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    Abomination — Awake


    A. Noun.VED-OT Abomination.2

    Tô‛êbah (תּוֹעֵבָה, Strong's #8441), “abomination; loathsome, detestable thing.” Cognates of this word appear only in Phoenician and Targumic Aramaic. The word appears 117 times and in all periods.VED-OT Abomination.3

    First, tô‛êbah defines something or someone as essentially unique in the sense of being “dangerous,” “sinister,” and “repulsive” to another individual. This meaning appears in Genesis 43:32 (the first occurrence): “… The Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.” To the Egyptians, eating bread with foreigners was repulsive because of their cultural or social differences (cf. Genesis 46:34; Psalms 88:8). Another clear illustration of this essential clash of disposition appears in Proverbs 29:27: “An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.” When used with reference to God, this nuance of the word describes people, things, acts, relationships, and characteristics that are “detestable” to Him because they are contrary to His nature. Things related to death and idolatry are loathsome to God: “Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing” (Deuteronomy 14:3). People with habits loathsome to God are themselves detestable to Him: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God” (Deuteronomy 22:5). Directly opposed to tô‛êbah are such reactions as “delight” and “loveth” (Proverbs 15:8-9). VED-OT Abomination.4

    Second, tô‛êbah is used in some contexts to describe pagan practices and objects: “The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire; thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house …” (Deuteronomy 7:25-26). In other contexts, tô‛êbah describes the repeated failures to observe divine regulations: “Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you; … because of all thine abominations” (Ezekiel 5:7, 9). tô‛êbah may represent the pagan cultic practices themselves, as in Deuteronomy 12:31, or the people who perpetrate such practices: “For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee” (Deuteronomy 18:12). If Israelites are guilty of such idolatry, however, their fate will be worse than exile: death by stoning (Deuteronomy 17:2-5).Third, tô‛êbah is used in the sphere of jurisprudence and of family or tribal relationships. Certain acts or characteristics are destructive of societal and familial harmony; both such things and the people who do them are described by tô‛êbah : “These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him: … a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, … and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19). God says, “The scorner is an abomination to men” (Proverbs 24:9) because he spreads his bitterness among God’s people, disrupting unity and harmony.VED-OT Abomination.5

    B. Verb.VED-OT Abomination.6

    Tâ‛ab (תָּעַב , Strong's #8581), “to abhor, treat as abhorrent, cause to be an abomination, act abominably.” This verb occurs 21 times, and the first occurrence is in Deuteronomy 7:26: “Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house.…”VED-OT Abomination.7


    râtsâh (רָצָה, Strong's #7521), “to be pleased, be pleased with, accept favorably, satisfy.” This is a common term in both biblical and modern Hebrew. Found approximately 60 times in the text of the Old Testament, one of its first appearances is in Genesis 33:10: “Thou wast pleased with me.” In the RSV rendering of this verse, “favor” appears twice, the first time being a translation of chen.VED-OT Accept.2

    When râtsâh expresses God’s being pleased with someone, the English versions often translate it as “be delighted,” which seems to reflect a sense of greater pleasure: “… mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth” (Isaiah 42:1); “… thou hadst a favor unto them” (Psalms 44:3). This nuance is reflected also in Proverbs 3:12, where râtsâh is paralleled with ‛ahab “to love”: “… for whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”VED-OT Accept.3

    On the other hand, when one must meet a certain requirement to merit râtsâh it seems more logical to translate it with “to please” or “to accept.” For example: “Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams …?” (Micah 6:7); “… burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them …” (Amos 5:22).VED-OT Accept.4

    râtsâh can be used in the sense of “to pay for” or “to satisfy a debt,” especially as it relates to land lying fallow in the sabbath years: “Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, … even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths” (Leviticus 26:34). Here the RSV, NASB, and NEB also translate râtsâh as “enjoy.” However, the context seems to require something like “the land shall repay (satisfy) its sabbaths.” Similarly, the phrase, “… her iniquity is pardoned” (Isaiah 40:2), must mean “her iniquity is paid for” or “her punishment is accepted as satisfactory.”VED-OT Accept.5


    yâsaph (יָסַף , Strong's #3254), “to add, continue, do again, increase, surpass.” This verb occurs in the northwest Semitic dialects and Aramaic. It occurs in biblical Hebrew (around 210 times), post-biblical Hebrew, and in biblical Aramaic (once).VED-OT Add.2

    Basically, yâsaph signifies increasing the number of something. It may also be used to indicate adding one thing to another, e.g., “And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly, then he shall put the fifth part thereof unto it, and shall give it unto the priest …” (Leviticus 22:14).VED-OT Add.3

    This verb may be used to signify the repetition of an act stipulated by another verb. For example, the dove that Noah sent out “returned not again” (Genesis 8:12). Usually the repeated action is indicated by an infinitive absolute, preceded by the preposition le — “And he did not have relations with her again.”
    Literally, this reads “And he did not add again [‛od] to knowing her [intimately]” (Genesis 38:26). 
    VED-OT Add.4

    In some contexts yâsaph means “to heighten,” but with no suggestion of numerical increase. God says, “The meek also shall increase [yâsaph] their joy in the Lord …” (Isaiah 29:19). This same emphasis appears in Psalms 71:14: “… and will yet praise thee more and more [yâsaph]’ or literally, “And I will add to all Thy praises.” In such cases, more than an additional quantity of joy or praise is meant. The author is referring to a new quality of joy or praise — i.e., a heightening of them.VED-OT Add.5

    Another meaning of yâsaph is “to surpass.” The Queen of Sheba told Solomon, “Thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard,” or literally, “You add [with respect to] wisdom and prosperity to the report which I heard” (1 Kings 10:7).VED-OT Add.6

