Y O U N G P E O P L E ' S D I C T I O N A R Y O F S C R I P T U R A L • & • R E L I G I O U S T E R M S
Must is found 127 times in the KJV Bible. It is a very commonly used word in the English
language. In Scripture, must has special significance—especially when used in the sense of
a command from God to man.
We might say there are 3 basic ways in which must is used. It is used to express necessity,
it is used to express insistence, and it is used to express a requirement. The following
verses give us examples of these three basic meanings of must—there are, of course, other
ways in which must is used. These three, seem to be the main meaning/usage of the word.
Necessity—“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (Jn.3:7). Though
dear Nicodemus was a leader of the Jewish religion, able to teach it to others, the truth that
the Lord spoke to him, he did not understand. Nicodemus thought that by simply being born
a Jew, he would go to heaven (or, we may say, he would be included in the Kingdom of God
when Messiah cam to set up His glorious kingdom). But now, though he does not realize it,
he is speaking with the Messiah. And the Lord Jesus (the Messiah) tells Nicodemus that
something else is necessary if he is to enter and enjoy the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus
must (he must be born again—or we may say—He must be given a new life from heaven.
This is what is meant by being “born again” or “being born anew”. His natural life could
never be good enough to merit the Kingdom of Heaven—but once born again, Nicodemus
was able to fit to enjoy that glorious kingdom.
Insistence—“And He said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities
also: for therefore am I sent” (Luke 4:43). The blessed Lord always did exactly the will of
the Father when He walked here on this earth. Thus, when people who had been blessed by
His presence and His Word and His miracles, wanted Him to stay, He was insistent that the
Father desired Him to preach the good news of the King of God in other places. The blessed
Lord Jesus must do perfectly every aspect of God the Father’s will.
Requirement—“This is the law of the Nazarite who hath vowed, and of his offering unto
the LORD for his separation, beside that that his hand shall get: according to the vow
which he vowed, so he must do after the law of his separation” (Num.6:21). A Nazarite was
a Jewish person who consecrated himself to a special time in which that person would be set
apart from all others, in order to only serve Jehovah. If someone desired to be a Nazarite or
was born a Nazarite (such as Samson), God had given His law (commandments) for how
that person was to act as being totally set apart to the Lord to serve Him. One of require-
ments was that whatever he had vowed to do in his Nazariteship, there were certain things
that God required of him that must be done. For example, He could not cut his hair. He
could not drink wine or other alcoholic (strong drink) during the time of his Nazarite vow.