Imports whatever is set apart, separated, or divided; but is most usually meant to express the cutting off of a person from the communion of the faithful. It was practised in the primitive church against notorious offenders. Several councils also have pronounced anathemas against such as they thought corrupted the purity of the faith. Anathema Maranatha, mentioned by Paul, (1 Cor. 4:22,) imports that he who loves not the Lord Jesus will be accursed at his coming. Anathema signifies a thing devoted to destruction, and Maranatha is a Syriac word, signifying the Lord comes. It is probable in this passage there is an allusion to the form of the Jews, who when unable to inflict so great a punishment as the crime deserved, devoted the culprit to the immediate vindictive retribution of divine vengeance, both in this life and in a future state.


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