|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
(Hebrews shebet = Gr. skeptron), properly a staff or rod. As a symbol of authority, the use of the sceptre originated in the idea that the ruler was as a shepherd of his people (Genesis 49:10; Numbers 24:17; Psalm 45:6; Isaiah 14:5). There is no example on record of a sceptre having ever been actually handled by a Jewish king.
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) A staff or baton borne by a sovereign, as a ceremonial badge or emblem of authority; a royal mace.
2. (n.) Hence, royal or imperial power or authority; sovereignty; as, to assume the scepter.
3. (v. t.) To endow with the scepter, or emblem of authority; to invest with royal authority.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
sep'-ter (shebheT, sharbhiT, expanded form in Esther 4:11; Esther 5:2; Esther 8:4; rhabdos (Additions to Esther 15:11; Hebrews 1:8), skeptros): A rod or mace used by a sovereign as a symbol of royal authority. The Hebrew shebheT is the ordinary word for rod or club, and is used of an ordinary rod (compare 2 Samuel 7:14), of the shepherd's crook (Psalm 23:4), scribe's baton or marshal's staff (Judges 5:14), as well as of the symbol of royalty. Its symbolism may be connected with the use of the shebheT for protection (2 Samuel 23:21 Psalm 23:4) or for punishment (Isaiah 10:24; Isaiah 30:31). It is used with reference to the royal line descended from Judah (Genesis 49:10), and figuratively of sovereignty in general and possibly of conquest (Numbers 24:17, in Israel; Isaiah 14:5, in Babylonia; Amos 1:5, 8, in Syria, among Philistines; Zechariah 10:11, in Egypt), the disappearance or cutting off of him that holdeth the scepter being tantamount to loss of national independence. The kingship of Yahweh is spoken of as a scepter (Psalm 45:6 (Hebrew verse 7) quoted in Hebrews 1:8). The manner of using the scepter by an oriental monarch is suggested in the act of Ahasuerus, who holds it out to Esther as a mark of favor. The subject touches the top of it, perhaps simply as an act of homage or possibly to indicate a desire to be heard. The scepter of Ahasuerus is spoken of as "golden" (Esther 5:2), but it is probable that scepters were ordinarily made of straight branches (maTeh) of certain kinds of vines (Ezekiel 19:11, 14).
It is sometimes difficult to determine whether the word shebheT is used in figurative passages in the sense of scepter or merely in the ordinary sense of staff (e.g. Psalm 125:3, the King James Version "rod," the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version "sceptre" (of the wicked); Psalm 2:9, "rod of iron"; Proverbs 22:8, "rod of his wrath"). Another word, mechoqeq, literally, "prescribing" (person or thing), formerly translated uniformly "lawgiver," is now generally taken, on the basis of parallelism, to mean "sceptre" in four poetic passages (Genesis 49:10, "ruler's staff" to avoid repetition; Numbers 21:18 Psalm 60:7; Psalm 108:8).
Sceptre (20 Occurrences)
Matthew 27:29 They twisted a wreath of thorny twigs and put it on His head, and they put a sceptre of cane in His right hand, and kneeling to Him they shouted in mockery, "Long live the King of the Jews!" (WEY)
Hebrews 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (KJV WEY ASV DBY)
Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. (KJV JPS ASV YLT)
Numbers 21:18 The well, which the princes digged, Which the nobles of the people delved, With the sceptre, and with their staves. And from the wilderness they journeyed to Mattanah; (See JPS ASV)
Esther 4:11 All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or women, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. (KJV JPS ASV DBY YLT)
Esther 5:2 And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre. (KJV JPS ASV DBY YLT)
Esther 8:4 Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king, (KJV JPS ASV DBY YLT)
Psalms 2:9 Thou shalt break them with a sceptre of iron, as a potter's vessel thou shalt dash them in pieces. (DBY YLT)
Psalms 45:6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. (KJV JPS ASV DBY YLT)
Psalms 60:7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the defence of my head; Judah is my sceptre. (See JPS ASV)
Psalms 108:8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the defence of my head; Judah is my sceptre. (See JPS ASV)
Psalms 110:2 Jehovah shall send the sceptre of thy might out of Zion: rule in the midst of thine enemies. (DBY)
Psalms 125:3 For the sceptre of wickedness shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; That the righteous put not forth their hands unto iniquity. (ASV DBY)
Isaiah 14:5 The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. (KJV JPS ASV DBY YLT)
Ezekiel 19:14 And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation. (KJV JPS ASV DBY YLT)
Ezekiel 21:10 It is sharpened for sore slaughter, it is furbished that it may glitter. Shall we then make mirth, saying, The sceptre of my son contemneth all wood? (DBY YLT)
Ezekiel 21:13 For the trial is made; and what if even the contemning sceptre shall be no more? saith the Lord Jehovah. (DBY YLT)
Amos 1:5 I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the LORD. (KJV JPS ASV DBY YLT)
Amos 1:8 And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV JPS ASV DBY YLT)
Zechariah 10:11 And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away. (KJV JPS ASV DBY)