    This verb may also be used in covenantal formulas, e.g., Ruth summoned God’s curse upon herself by saying, “The Lord do so to me, and more also [yâsaph], if ought but death part thee and me,” or literally, “Thus may the Lord do to me, and thus may he add, if …” (Ruth 1:17; cf. Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 27-28).VED-OT Add.7


    A. Nouns. VED-OT All.2

    kôl (כּוֹל, Strong's #3605), “all; the whole.” The noun kôl , derived from kalal has cognates in Ugaritic, Akkadian, Phoenician, and Moabite. Kôl appears in biblical Hebrew about 5,404 times and in all periods. Biblical Aramaic attests it about 82 times.VED-OT All.3

    The word can be used alone, meaning “the entirety,” “whole,” or “all,” as in: “And thou shalt put all [kôl] in the hands of Aaron, and in the hands of his sons …” (Exodus 29:24).VED-OT All.4

    Kôl can signify everything in a given unit whose members have been selected from others of their kind: “That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose” (Genesis 6:2).Kâlı̂yl (כָּלִיל , 3632), “whole offering.” This word represents the “whole offering” from which the worshiper does not partake: “It is a statute for ever unto the Lord; it shall be wholly burnt” (Leviticus 6:22).VED-OT All.5

    B. Adjectives.VED-OT All.6

    kôl (כֹּל, Strong's #3606), “all; whole; entirety; every; each.” When kôl precedes a noun, it expresses a unit and signifies the whole: “These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread” (Genesis 9:19). Kôl may also signify the entirety of a noun that does not necessarily represent a unit: “All the people, both small and great” entered into the covenant (2 Kings 23:2). The use of the word in such instances tends to unify what is not otherwise a unit.VED-OT All.7

    Kôl can precede a word that is only part of a larger unit or not part of a given unit at all. In this case, the prominent idea is that of “plurality,” a heterogeneous unit: “And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field” (Genesis 39:5).VED-OT All.8

    Related to the preceding nuance is the use of kôl to express comprehensiveness. Not only does it indicate that the noun modified is a plurality, but also that the unit formed by the addition of kôl includes everything in the category indicated by the noun: “All the cities were ten with their suburbs for the families of the children of Kohath that remained” (Joshua 21:26). In Genesis 1:21 (its first occurrence), the word precedes a collective noun and may be translated “every”: “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, …”VED-OT All.9

    When used to refer to the individual members of a group, kôl means “every”: “His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him” (Genesis 16:12). Another example: “Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards” (Isaiah 1:23). Related to this use is the meaning “none but.”VED-OT All.10

    In Deuteronomy 19:15, kôl means “every kind of” or “any”; the word focuses on each and every member of a given unit: “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth.…” A related nuance appears in Genesis 24:10, but here the emphasis is upon “all sorts”: “And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all [i.e., a variety of] the goods of his master were in his hand.”VED-OT All.11

    Kâlı̂yl (כָּלִיל , 3632), “the entire; whole.” In Numbers 4:6, kâlı̂yl refers to the “cloth wholly of blue.” In other words, it indicates “the entire” cloth.VED-OT All.12

    C. Verb.  VED-OT All.13

    kâlal (כָּלַל , Strong's #3634), “to perfect.” This common Semitic root appears in biblical Hebrew only 3 times. Ezekiel 27:11 is a good example: “… They have made thy beauty perfect [kâlal].”VED-OT All.14


    Mizbêach (מִזְבֵּחַ, Strong's #4196), “altar.” This noun has cognates in Aramaic, Syriac, and Arabic. In each of these languages the consonantal root is mdbh. Mizbêach occurs about 396 times in the Old Testament.VED-OT Altar.2

    This word signifies a raised place where a sacrifice was made, as in Genesis 8:20 (its first biblical appearance): “And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” In later references, this word may refer to a table upon which incense was burned: “And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it” (Exodus 30:1). VED-OT Altar.3

     From the dawn of human history, offerings were made on a raised table of stone or ground (Genesis 4:3). At first, Israel’s altars were to be made of earth—i.e., they were fashioned of material that was strictly the work of God’s hands. If the Jews were to hew stone for altars in the wilderness, they would have been compelled to use war weapons to do the work. (Notice that in Exodus 20:25 the word for “tool” is chereb, “sword.”)

    At Sinai, God directed Israel to fashion altars of valuable woods and metals. This taught them that true worship required man’s best and that it was to conform exactly to God’s directives; God, not man, initiated and controlled worship. The altar that stood before the holy place (Exodus 27:1-8) and the altar of incense within the holy place (Exodus 30:1-10) had “horns.” These horns had a vital function in some offerings (Leviticus 4:30; 16:18). For example, the sacrificial animal may have been bound to these horns in order to allow its blood to drain away completely (Psalms 118:27).
    VED-OT Altar.4

    Mizbêach is also used of pagan altars: “But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves” (Exodus 34:13).

    This noun is derived from the Hebrew verb zabach, which literally means “to slaughter for food” or “to slaughter for sacrifice.”
    Zabach has cognates in Ugaritic and Arabic (dbh), Akkadian (zibu), and Phoenician (zbh). Another Old Testament noun derived from zabach is zabach (162 times), which usually refers to a sacrifice that establishes communion between God and those who eat the thing offered.
    VED-OT Altar.5


    A. Preposition. VED-OT Among.2

    Qereb (קֶרֶב, Strong's #7130), “among.” The first usage of this preposition is in Genesis: “Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in [among] the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom” (13:12). This word is used 222 times in the Old Testament; it is predominant in the Pentateuch (especially Deuteronomy) but is rare in the historical books (apart from the early books, Joshua and Judges). In the poetical books, qereb is used most often in the Book of Psalms. It occurs only once in Job and three times in Proverbs. It is fairly well represented in the prophetical books.VED-OT Among.3

