns for drinking, cleaning, and bathing.
Genesis 37:22-23
Isaiah 36:16-17
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citadel
(sit-uh-dell)
A fortified city, tower; or walled palace; any place of defense against attack.
1 Kings 16:18
Nehemiah 2:8
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city
(si-tee)
A town and its villages. A city was not just one town, but a large area of homes, businesses, and farms. It included the main town or place where lots of people had homes and businesses, the farms around it, and all the smaller villages nearby.
Joshua 18:21-24
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City of David
 (si-tee uhv day-vid)
 An Israelite nickname for Jerusalem, so named because David captured the city from the Jebusites and declared it his capital.
2 Samuel 5:9
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clan
(klan)
 A group of people who all trace their roots to the same person; a family unit larger than a single family but smaller than a tribe. All members of a clan belong to the same tribe. Many lists of people in the Bible organize the names by clan.
Genesis 36:15-16
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Claudius Lysias
(klaw-dee-uhss lis-ee-uhss)
Commander of the Roman regiment at Jerusalem who saved Paul from a violent mob just after Paul's third missionary journey.
Acts 21:31
Acts 24:22
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clean
(kleen)
Holy; pure. The word was often used to describe a person who had obeyed rules about what to eat or touch. A clean person was allowed to worship with others.
Leviticus 14:1, 7
Ephesians 5:25-26
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cleansing
(klen-zing)
See clean
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Cleopas
(klee-oh-puhss)
One of the two disciples who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus after He rose from the dead.
Luke 24:18
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Colosse
(kuh-lah-see)
A city in the Roman province of Asia about 15 kilometers east of  Laodicea. Paul wrote the letter of Colossians to the Christians of Colosse. As far as we know Paul never visited the city, though his third missionary journey did take him through Laodicea.
Colossians 1:2
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Colossians, book of
(kuh-lah-shuhnz, buk uhv)
Twelfth book of the New Testament, a letter written by Paul to the churches of Colosse. Paul wrote this letter to teach the Colossians about life in Christ.
Colossians 3:17
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commandment
(kuh-mand-ment)
A rule or command given by God that applies to all people everywhere.
Exodus 34:32
Psalm 147:15
John 14:15
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Communion
(kuh-myoo-nyuhn)
Another word for the Lord's Supper.
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concubine
(kon-kyoo-bine)
A female slave who was allowed to have relations with a man. Kings and wealthy families of Old Testament times often had concubines. Most concubines took care of the household and were treated much like wives.  Their children were part of the family and shared in the estate. A concubine was not the same as a maidservant.
Genesis 25:56
1Kings 11:3
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confess
(kuhn-fess)
To admit sin.  A person who wants to be forgiven of sin must confess it to God.
1John 1:9
To say publicly what you believe. Peter confessed his belief in Christ.
Philippians 2:10-11
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confession
(kuhn-fe-shuhn)
An admission of sin.
Ezra 10:11
A statement of belief.
Romans 10:10
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congregation
(kon-gruh-gay-shuhn)
A group of believers; a gathering of God's people, usually for the purpose of worship; an assembly.
Psalm 107:32
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conscience
(kon-shunss)
A sense of goodness or badness about something you did or might do; the feeling that you have done right or wrong. A bad conscience tells you that you have done wrong. A good or clear conscience tells you that you have done right or have been forgiven.
Acts 23:1
Timothy 1:18-19
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consecrate
(kon-si-krate)
To set aside for God's service. God required the Israelite priests and Levites to consecrate themselves before serving in the temple.
Exodus 30:30
Chronicles 26:18
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convert
(kuhn-vurt or kon-vurt)
Verb: To change your own or someone else's belief about God.
Acts 15:3
Noun: A person who has changed his belief about God.
Acts 3:19
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convict
(kohn-vikt)
To find guilty.
John 16:7-11
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Corinth
(kor-inth)
A major city on the narrow strip of land between the mainland of Greece and the Peloponnesus. During New Testament times, this city lay in the Roman province of Achaia. Paul visited it for 18 months during his second missionary journey. He later wrote the letters of First Corinthians and Second Corinthians to the Christians of that city.
Acts 18:1-2
2 Corinthians 1:1
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Corinthians, First
(kuh-rin-thee-uhnz, furst)
Seventh book of the New Testament, a letter written by the apostle Paul to the Christians at the church in Corinth. Paul wrote the letter to help the believers fix some of the problems they were having. Some of its main topics are church unity, marriage, spiritual gifts, worship, and the return of Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
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Corinthians, Second
(kuh-rin-thee-uhnz, sek-uhnd)
Eighth book of the New Testament, a letter written by the apostle Paul to the Christians at the church in Corinth. Paul wrote Second Corinthians to defend his ministry against false teachers who were questioning his authority and the gospel message he preached.
2 Corinthians 1:1-2
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Cornelius
(kor-neel-yuhss)
Roman centurion from Caesarea who was the first Gentile to become a Christian. His  story is told in Acts 10:1-48.
