heart

heart

The center of one’s being. In the Bible, the term is used most often to refer to the human heart (814 times; cf. “the heart of God,” 26 times; “heart of the sea,” 11 times). The physical activity of the heart, though rarely mentioned, is what causes the limbs to move. A stopped heart indicates paralysis, not death (1Sam 25:37; 2Sam 18:14). Eating strengthens one’s heart (Gen 18:5 [NRSV: “refresh yourselves”]; Judg 19:5) and is associated with the heart’s recovery (1Kgs 21:7; Acts 14:17; Jas 5:5). The heart is the center of emotions, feelings, moods, and passions. Equated with the heart are joy (Deut 28:47; Acts 2:26), grief (Ps 13:2; Lam 2:11), ill temper (Deut 15:10), love (Phil 1:7), courage (2Sam 17:10; Ps 27:14), and fear (Gen 42:28). A swollen heart breeds arrogance (Isa 9:9), which is in marked contrast to the gentle and lowly heart of Jesus (Matt 11:29). The heart is also the source of thought and reflection (Isa 6:10; Mark 7:21-23). The heart understands (Deut 8:5; Isa 42:25), provides wisdom to rule justly and wisely (1Kgs 3:12; 1Kgs 10:24), and discerns good and evil (1Kgs 2:44). The heart also represents the idea of volition and conscience (1Sam 24:5; 2Sam 24:10). Since the heart is the center for decisions (2Sam 7:21), obedience, devotion, and intentionality, it represents the total human person. Within the heart, human beings meet God’s word (1Sam 12:24; Jer 32:40) and thus the heart becomes the location where conversion takes place (Ps 51:10; Joel 2:12; Acts 2:37).

1Sam 25:37

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2Sam 18:14

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Gen 18:5

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Judg 19:5

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1Kgs 21:7

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Acts 14:17

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Jas 5:5

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Deut 28:47

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Acts 2:26

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Ps 13:2

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Lam 2:11

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Deut 15:10

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Phil 1:7

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2Sam 17:10

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Ps 27:14

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Gen 42:28

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Isa 9:9

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Matt 11:29

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Isa 6:10

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Mark 7:21-23

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Deut 8:5

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Isa 42:25

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1Kgs 3:12

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1Kgs 10:24

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1Kgs 2:44

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1Sam 24:5

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2Sam 24:10

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2Sam 7:21

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1Sam 12:24

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Jer 32:40

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Ps 51:10

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Joel 2:12

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Acts 2:37

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