    B. Noun. VED-OT Among.4

    Qereb (קֶרֶב, Strong's #7130), “inward part; midst.” As a noun, this word is related to the Akkadian root qarab which means “midst.” In Mishnaic and modern Hebrew, qereb generally means “midst” rather than “inward part” or “entrails.” One idiomatic usage of qereb denotes an inward part of the body that is the seat of laughter (Genesis 18:12) and of thoughts (Jeremiah 4:14). The Bible limits another idiomatic usage, meaning “inner parts,” to animals: “Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire—his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof” (Exodus 12:9). The noun approximates the prepositional use with the meaning of “midst” or “in.” Something may be “in the midst of” a place: “Peradventure there be fifty righteous within [qereb] the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?” (Genesis 18:24). It may be in the midst of people: “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst [qereb] of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward” (1 Samuel 16:13). God is said to be in the midst of the land (Exodus 8:22), the city of God (Psalms 46:4), and Israel (Numbers 11:20). Even when He is close to His people, God is nevertheless holy: “Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst [qereb] of thee” (Isaiah 12:6; cf. Hosea 11:9). The idiomatic use of qereb in Psalms 103:— “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name”—is more difficult to discern because the noun is in the plural. It seems best to take “all that is within me” as a reference to the Psalmist’s whole being, rather than to a distinct part of the body that is within him. The Septuagint gives the following Greek translations of qereb: kardia “heart [as seat of physical, spiritual, and mental life]” or “heart [figurative in the sense of being interior or central]”; koilia, “body cavity, belly”; and mesos, “middle” or “in the midst.” The KJV gives these senses: “midst” and “inwards.”VED-OT Among.5


    Mal'âk (מַלְאָךְ, Strong's #4397), “messenger; angel.” In Ugaritic, Arabic, and Ethiopic, the verb le'ak means “to send.” Even though le'ak does not exist in the Hebrew Old Testament, it is possible to recognize its etymological relationship to mal'âk. In addition, the Old Testament uses the word “message” in Haggai 1:13; this word incorporates the meaning of the root le'ak “to send.” Another noun form of the root is mal'âk “work,” which appears 167 times. The name Malachi—literally, “my messenger”—is based on the noun mal'âk.The noun mal'âk appears 213 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. Its frequency is especially great in the historical books, where it usually means “messenger”: Judges (31 times), 2Kings (20 times), 1 Samuel (19 times), and 2 Samuel (18 times). The prophetical works are very moderate in their usage of mal'âk with the outstanding exception of the Book of Zechariah, where the angel of the Lord communicates God’s message to Zechariah. For example: “Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked to me, ‘What are these, my lord?’ And the angel answered and said unto me, ‘These are the four spirits [pl. of mal'âk] of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth’” (Zechariah 6:4-5).VED-OT Angel.2

    The word mal'âk denotes someone sent over a great distance by an individual (Genesis 32:3) or by a community (Numbers 21:21), in order to communicate a message. Often several messengers are sent together: “And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers [pl. of mal'âk] and said unto them, Go, inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease” (2 Kings 1:2). The introductory formula of the message borne by the mal'âk often contains the phrase “Thus says … ,” or “This is what … says,” signifying the authority of the messenger in giving the message of his master: “Thus saith Jephthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon” (Judges 11:15).VED-OT Angel.3

    As a representative of a king, the mal'âk might have performed the function of a diplomat. In 1 Kings 200:1ff., we read that Ben-hadad sent messengers with the terms of surrender: “He sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Benhadad …” (1 Kings 20:2).VED-OT Angel.4

    These passages confirm the important place of the mal'âk. Honor to the messenger signified honor to the sender, and the opposite was also true. David took personally the insult of Nabal (1 Samuel 255:14ff.); and when Hanun, king of Ammon, humiliated David’s servants (2 Samuel 100:4ff.), David was quick to dispatch his forces against the Ammonites.VED-OT Angel.5

    God also sent messengers. First, there are the prophetic messengers: “And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy” (2 Chronicles 36:15-16). Haggai called himself “the messenger of the Lord,” mal'âk Yahweh.VED-OT Angel.6

    There were also angelic messengers. The English word angel is etymologically related to the Greek word angelos whose translation is similar to the Hebrew: “messenger” or “angel.” The angel is a supernatural messenger of the Lord sent with a particular message. Two angels came to Lot at Sodom: “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground …” (Genesis 19:1). The angels were also commissioned to protect God’s people: “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” (Psalms 91:11).VED-OT Angel.7

    Third, and most significant, are the phrases mal'âk Yahweh “the angel of the Lord,” and mal'âk 'elohim, “the angel of God.” The phrase is always used in the singular. It denotes an angel who had mainly a saving and protective function: “For mine angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off” (Exodus 23:23). He might also bring about destruction: “And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the Lord stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces” (1 Chronicles 21:16).VED-OT Angel.8

    The relation between the Lord and the “angel of the Lord” is often so close that it is difficult to separate the two (Genesis 166:7ff.; 21:17ff.; 22:11ff.; 31:11ff.; Exodus 33:2ff.; Judges 66:11ff.; 13:21f.). This identification has led some interpreters to conclude that the “angel of the Lord” was the pre-incarnate Christ.VED-OT Angel.9

    In the Septuagint the word mal'âk is usually translated by angelos and the phrase “angel of the Lord” by angelos kuriou. The English versions follow this twofold distinction by translating mal'âk as simply “angel” or “messenger” (KJV, RSV, NASB, NIV)VED-OT Angel.10

    Anger, Burning

    A. Verb.VED-OT Anger, Burning.2

    Chârâh (חָרָה, Strong's #2734), “to get angry, be angry.” This verb appears in the Bible 92 times. In the basic stem, the word refers to the “burning of anger” as in Jonah 4:1. In the causative stem, chârâh means “to become heated with work” or “with zeal for work” (Nehemiah 3:20).VED-OT Anger, Burning.3

