Feeling of affection or personal regard for someone.
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Friend, Friendship
friend, friendship. In the Bible, friendship is primarily a relationship of mutual trust and congeniality. In many instances, friends are simply people who are allies, supporting each other in areas of mutual interest. Thus the “elders of Judah” and King Hiram of Tyre are listed among David’s friends
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Friend, Friendship
FRIEND, FRIENDSHIP. Two OT words, Heb. rēa‘ (and its derivatives), “friend”, “neighbor”, “companion”; and ’ōhēb (participle of ’āhab, “to love”), “lover,” “beloved friend”; and two NT words, Gr. hetairos, “comrade,” “neighbor,” “friend”; and philos, “beloved friend”, refer to comrades and close friends.
Dictionary of New Testament Background
FRIENDSHIPFriendship constituted a regular topic of discussion in ancient literature, although specific views on friendship varied in different periods, places and authors. Some of the ideals of friendship impact our understanding of NT passages even where the specific term is unused.1. Kinds of Friendship
Harper’s Bible Dictionary
Friendshipfriendship, a relationship of mutual trust and congeniality. While many biblical writers realized that friendship enriches human life, as a subject of serious reflection the theme of friendship is not developed in the Bible—in sharp contrast to the Greek and Roman traditions. Thus, although
Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
FriendshipA number of features of biblical friendship are conventional if compared to ancient cultures in general. In the classical tradition, for example, conventions prescribed that friends (1) are equals and are similar in class, interests and character, (2) share meals and spend time together and
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
FRIEND; FRIENDSHIP<frend>, <frend’-ship>: In the Old Testament two words, variously translated “friend” or “companion”: [רֵעֶה‎, rèeh], indicating a mere associate, passing friend, neighbor, or companion; [אָהַב‎, ’ahabh], indicating affection natural or unnatural. In the New Testament also two words:
Pocket Dictionary of Ethics
friendship. The relationship between individuals involving a shared focus on values or common interests. *Aristotle posited three categories of friendship which, in turn, were inherited by the Christian tradition: that based on the *pleasure received from sharing a common activity, that based on the
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Friend, Friendship
FRIEND, FRIENDSHIP Close trusting relationship between two people. Nowhere does the Bible present a concise definition of “friend” or “friendship.” Instead, both the OT and NT present friendship in its different facets.Two Hebrew root words, rʿh and ʾhb, are used to describe friendship. Rʿh denotes
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 2, D–G
Friend, Friendship
friend, friendship. Besides references to friendship in various forms, such as hospitality, the term friend occurs frequently in the Bible. Although the word can be used as a simple term of familiar, kindly address (Gk. hetairos G2279, Matt. 20:13; 22:12), it usually means a well-disposed acquaintance,
Evangelical Dictionary of Theology
Friend, Friendship. In ancient Greek and Roman societies friendship was a highly prized relationship between two social equals that was honored publicly with ceremony and tributes. Pairs of friends, such as Achilles and Patroclus or Damon and Pythias, were the subjects of poetic depictions in texts such
Friends of God
Friends of God (Ger. Gottesfreunde). A fourteenth-century group of mystics located chiefly in the Rhineland and Switzerland, who took their name from John 15:4, 15. Initially formed by laymen in Basel around 1339–43, with forms of thought seen two centuries earlier in Bernard of Clairvaux, the movement
The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Volumes 1–5
Friend, Friendship
FRIEND, frend, FRIENDSHIP, frendʹship: In the OT two words, variously trd “friend” or “companion”: רֵעֶה‎, rēʽeh, indicating a mere associate, passing friend, neighbor, or companion; אָהַב‎, ’āhabh, indicating affection natural or unnatural. In the NT also two words: ἑταῖρος, hetaíros, “a comrade,”
Key passages
Ex 33:11

And Yahweh would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his neighbor. And he would return to the camp, and his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not leave the middle of the tent.

1 Sa 18:1–3

When he finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan became attached to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him on that very day and did not allow him to return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant …

Pr 17:17

The friend loves at all times, but a brother is born for adversity.

Pr 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Jn 15:14–15

You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, because the slave does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything that I have heard from my Father I have revealed to you.

See also
Topics & Themes