International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
jen'-er-al, jen'-er-al-i (kullah; paneguris):
(1) General is the translation of sar, "master," "head," "chief"; used once in the King James Version in the sense of commander-in-chief, "the general of the king's army" (1 Chronicles 27:34), usually in this connection translated "captain," the Revised Version (British and American) "the captain of the king's host."
(2) As an adjective "general assembly" is the translation of paneguris (whence we have panegyric), "an assembly or convocation of the whole people to celebrate any public festival or solemnity, as the public games or sacrifices, hence, a high festival, public convocation, joyful assembly" (Robinson); the word occurs in the New Testament only in Hebrews 12:23, "to the general assembly and church of the firstborn; paneguris is Septuagint for mo`edh (Ezekiel 46:11 Hosea 2:11), "solemn assembly" and for `atsarah (Amos 5:21), with the same meaning. The Greek words translated "and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn" (the King James Version) have been variously arranged and translated; Robinson gives "and to countless throngs (even) the joyful assembly of angels, i.e. as hymning the praises of God around His throne"; compare Revelation 5:11; Psalm 148:2 Daniel 7:10). From both Hebrew and Greek analogies, this is probably correct; similarly, Alford, Delitzsch and others have "festival assembly"; Weymouth translated "to countless hosts of angels, to the great festal gathering and church of the first-born."
(3) Generally, adverb, occurs in Jeremiah 48:38 the King James Version as the translation of kullah (Pual of kalah), "the whole of it," "There shall be lamentation generally (universally) upon all the housetops of Moab," the Revised Version (British and American) "everywhere"; in 2 Samuel 17:11, `acaph, "to be gathered," is translated "to be generally gathered," the Revised Version (British and American) "gathered together."
In Apocrypha we have "general" in the sense of "common," "universal" (Additions to Esther 15:10 margin, koinos; 2 Maccabees 3:18, pandemon); "in general" (2 Esdras 8:15, "man in general"; Ecclesiasticus 18:1, "all things in general," koinos, the Revised Version (British and American) "in common").
W. L. Walker