    B. Noun.VED-OT Anger, Burning.4

    Chârôn (חָרֹן, Strong's #2740), “burning anger.” The 41 occurrences of this word cover every period of the Bible. This word refers exclusively to divine anger as that which is “burning.” ) chârôn first appears in Exodus 32:12: “Turn from thy fierce wrath [chârôn], and repent of this evil against thy people.”VED-OT Anger, Burning.5


    A. Verb.VED-OT Anoint.2

    Mâshach (מָשַׁח, Strong's #4886), “to anoint, smear, consecrate.” A common word in both ancient and modern Hebrew, mâshach is also found in ancient Ugaritic. It occurs approximately 70 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. The word is found for the first time in the Old Testament in Genesis 31:13: “… where thou anointedst the pillar, and … vowedst a vow unto me …” This use illustrates the idea of anointing something or someone as an act of consecration. The basic meaning of the word, however, is simply to “smear” something on an object. Usually oil is involved, but it could be other substances, such as paint or dye (cf. Jeremiah 22:14). The expression “anoint the shield” in Isaiah 21:5 probably has more to do with lubrication than consecration in that context. When unleavened bread is “tempered with oil” in Exodus 29:2, it is basically equivalent to our act of buttering bread. The Old Testament most commonly uses mâshach to indicate “anointing” in the sense of a special setting apart for an office or function. Thus, Elisha was “anointed” to be a prophet (1 Kings 19:16). More typically, kings were “anointed” for their office (1 Samuel 16:12; 1 Kings 1:39). Vessels used in the worship at the sacred shrine (both tabernacle and temple) were consecrated for use by “anointing” them (Exodus 29:36; 30:26; Exodus 40:9-10). In fact, the recipe for the formulation of this “holy anointing oil” is given in detail in Exodus 30:22-25.VED-OT Anoint.3

    B. Noun.VED-OT Anoint.4

    Mâshı̂yach (מָשִׁיחַ, Strong's #4899), “anointed one.” A word that is important both to Old Testament and New Testament understandings is the noun mâshı̂yach, which gives us the term messiah. As is true of the verb, mâshı̂yach implies an anointing for a special office or function. Thus, David refused to harm Saul because Saul was “the Lord’s anointed” (1 Samuel 24:6). The Psalms often express the messianic ideals attached to the Davidic line by using the phrase “the Lord’s anointed” (Psalms 2:2; 18:50; 38, 51). Interestingly enough, the only person named “messiah” in the Old Testament was Cyrus, the pagan king of Persia, who was commissioned by God to restore Judah to her homeland after the Exile (Isaiah 45:1). The anointing in this instance was more figurative than literal, since Cyrus was not aware that he was being set apart for such a divine purpose. The New Testament title of Christ is derived from the Greek Christos which is exactly equivalent to the Hebrew mâshı̂yach for it is also rooted in the idea of “to smear with oil.” So the term Christ emphasizes the special anointing of Jesus of Nazareth for His role as God’s chosen one.VED-OT Anoint.5


    ‛ânâh (עָנָה, Strong's #6030), “to respond, answer, reply.” This root occurs in most Semitic languages, although it bears many meanings. With the meaning that undergirds ‛ânâh, it appears in Ugaritic, Akkadian, Arabic, post-biblical Hebrew, and biblical Aramaic. It should be contrasted to ‛ânâh, meaning “oppress, subdue.”Biblical Hebrew attests the verb ‛ânâh about 320 times. One of the two meanings of ‛ânâh is “to respond,” but not necessarily with a verbal response. For example, in Genesis 35:3 Jacob tells his household, “And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress.…” In Genesis 288:10ff., where this “answering” is recorded, it is quite clear that God initiated the encounter and that, although He spoke with Jacob, the emphasis is on the vision of the ladder and the relationship with God that it represented. This meaning is even clearer in Exodus 19:18, where we read that God reacted to the situation at Sinai with a sound (of thunder).VED-OT Answer.2

    A nonverbal reaction is also indicated in Deuteronomy 20:11. God tells Israel that before they besiege a city they should demand its surrender. Its inhabitants are to live as Israel’s slaves “if it [the city] make thee answer of peace [literally, “responds peaceably”], and open unto thee.…” In Job 30:20, Job says he cried out to God, who did not “respond” to him (i.e., did not pay any attention to him). In Isaiah 49:8 the Lord tells the Messiah, “In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee.…” Here responding (“hearing”) is synonymously parallel to helping—i.e., it is an action (cf. Psalms 69:17; Isaiah 41:17).VED-OT Answer.3

    The second major meaning of ‛ânâh is “to respond with words,” as when one engages in dialogue. In Genesis 18:27 (the first occurrence of ‛ânâh), we read: “Abraham answered and said” to the Lord, who had just spoken. In this formula, the two verbs represent one idea (i.e., they form an hendiadys). A simpler translation might be “respond,” since God had asked no question and required no reply. On the other hand, when the sons of Heth “answer and say” (Genesis 23:5), they are responding verbally to the implied inquiry made by Abraham (v. 4). Therefore, they really do answer.VED-OT Answer.4

    ‛Ânâh may mean “respond” in the special sense of verbally reacting to a truth discovered: “Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said …” (Judges 18:14). Since no inquiry was addressed to them, this word implies that they gave a report; they responded to what they had discovered. In Deuteronomy 21:7, the children of Israel are told how to respond to the rite of the heifer—viz., “They shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it.” VED-OT Answer.5

    Ânâh can also be used in the legal sense of “testify”: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). Or we read in Exodus 23:2: “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.…” In a similar sense, Jacob proposed that Laban give him all the spotted and speckled sheep of the flock, so that “my righteousness [will] answer [i.e., testify] for me in time to come, when it shall come [to make an investigation] for my hire before thy face …” (Genesis 30:33).VED-OT Answer.6


