Victory refers to any achievement which results in triumph, such as sports events or battles, but can also refer to more general, abstract victories over an opponent, struggle, contest or struggle between different individuals; for instance a vaccine might mark such a “victory.” Victories are typically celebrated through ceremonies and monuments like Roman Trajan’s Column or Victoria statue; sometimes deified through mythological figures like Saint George slaying the dragon or Indra killing Ahi; in modern propaganda it might mean marking May 9 as World War II Victory Day by Soviet communist propaganda or commemorations, like May 9 as World War II Victory Day by celebrating May 9 as Victory Day by communist communists celebrating May 9 as World War II “Victory Day.”

The Old Testament uses victory in a broad sense to refer to more than simply military conquests; it includes deliverance from enemies as a gift from God (cf. 2 Sam 8:6; 1 Chronicle 29:11), while Isaiah reminds Israel that God will avenge Himself on arrogant Babylon for his own glory and power, not that of human agents (cf. 59:16; 63:5). In contrast, Matthew refers back to Isaiah 42:1-4 when saying Jesus will not break nor quench any flame until He brings justice (cf Isaiah 43:5; Hebrew 13:12), while Paul writes about Christ’s resurrection resulting in victory over Death and Sin (1 Corinthians 15:54-55).

See more examples of Victory in the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, copied with permission by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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