Can you explain “holden?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

Believe it or not, “holden” is a rather easy word. Think of “hand!” The dozen times the King James Bible uses “holden,” the sense is usually figurative instead of literal holding—but a literal truth is still conveyed in all situations.

  • 2 Kings 23:22-23: “Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah; But in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, wherein this passover was holden to the LORD in Jerusalem.” Obviously, no one is holding Passover in their hand—an impossibility. “Hold” can be used in the sense of participating in a meeting or gathering (as in religious assembly).
  • Job 36:8: “And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction;….” These are people (sinners) trapped in the clutches of trouble! See Proverbs 5:22 below.
  • Psalm 18:35: “Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.” Here is the LORD’S hand imparting strength to the believer.
  • Psalm 71:6: “By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.” Again, the LORD’S hand gives power to the saint.
  • Psalm 73:23: “Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.” Once more, the LORD’S hand provides believers with might, guiding them into the truth.
  • Proverbs 5:22: “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” These are people (sinners) enslaved in sin’s heavy chains, like a hand enclosed upon them! See Job 36:8 above.
  • Isaiah 42:14: “I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.” Almighty God has kept His mouth shut for long enough. Now, He returns to Earth in judgment against sin, thundering forth from Heaven at Christ’s Second Coming!
  • Isaiah 45:1: “Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;….” Cyrus, King of Persia, has received might from the LORD’S hand to destroy Babylon (which he did in Daniel 5:30-31—there, Cyrus is known as Darius the Median)!
  • Luke 24:16: “But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.” This is in the sense of God preventing their spiritual eyes from recognizing resurrected Jesus. Think of His hands covering their eyes.
  • Acts 2:24: “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” This is like Job 36:8 or Proverbs 5:22—except the trap here is physical death, which Christ escaped at His resurrection. Christ broke the grip of death’s hand!
  • Romans 14:4: “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” This passage is about immature believers walking in the spiritual light that they do have—God’s hand thereby supporting them with the sound Bible doctrine they know.

Also see:
» What does “had in abomination” mean?
» “Give strength to the LORD?”
» How did Satan “take” the Lord Jesus during His temptations?