    A. Verb.VED-OT Arise.2

    qûm (קוּם, Strong's #6965), "to arise, stand up, come about." This word occurs in nearly every Semitic language, including biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. It occurs about 630 times in biblical Hebrew and 39 times in biblical Aramaic.It may denote any movement to an erect position, such as getting up out of a bed (Genesis 19:33), or it can be used as the opposite of sitting or kneeling, as when Abraham "stood up from before his dead" ( Genesis 23:3). It can also refer to the result of arising, as when Joseph saw his sheaf arise and remain erect (Genesis 37:7).VED-OT Arise.3

    qûm may be used by itself, with no direct object to refer to the origin of something, as when Isaiah says, "It shall not stand …" ( Isaiah 7:7). Sometimes qûm is used in an intensive mood to signify empowering or strengthening: "Strengthen thou me according unto thy word" ( Psalms 119:28). It is also used to denote the inevitable occurrence of something predicted or prearranged ( Ezekiel 13:6).VED-OT Arise.4

    In a military context, qûm may mean "to engage in battle." In Psalms 18:38, for instance, God says, "I have wounded them that were not able to rise …" (cf 2 Samuel 23:10).VED-OT Arise.5

    Qûm may also be used very much like amad to indicate the continuation of something—e.g., "Thy kingdom shall not continue" ( 1 Samuel 13:14). Sometimes it indicates validity, as when a woman's vow shall not "stand" (be valid) if her father forbids it ( Numbers 30:5). Also see Deuteronomy 19:15, which states that a matter may be "confirmed" only by the testimony of two or more witnesses. In some passages, qûm means "immovable"; so Eli's eyes were "set" ( 1 Samuel 4:15).VED-OT Arise.6

    Another special use of qûm is "rise up again," as when a childless widow complains to the elders, "My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel …" ( Deuteronomy 25:7). In other words, the brother refuses to continue that name or "raise it up again."VED-OT Arise.7

    When used with another verb, %$ may suggest simply the beginning of an action. When Scripture says that "[Jacob] rose up, and passed over the [Euphrates] river" (Gen. 31:21), it does not mean that he literally stood up—merely that he began to cross the river.VED-OT Arise.8

    Sometimes qûm is part of a compound verb and carries no special meaning of its own. This is especially true in commands. Thus Genesis 28:2 could simply be rendered, "Go to Padan-aram," rather than, "Arise, go …" (KJV). Other special meanings emerge when qûm is used with certain particles. With 'êl "against," it often means "to fight against or attack": "A man riseth against his neighbor, and slayeth him …" ( Deuteronomy 22:26). This is its meaning in Genesis 4:8, the first biblical occurrence. With the particle ("against"), qûm means "make a formal charge against": "One witness shall not rise up against a man …" ( Deuteronomy 19:15). With I ("for"), qûm means "to testify in behalf of": "Who will rise up for me against the evildoers?" ( Psalms 94:16).The same construction can mean "to deed over," as when Ephron's field was deeded over (KJV, "made sure"— Genesis 23:17).VED-OT Arise.9

    B. Noun.VED-OT Arise.10

    mâqôm (מְקֹמָה, Strong's #4725), "place; height; stature; standing." The Old Testament contains three nouns related to qûm. The most important of these is mâqômwhich occurs 401 times in the Old Testament. It refers to the place where something stands (1 Samuel 5:3), sits ( 1 Kings 10:19), dwells ( 2 Kings 8:21), or is ( Genesis 1:9). It may also refer to a larger location, such as a country ( Exodus 3:8) or to an undetermined "space between" ( 1 Samuel 26:13). A "place" is sometimes a task or office ( Ecclesiastes 10:4). This noun is used to signify a sanctuary—i.e., a "place" of worship ( Genesis 22:3).VED-OT Arise.11


    'Ârôn (אָרֹן, Strong's #727), "ark; coffin; chest; box." This word has cognates in Phoenician, Aramaic, Akkadian, and Arabic. It appears about203times in biblical Hebrew and in all periods.In Genesis 50:26, this word represents a coffin or sarcophagus (as the same word does in Phoenician): "So Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt." This coffin was probably quite elaborate and similar to those found in ancient Egyptian tombs.VED-OT Ark.2

    During the reign of Joash (or Jehoash), when the temple was repaired, money for the work was deposited in a "chest" with a hole in its lid. The high priest Jehoida prepared this chest and put it at the threshold to the temple (2 Kings 12:9).VED-OT Ark.3

    In most occurrences, 'ârôn refers to the "ark of the covenant." This piece of furniture functioned primarily as a container. As such the word is often modified by divine names or attributes. The divine name first modifies 'ârôn in1Sam 3:3: "And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep.…" 'Ârôn is first modified by God's covenant name, Yahweh, (in Joshua 4:5Judges 20:27 is the first appearance of the "ark" as the ark of the covenant of Elohim. First Samuel 5:11 uses the phrase "the ark of the God [‘elohim] of Israel," and 1Chron 15:12 employs "the ark of the Lord [Yahweh] God ['elohim] of Israel."VED-OT Ark.4

    Sometimes divine attributes replace the divine name: "Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength" (Psalms 132:8). Another group of modifiers focuses on divine redemption (cf. Hebrews 8:5). Thus 'ârôn is often described as the "ark of the covenant" (Joshua 3:6) or "the ark of the covenant of the Lord" (Numbers 10:33). As such, the ark contained the memorials of God's great redemptive acts—the tablets upon which were inscribed the Ten Commandments, an omer or two quarts of manna, and Aaron's rod. By Solomon's day, only the stone tablets remained in the ark (1 Kings 8:9). This chest was also called "the ark of the testimony" (Exodus 25:22), which indicates that the two tablets were evidence of divine redemption. VED-OT Ark.5

