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There is in the Heb. OT no special term for the concept or act of promising. Where our English translations say that someone promised something, the Hebrew simply states that someone said or spoke (’āmar, dāḇar) some word with future reference. In the NT the technical term, epangelia, appears chiefly in Acts, Galatians, Romans and Hebrews.
A promise is a word that goes forth into unfilled time. It reaches ahead of its speaker and its recipient, to mark an appointment between them in the future. A promise may be an assurance of continuing or future action on behalf of someone: ‘I will be with you’, ‘They that mourn shall be comforted’, ‘If we confess our sins, God will forgive us our sins.’ It may be a solemn agreement of lasting, mutual (if unequal) relationship: as in the covenants. It may be the announcement of a future event: ‘When you have brought the people from Egypt, you will serve God on this mountain.’ More
Hoad, J. W. L. “Promise.” Ed. D. R. W. Wood et al. New Bible dictionary 1996 : 963. Print.
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