What is…
“affinity” in the Bible

Meaning: a relationship by alliance (2 Chronicles 18:1) or by marriage (1 Kings 3:1); an in-law (such as son-in-law)

Hebrew: “chathan.”

The word “affinity” is used three times in the King James Bible (1 Ki 3:1; 2 Chr 18:1; Ezra 9:14). It is not used in other translations (NKJV, NRSV, NIV) because this meaning is somewhat archaic. Instead, modern translations use the word “alliance” or “treaty” in the above verses.

“Chathan” is used 91 times in 51 verses of the Bible’s original Hebrew. Depending on the type of relationship being described, in context, it is translated as “bridegroom,” “son-in-law,” “marriage,” “father-in-law,” “mother-in-law,” or “husband.”

Author: Paul S. Taylor.