    Exodus 25:10-22 tells us that this ark was made of acacia wood and measured 3 ¾ feet by2 ¼ feet by 2 ¼ feet. It was gold-plated inside and outside, with a molding of gold. Each of its four feet had a golden ring at its top, through which passed unremovable golden carrying poles. The golden cover or mercy seat (place of propitiatory atonement) had the same dimensions as the top of the ark. Two golden cherubim sat on this cover facing each other, representing the heavenly majesty (Ezekiel 1:10) that surrounds the living God.VED-OT Ark.6

    In addition to containing memorials of divine redemption, the ark represented the presence of God. To be before it was to be in God's presence (Numbers 10:35), although His presence was not limited to the ark (cf. 1 Samuel 4:3-11; 2, 6). The ark ceased to have this sacramental function when Israel began to regard it as a magical box with sacred power (a palladium).VED-OT Ark.7

    God promised to meet Moses at the ark (Exodus 25:22). Thus, the ark functioned as a place where divine revelation was received (Leviticus 1:1; 16:2; Numbers 7:89). The ark served as an instrument through which God guided and defended Israel during the wilderness wandering (Numbers 10:11). Finally, it was upon this ark that the highest of Israel's sacraments, the blood of atonement, was presented and received (Leviticus 16:2 ff.).VED-OT Ark.8


    Zerôa‛ (זְרֹעָה, Strong's #2220), "arm; power; strength; help." Cognates of zerôa‛ occur both in Northwest and South Semitic languages. Zerôa‛ is attested 92 times in biblical Hebrew and in all periods. The related word ‘ezroa’ appears twice (Job 31:22Jeremiah 32:21). Biblical Aramaic attests dra’ once and ‘edra once.Zerôa‛ means "arm," a part of the body: "Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head" (Deuteronomy 33:20). The word refers to arms in Genesis 49:24 (the first occurrence): "But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong.…" The strength of his arms enabled him to draw the bow. In some passages, zerôa‛ refers especially to the forearm: "It shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm.…" (Isaiah 17:5). Elsewhere, the word represents the shoulder: "And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms …" (2 Kings 9:24).VED-OT Arm.2

    Zerôa‛ connotes the "seat of strength": "He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms" (Psalms 18:34). In Job 26:2, the poor are described as the arm that hath no strength.VED-OT Arm.3

    God's strength is figured by anthropomorphisms (attributing to Him human bodily parts), such as His "stretched out arm" (Deuteronomy 4:34) or His "strong arm" (Jeremiah 21:5). In Isaiah 30:30, the word seems to represent lightning bolts: "And the Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones" (cf. Job 40:9).VED-OT Arm.4

    The arm is frequently a symbol of strength, both of man (1 Samuel 2:31) and of God (Psalms 71:18): "Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come." In Ezekiel 22:6 zerôa‛ may be translated "power": "Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood." A third nuance is "help": "Assur also is joined with them: they have helped the children of Lot" (Psalms 83:8).VED-OT Arm.5

    The word can represent political or military forces: "And the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand" (Daniel 11:15; cf. Ezekiel 17:9).VED-OT Arm.6

    In Numbers 6:19 zerôa‛ is used of an animal's shoulder: "And the priest shall take the sodden shoulder of the ram …" (cf. Deuteronomy 18:3).VED-OT Arm.7


    'Ăshêrâh (אֲשֵׁירָה, Strong's #842), "Asherah, Asherim (pl.)." This noun, which has an Ugaritic cognate, first appears in the Bible in passages anticipating the settlement in Palestine. The word's most frequent appearances, however, are usually in historical literature. Of its 40 appearances, 4 are in Israel's law code, 4 in Judges, 4 in prophetic books, and the rest are in 1Kings and 2 Chronicles. 'Ăshêrâh refers to a cultic object representing the presence of the Canaanite goddess Asherah. When the people of Israel entered Palestine, they were to have nothing to do with the idolatrous religions of its inhabitants. Rather, God said, "But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves [‘asherim] …" ( Exodus 34:13). This cult object was manufactured from wood ( Judges 6:261 Kings 14:15) and it could be burned ( Deuteronomy 12:3). Some scholars conclude that it was a sacred pole set up near an altar to Baal. Since there was only one goddess with this name, the plural (‘asherim) probably represents her several "poles." 'VED-OT Asherah.2

    Ăshêrâh signifies the name of the goddess herself: "Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves ['ăshêrâh] four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table" (1Kings 18:19). The Canaanites believed that 'ăshêrâh ruled the sea, was the mother of all the gods including Baal, and sometimes was his deadly enemy. Apparently, the mythology of Canaan maintained that 'ăshêrâh was the consort of Baal, who had displaced El as their highest god. Thus her sacred objects (poles) were immediately beside altars to Baal, and she was worshiped along with him.VED-OT Asherah.3


    A. Verb.VED-OT Ask.2

    Shâ'al (שָׁאֵל, Strong's #7592), "to ask, inquire, consult." This word is found in many Semitic languages, including ancient Akkadian and Ugaritic. It is found throughout the various periods of Hebrew and is used approximately 170 times in the Hebrew Bible. The first occurrence is found in Genesis 24:47, where the servant of Abraham asks Rebekah, "Whose daughter art thou?" It is commonly used for simple requests, as when Sisera asked for water from Jael (Judges 5:25).Since prayer often includes petition, shâ'al is sometimes used in the sense of "praying for" something: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psalms 122:6). In the idiomatic phrase, "to ask another of his welfare," it carries the sense of a greeting (cf. Exodus 18:7; Judg. 18:15; 1 Samuel 10:4). Frequently, it is used to indicate someone's asking for God's direction or counsel (Joshua 9:14Isaiah 30:2). In Psalms 109:10 it is used to indicate a begging: "Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg."VED-OT Ask.3

