The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Bowels [Heb. mē‘îm; Gk. splánchna]; NEB also BODY, ENTRAILS. In the RSV the term literally means “intestines,” but in the AV it refers more generally to various other organs, such as the heart or the womb. Used psychosomatically the term “bowels” symbolized powerful emotional forces, as in the AV
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
BOWELS A portion of the intestines. The word was also used metaphorically in the kjv to connote the place where pity, mercy, and tenderness are felt (see Phil 1:8; 2:1–2).
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
BOWELS. The KJV rendering of several Heb. words and the consistent rendering of the Gr. splagchna.In addition to its literal meaning (2 Sam 20:10; Acts 1:18), the word is also used to refer to the reproductive capacity of man (2 Sam 7:12; Isa 48:19), and the center of His emotions (Song 5:4), equivalent
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
BOWELS (Heb. mē‘îm; Gk. splanchna). The Hebrews had no clear idea of the physiology of the internal organs. rsv translates mē‘îm and splanchna variously by ‘belly’, Jon. 1:17; *‘body’, 2 Sa. 7:12; *‘breast’, Ps. 22:14; *‘heart’, Jb. 30:27; 1 Jn. 3:17; *‘soul’, Is. 16:11; *‘stomach’, Ezk. 3:3; *‘womb’,
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
BOWELS. A KJV term translating several Heb. words and the Gk. word splanchna, and often indicating the inner parts generally, the inner man, and also the heart. Thus the bowels are made the seat of tenderness and compassion (Gen. 4:26; Ps. 25:6, “tender mercies,” KJV, “loving kindnesses,” NASB, “great
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
Bowels(Phil. 1:8; 2:1; Col. 3:12), compassionate feelings; R.V., “tender mercies.”
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
BOWELS — the internal parts of a person’s body. Symbolically, the bowels were considered the seat of emotions and feelings, much like the use of the word “heart.” Hence “bowels” means pity, compassion, and tenderness.
INTESTINES — the lower part of the stomach through which waste is passed after food is digested by the human body. King Jehoram of Israel died with a mysterious disease of the intestines, just as the prophet Elijah predicted (2 Chr. 21:15–19).
Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
Inner Parts, Bowels
Inner Parts, Bowels“I am the one who examines kidneys and hearts.” So reads a literal translation of Revelation 2:23. The NIV rightly translates this verse as “I am he who searches hearts and minds.” A comparison of the two translations reveals the shift in the metaphors for emotions that has taken
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
BOWELS<bou’-elz> (מֵעָה‎ [mèah], plural מֵעִים‎ [mèim], רֶחֶם‎ [rechem], plural רַחֲמִים‎ [rachamim]; [σπλάγχνον, splagchnion]):1. Literal: The literal meaning of these words is intestines, then the abdomen, the womb (matrix and uterus). As will be seen there is not much definiteness in the use
Compton’s Encyclopedia
intestinesThe intestines are tube-shaped organs that extend from the stomach to the anus. The intestines are part of the digestive system. They aid in the digestion process by absorbing digested food materials so that the body can use it for energy and by collecting food wastes into feces, or solid
The Westminster Bible Dictionary
Bowʹels are often spoken of in the Scriptures as the seat of certain emotions, and as we speak of the heart. Thus “bowels of mercies” (Col. 3:12), “bowels of compassion” (1 John 3:17). Sometimes, also, the bowels are made the seat of wisdom and understanding (Job 38:36; Ps. 51:10; Isa. 16:11).
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
BOWELS Translation used in modern versions to refer to intestines and other entrails (Acts 1:18). In the KJV “bowels” is also used to refer to the sexual reproductive system (2 Sam. 16:11; Ps. 71:6) and, figuratively, to strong emotions (Job 30:27), especially love (Song 5:4) and compassion (Col. 3:12).