International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(אך or , � 'ābh or 'abh , the Hebrew and Aramaic word for "father"): It is a very common word in the Old Testament; this article notes only certain uses of it. It is used both in the singular and in the plural to denote a grandfather or more remote ancestors (e.g. Jeremiah 35:16 , Jeremiah 35:15 ). The father of a people or tribe is its founder, not, as is frequently assumed, its progenitor. In this sense Abraham is father to the Israelites (see, for example, Genesis 17:11-14 , Genesis 17:27 ), Isaac and Jacob and the heads of families being fathers in the same modified sense. The cases of Ishmael, Moab, etc., are similar. The traditional originator of a craft is the father of those who practice the craft (e.g. Genesis 4:20 , Genesis 4:21 , Genesis 4:22 ). Sennacherib uses the term "my fathers" of his predecessors on the throne of Assyria, though these were not his ancestors (2 Kings 19:12 ). The term is used to express worth and affection irrespective of blood relation (e.g. 2 Kings 13:14 ). A ruler or leader is spoken of as a father. God is father. A frequent use of the word is that in the composition of proper names, e.g. Abinadab, "my father is noble." See ABI .
The Aramaic word in its definite form is used three times in the New Testament (Mark 4:6 ), the phrase being in each case "Abba Father," addressed to God. In this phrase the word "Father" is added, apparently, not as a mere translation, nor to indicate that Abba is thought of as a proper name of Deity, but as a term of pleading and of endearment. See also ABBA .
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Ab (1)'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/a/ab-1.html. 1915.