Acts 10:1:2
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corrupt
(kuh-ruhpt)
Verb: To cause to sin; to cause to do evil.
Deuteronomy 4:15-16
Daniel 11:32
Adjective: Sinful; bad; wicked; evil.
Genesis 6:11
2 Corinthians 7:2
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corruption
(kuh-ruhp-shuhn)
Evil; wickedness; badness; the effect of sin in our lives.
1 Timothy 6:3-5
2 Peter 1:4
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Council
(koun-suhl)
Another word for the Sanhedrin.
Matthew 10:17
Mark 15:43
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council of the elders
(koun-suhl uhv el-durz)
Any official gathering of local leaders.
Psalm 107:32
Luke 22:66
The Sanhedrin.
Acts 25:12
Matthew 26:59
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covenant
(kuh-vuh-nuhnt)
A pact or agreement of loyalty between two people. The most famous covenant in the Bible is God's covenant with Israel at Mount Sinai during the Exodus. God promised to protect and provide for the people of Israel if the people of Israel kept the Law.
Genesis 17:7
1 Samuel 18:3-4
Hebrews 8:8-13
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covet
(kuh-vit)
To crave something that belongs to someone else; to envy someone else's possessions. The tenth of the Ten Commandments tells us not to covet.
Exodus 20:17
Romans 13:9
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Crete
(kreet)
A large island (about 250 kilometers long) in the Mediterranean Sea, south of the Aegean Sea and southeast of the Greek Peloponnesus. It was part of the Roman province of Cyrenaica during New Testament times. Paul and several others got shipwrecked there while on his way to trial in Rome. The Christian leader Titus had a ministry on Crete.
Acts 27:12-13
Titus 1:5
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crimson
(krim-zuhn)
Deep or dark red; scarlet. Isaiah made use of this word to describe how dramatic God's forgiveness is.
2 Chronicles 2:7
Isaiah 1:18
Jeremiah 4:30
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Crispus         (* curled)
(kriss-puhss)
A Corinthian Jew who believed in Jesus when he heard the gospel from Paul. Crispus was one of the few converts Paul himself baptized.
Acts 18:7-8
1Corinthians 1:14
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cross
(kross)
The two pieces of wood used in crucifixion. Jesus was crucified on a cross. This sign became one of the most important symbols in Christianity.
Mark 8:34
John 19:25
Ephesians 2:16
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crucifixion
(kroo-si-fick-shun)
A method of execution used by the Romans in New Testament times. The person to be crucified was nailed to two beams of wood in the shape of a cross. One nail was driven through both feet, and one through each wrist. The victim died of hunger, exhaustion, or exposure rather than the wounds themselves.
Only criminals convicted of serious crimes were crucified. The false charge used to justify the crucifixion of Jesus was treason against Rome.
John 19:16, 18
Galatian: 2:20
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crucify
(kroo-si-fye)
To kill by means of crucifixion.
John 19-6
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cubit
(kyoo-bit)
The distance from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. In Old Testament times, the Israelites and many nations around them considered the cubit their most basic unit of length. It was equal to about one-half a meter, or 18 inches; two spans; six handbreadths.
Exodus 27:1
Revelation 21:17
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cupbearer
(kuhp-bair-ur)
An attendant of the king, sometimes called a butler. Cupbearers served the king's wine and often gave advice as well. This was an official position that required the king's highest trust. Nehemiah was a cup-bearer to King Artaxerxes.
2 Chronicles 9:4
Nehemiah 1:11
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curse
(kurss)
Verb: To utter a wish of harm on someone else; to condemn; the opposite of bless.
Genesis 3:14
Genesis 9:25
Romans 9:3
Noun: The state of being condemned, judged, hurt, or broken; the opposite of blessing.
Matthew 26:73-74
Galatians 3:10
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Cush
(kush)
Son of Ham and therefore Noah's grandson; father of Nimrod.
Genesis 10:6
An Israelite from the tribe of Benjamin who opposed David and prompted the writing of Psalm 7.
Psalm 7:1
Ethiopia.
An area of Mesopotamia somewhere down-river from Eden; its exact location is unknown.
Genesis 2:13
Genesis 2:10-14
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Cushites
(kush-ites)
People of the land of Cush.
Numbers 12:1
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Cyprus
(sye-pruhss)
A large island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, about 100 kilometers off the coast of Syria and 90 kilometers south of modem Turkey. It was part of the Roman province of Cilicia in New Testament times. Paul and Barnabas preached the gospel all over the island during their first missionary journey. Barnabas returned later with John Mark.
Acts 4:36
Acts 15:39
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Cyrus  (* the sun)
(sye-ruhss)
King of Persia during the time of Esther and the last of the kings served by Daniel. This is the Cyrus who allowed the Jews to return to their homeland under Zerubbabel and Nehemiah after 70 years of captivity in Babylonia. Cyrus the Persian is also known as Cyrus II or Cyrus the Great.
Ezra 1:1
Daniel 1:21
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