WHAT IS AN “EXECRATION?”
by Shawn Brasseaux
“Execration” appears twice in the text of the King James Bible, only in Jeremiah:
- “For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As mine anger and my fury hath been poured forth upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so shall my fury be poured forth upon you, when ye shall enter into Egypt: and ye shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach; and ye shall see this place no more” (42:18).
- “Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, and to cut off all Judah. And I will take the remnant of Judah, that have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, and they shall all be consumed, and fall in the land of Egypt; they shall even be consumed by the sword and by the famine: they shall die, from the least even unto the greatest, by the sword and by the famine: and they shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach” (44:11-12).
According to the context clues, “execration” has negative overtones. When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked the idolatrous city of Jerusalem some 600 years before Christ, a portion of the people of Judah migrated southward into Egypt to escape God’s wrath. These Jews had outright disobeyed JEHOVAH God, for He had ordered them to remain in Judah and be taken captive to Babylon. Centuries upon centuries of heathen religion in Israel had finally resulted in the fifth course of judgment, being taken prisoners of the Gentiles, and this curse of the broken Law of Moses was certain. As chapter 44 chronicles, the Jews evaded the judgment and continued idol worship even in their new home in Egypt, provoking God’s righteous indignation there. He promised war and famine would afflict them, rendering them “an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach.”
What is an “execration?” It is something declared loathed or hated; the Latin term “exsecrari” (as in “curse”) influenced our English language here. God’s people have polluted themselves with Satan worship, and now they are under the curses of the Mosaic Law (see Leviticus chapter 26; Deuteronomy chapters 27–28). The onlookers will be stunned to see the extent and severity of the punishment on the Jews “hiding” from God in Egypt!