    B. Noun.VED-OT Ask.4

    She'ôl (שְׁאֹל, Strong's #7585), "place of the dead." She'ôl seems to be the basis for an important noun in the Old Testament, she'ôl. Found 65 times in the Hebrew Bible, she'ôl refers to the netherworld or the underground cavern to which all buried dead go. Often incorrectly translated "hell" in the KJV, she'ôl was not understood to be a place of punishment, but simply the ultimate resting place of all mankind (Genesis 37:35). Thus, it was thought to be the land of no return (Job 16:22; 17:14-16). It was a place to be dreaded, not only because it meant the end of physical life on earth, but also because there was no praise of God there (Psalms 6:5). Deliverance from it was a blessing (Psalms 30:3).In some instances, it may be a symbol of distress or even plague; it is often used in parallel with "the Pit," another symbol of destruction. Everything about she'ôl was negative, so it is little wonder that the concept of hell developed from it in the intertestamental and New Testament literature.VED-OT Ask.5

    She'ôl is translated variously in the English versions: "hell, pit, grave" (KJV); "netherworld" (NAB). Some versions simply give the transliteration, Sheol" (RSV, JB, NASB).VED-OT Ask.6


    A. Noun.VED-OT Assembly.2

    Qâhâl (קָהָל, Strong's #6951), “assembly; company.” Cognates derived from this Hebrew noun appear in late Aramaic and Syriac. Qâhâl occurs 123 times and in all periods of biblical Hebrew.In many contexts, the word means an assembly gathered to plan or execute war. One of the first of these is Genesis 49:6. In 1 Kings 12:3 (RSV), “all the assembly of Israel” asked Rehoboam to ease the tax burden imposed by Solomon. When Rehoboam refused, they withdrew from him and rejected their feudal (military) allegiance to him. For the application of qâhâl to an army, see Ezekiel 17:17: “Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war.…”VED-OT Assembly.3

    Quite often, qâhâl is used to denote a gathering to judge or deliberate. This emphasis first appears in Ezekiel 23:45-47, where the “company” judges and executes judgment. In many passages, the word signifies an assembly representing a larger group: “David consulted with the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with every leader. And David said to all the assembly of Israel …” (1 Chronicles 13:1-2, RSV). Here, “the whole assembly” of Israel refers to the assembled leaders (cf. 2 Chronicles 1:2). Thus, in Leviticus 4:13 we find that the sin of the whole congregation of Israel can escape the notice of the “assembly” (the judges or elders who represent the congregation).VED-OT Assembly.4

    Sometimes qâhâl represents all the males of Israel who were eligible to bring sacrifices to the Lord: “He whose testicles are crushed or whose male member is cut off shall not enter the assembly of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 23:1, RSV). The only eligible members of the assembly were men who were religiously bound together under the covenant, who were neither strangers (living in Israel temporarily) nor sojourners (permanent non- Hebrew residents) (Numbers 15:15). In Numbers 16:3 and 33, it is clear that the “assembly” was the worshiping, voting community (cf. 18:4).VED-OT Assembly.5

    Elsewhere, the word qâhâl is used to signify all the people of Israel. The whole congregation of the sons of Israel complained that Moses had brought them forth into the wilderness to kill the whole assembly with hunger (Exodus 16:31). The first occurrence of the word also bears the connotation of a large group: “And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude [qâhâl] of people …” (Genesis 28:3).VED-OT Assembly.6

    B. Verb.VED-OT Assembly.7

    Qâhal (קָהַל, Strong's #6950), “to gather.” The verb qâhal which occurs 39 times, is derived from the noun qâhâl. Like the noun, this verb appears in all periods of biblical Hebrew. It means “to gather” as a qâhal for conflict or war, for religious purposes, and for judgment: “Then Solomon assembled the elders [qâhal] of Israel …” (1 Kings 8:1).VED-OT Assembly.8


    A. Verb. VED-OT Atone.2

    Kâphar (כָּפַר, Strong's #3722), “to cover over, atone, propitiate, pacify.” This root is found in the Hebrew language at all periods of its history, and perhaps is best known from the term Yom Kippur, “Day of Atonement.” Its verbal forms occur approximately 100 times in the Hebrew Bible. Kâphar is first found in Genesis 6:14, where it is used in its primary sense of “to cover over.” Here God gives Noah instructions concerning the ark, including, “Cover it inside and out with pitch” (RSV). (The KJV translates, “Pitch it within and without with pitch.”)Most uses of the word, however, involve the theological meaning of “covering over,” often with the blood of a sacrifice, in order to atone for some sin. It is not clear whether this means that the “covering over” hides the sin from God’s sight or implies that the sin is wiped away in this process.VED-OT Atone.3

    As might be expected, this word occurs more frequently in the Book of Leviticus than in any other book, since Leviticus deals with the ritual sacrifices that were made to atone for sin. For example, Leviticus 4:13-21 gives instructions for bringing a young bull to the tent of meeting for a sin offering. After the elders laid their hands on the bull (to transfer the people’s sin to the bull), the bull was killed. The priest then brought some of the blood of the bull into the tent of meeting and sprinkled it seven times before the veil. Some of the blood was put on the horns of the altar and the rest of the blood was poured at the base of the altar of burnt offering. The fat of the bull was then burned on the altar. The bull itself was to be burned outside the camp. By means of this ritual, “the priest shall make an atonement [kâphar] for them, and it shall be forgiven them” (Leviticus 4:20).VED-OT Atone.4

    The term “atonement” is found at least 16 times in Leviticus 16, the great chapter concerning the Day of Atonement. Before anything else, the high priest had to “make atonement” for himself and his house by offering a bull as a sin offering. After lots were cast upon the two goats, one was sent away into the wilderness as an atonement (v. 10), while the other was sacrificed and its blood sprinkled on the mercy seat as an atonement for the people (vv. 15-20). The Day of Atonement was celebrated only once a year. Only on this day could the high priest enter the holy of holies of the tabernacle or temple on behalf of the people of Israel and make atonement for them.VED-OT Atone.5

