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e-lekt': That is, "chosen," "selected." In the Old Testament the word represents derivatives of bachar, elegit; in the New Testament eklektos. It means properly an object or objects of selection. This primary meaning sometimes passes into that of "eminent," "valuable," "choice"; often thus as a fact, in places where the King James Version uses "chosen" (or "elect") to translate the original (e.g. Isa 42:1; 1 Pet 2:6). In the King James Version "elect" (or "chosen") is used of Israel as the race selected for special favor and to be the special vehicle of Divine purposes (so 4 times in Apocrypha, Tobit and Ecclus); of the great Servant of Yahweh (compare Lk 23:35; the "Christ of God, his chosen"); compare eminent saints as Jacob, Moses, Rufus (Rom 16:13); "the lady," and her "sister" of 2 Jn; of the holy angels (1 Tim 5:21); with a possible suggestion of the lapse of other angels.
Otherwise, and prevalently in the New Testament, it denotes a human community, also described as believers, saints, the Israel of God; regarded as in some sense selected by Him from among men, objects of His special favor, and correspondingly called to special holiness and service. See further under ELECTION. In the English versions "elect" is not used as a verb: "to choose" is preferred; e.g. Mk 13:20; Eph 1:4.
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'ELECT'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE; 1915.
© International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)