    Sometimes atonement for sin was made apart from or without blood offerings. During his vision-call experience, Isaiah’s lips were touched with a coal of fire taken from the altar by one of the seraphim. With that, he was told, “Thy sin is purged [kâphar]” (Isaiah 6:7). The English versions translate the word variously as “purged” (KJV, JB); “forgiven” (RSV, NASB, TEV); and “wiped away” (NEB). In another passage, Scripture says that the guilt or iniquity of Israel would be “purged” (KJV, NEB) by the destruction of the implements of idolatrous worship (Isaiah 27:9). In this case, the RSV renders kapar as “expiated,” while the NASB and TEV translate it as “forgiven.”VED-OT Atone.6

    B. Noun.VED-OT Atone.7

    Kappôreth (כַּפֹּרֶת, Strong's #3727), “mercy seat; throne of mercy.” This noun form of kapar has been variously interpreted by the English versions as “mercy seat” (KJV, RSV); “cover” (NEB); “lid” (TEV); “throne of mercy” (JB); and “throne” (Knox). It refers to a slab of gold that rested on top of the ark of the covenant. Images of two cherubims stood on this slab, facing each other. This slab of gold represented the throne of God and symbolized His real presence in the worship shrine. On the Day of Atonement, the high priest sprinkled the blood of the sin offering on it, apparently symbolizing the blood’s reception by God. Thus the Kappôreth was the central point at which Israel, through its high priest, could come into the presence of God.
    This is further seen in the fact that the temple proper was distinguished from its porches and other accompanying structures by the name “place of the mercy seat (Kappôreth)” (1 Chronicles 28:11). The Septuagint refers to the mercy seat as a “propitiary” (hilasteirion).
    VED-OT Atone.8


    A. Verb.VED-OT Avenge.2

    Nâqam (נָקַם, Strong's #5358), “to avenge, take vengeance, punish.” This root and its derivatives occur 87 times in the Old Testament, most frequently in the Pentateuch, Isaiah, and Jeremiah; occasionally it occurs in the historical books and the Psalms. The root occurs also in Aramaic, Assyrian, Arabic, Ethiopic, and late Hebrew.VED-OT Avenge.3

    Lamech’s sword song is a scornful challenge to his fellows and a blatant attack on the justice of God: “… for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold” (Genesis 4:23-24).VED-OT Avenge.4

    The Lord reserves vengeance as the sphere of His own action: “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense … for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries” (Deuteronomy 32:35, 43). The law therefore forbade personal vengeance: “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18). Hence the Lord’s people commit their case to Him, as David: “The Lord judge between me and thee [Saul], and the Lord avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee” (1 Samuel 24:12).VED-OT Avenge.5

    The Lord uses men to take vengeance, as He said to Moses: “Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites.… And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the Lord of Midian” (Numbers 31:2-3). Vengeance for Israel is the Lord’s vengeance. The law stated, “And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished” (Exodus 21:20). In Israel, this responsibility was given to the “avenger of blood” (Deuteronomy 19:6). He was responsible to preserve the life and personal integrity of his nearest relative.VED-OT Avenge.6

    When a man was attacked because he was God’s servant, he could rightly call for vengeance on his enemies, as Samson prayed for strength, “… that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes” (Judges 16:28).VED-OT Avenge.7

    In the covenant, God warned that His vengeance may fall on His own people: “And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant …” (Leviticus 26:25). Isaiah thus says of Judah: “Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts … Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of my enemies” (1:24).VED-OT Avenge.8

    B. Noun.VED-OT Avenge.9

    Nâqâm (נָקָם, Strong's #5359), “vengeance.” The noun is first used in the Lord’s promise to Cain: “Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold” (Genesis 4:15).VED-OT Avenge.10

    In some instances a man may call for “vengeance” on his enemies, such as when another man has committed adultery with his wife: “For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance” (Proverbs 6:34).VED-OT Avenge.11

    The prophets frequently speak of God’s “vengeance” on His enemies: Isaiah 59:17; Micah 5:15; Nahum 1:2. It will come at a set time: “For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion” (Isaiah 34:8).VED-OT Avenge.12

    Isaiah brings God’s “vengeance” and redemption together in the promise of messianic salvation: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; … he hath sent me … to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God …” (61:1-2). When Jesus announced that this was fulfilled in Himself, He stopped short of reading the last clause; but His sermon clearly anticipated that “vengeance” that would come on Israel for rejecting Him. Isaiah also said: “For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come” (63:4).VED-OT Avenge.13


    ‛Ůr (עוּר, 5782), “to awake, stir up, rouse oneself, rouse.” This word is found in both ancient and modern Hebrew, as well as in ancient Ugaritic. It occurs approximately 80 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. Its first use in the Old Testament has the sense of “rousing” someone to action: “Awake, awake, Deborah” (Judges 5:12). This same meaning is reflected in Psalms 7:6, where it is used in parallelism with “arise”: “Arise, O Lord, in thine anger, … awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.” The RSV translates this passage: “… Awake, O my God; thou hast appointed a judgment.” This probably is more in harmony with the total parallelism involved (arise/awake, Lord/God) than the KJ version. Also, the RSV’S change from “for me” to “O my God” involves only a very slight change of one vowel in the word. (Remember that Hebrew vowels were not part of the alphabet. They were added after the consonantal text was written down.)VED-OT Awake.2

    ‛Ůr commonly signifies awakening out of ordinary sleep (Zechariah 4:1) or out of the sleep of death (Job 14:12). In Job 31:29, it expresses the idea of “being excited” or “stirred up”: “If I … lifted up myself when evil found him.…” This verb is found several times in the Song of Solomon, for instance, in contrast with sleep: “I sleep, but my heart waketh …” (5:2). It is found three times in an identical phrase: “… that you stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please” (Song of Song of Solomon 2:7; 3:5; 8:4).VED-OT Awake.3

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