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    Ear — Eye


    'Ôzen (אֹזֶן, Strong's #241), “ear.” The noun 'ôzen is common to Semitic languages. It appears 187 times in the Old Testament, mainly to designate a part of the body. The first occurrence is in Genesis 20:8: “Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid.”The “ear” was the place for earrings (Genesis 35:4); thus it might be pierced as a token of perpetual servitude (Exodus 21:6).Several verbs are found in relation to “ear”: “to inform” (Ezekiel 24:26), “to pay attention” (Psalms 10:17), “to listen” (Psalms 78:1), “to stop up” (Isaiah 33:15), “to make deaf” (Isaiah 6:10), and “to tingle” (1 Samuel 3:11).VED-OT Ear.2

    Animals are also said to have “ears” (Proverbs 26:17). God is idiomatically said to have “ears”: “Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me; … when I call answer me speedily” (Psalms 102:2). In this particular passage, the NEB prefers a more idiomatic rendering: “Hide not thy face from me when I am in distress. Listen to my prayer and, when I call, answer me soon.” Elsewhere, the KJV reads: “And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord” (1 Samuel 8:21); here the NIV renders “in the ears of” idiomatically as “before.” The Lord “pierces” (i.e., opens up) ears (Psalms 40:6), implants ears (Psalms 94:9), and fashions ears (Proverbs 20:12) in order to allow man to receive direction from his Creator. As the Creator, He also is able to hear and respond to the needs of His people (Psalms 94:9). The Lord reveals His words to the “ears” of his prophets: “Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying …” (1 Samuel 9:15). Since the Israelites had not responded to the prophetic message, they had made themselves spiritually deaf: “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not” (Jeremiah 5:21). After the Exile, the people of God were to experience a spiritual awakening and new sensitivity to God’s Word which, in the words of Isaiah, is to be compared to the opening of the “ears” (Isaiah 50:5).VED-OT Ear.3

    The KJV gives these renderings: “ear; audience; hearing.”VED-OT Ear.4


    'Erets (אֶרֶץ, Strong's #776), “earth; land.” This is one of the most common Hebrew nouns, occurring more than 2,500 times in the Old Testament. It expresses a world view contrary to ancient myths, as well as many modern theories seeking to explain the origin of the universe and the forces which sustain it.VED-OT Earth.2

    'Erets may be translated “earth,” the temporal scene of human activity, experience, and history. The material world had a beginning when God “made the earth by His power,” “formed it,” and “spread it out” (Isaiah 40:28; 42:5; 12, 18; Jeremiah 27:5; 51:15). Because He did so, it follows that “the earth is the Lord’s” (Psalms 24:1; Deuteronomy 10:1; Exodus 9:29; Nehemiah 9:6). No part of it is independent of Him, for “the very ends of the earth are His possession,” including “the mountains,” “the seas,” “the dry land,” “the depths of the earth” (Psalms 2:8; Psalms 95:4-5; Amos 4:13; Jonah 1:9). God formed the earth to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18). Having “authority over the earth” by virture of being its Maker, He decreed to “let the earth sprout vegetation: of every kind” (Job 34:13; Genesis 1:11). It was never to stop its productivity, for “while the earth stands, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). “The earth is full of God’s riches” and mankind can “multiply and fill the earth and subdue it” (Psalms 104:24; Genesis 1:28; 9:1). Let no one think that the earth is an independentself-contained mechanism, for “the Lord reigns” as He “sits on the vault of the earth” from where “He sends rain on the earth” (Psalms 97:1; Isaiah 40:22; 1 Kings 17:14; Psalms 104:4).VED-OT Earth.3

    As “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the earth,” He sees that “there is not a just man on earth” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). At an early stage, God endeavored to “blot out man … from the face of the earth” (Genesis 6:5-7). Though He relented and promised to “destroy never again all flesh on the earth,” we can be sure that “He is coming to judge the earth” (Genesis 77:16f.; Psalms 96:13). At that time, “the earth shall be completely laid waste” so that “the exalted people of the earth fade away” (Jeremiah 10:10; Joel 2:10; Isaiah 33:3-6; Psalms 75:8). But He also provides a way of escape for all who heed His promise: “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 45:22).VED-OT Earth.4

    What the Creator formed “in the beginning” is also to have an end, for He will “create a new heaven and a new earth” (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22).VED-OT Earth.5

    The Hebrew word 'erets also occurs frequently in the phrase “heaven and earth” or “earth and heaven.” In other words, the Scriptures teach that our terrestrial planet is a part of an all-embracing cosmological framework which we call the universe. Not the result of accident or innate forces, the unfathomed reaches of space and its uncounted components owe their origin to the Lord “who made heaven and earth” (Psalms 121:2; 124:8; 134:3).VED-OT Earth.6

    Because God is “the possessor of heaven and earth,” the whole universe is to reverberate in the praise of His glory, which is “above heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:19, 22; Psalms 148:13). “Shout, O heavens and rejoice, O earth”: “let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice” (Psalms 49:13; 96:11). Such adoration is always appropriate, for “whatever the Lord pleases, He does in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps” (Psalms 135:6).VED-OT Earth.7

    'Erets does not only denote the entire terrestrial planet, but is also used of some of the earth’s component parts. English words like land, country, ground, and soil transfer its meaning into our language. Quite frequently, it refers to an area occupied by a nation or tribe. So we read of “the land of Egypt,” “the land of the Philistines,” “the land of Israel,” “the land of Benjamin,” and so on (Genesis 47:13; Zechariah 2:5; 2 Kings 5:2, 4; Judges 21:21). Israel is said to live “in the land of the Lord” (Leviticus 255:33f.; Hosea 9:13). When the people arrived at its border, Moses reminded them that it would be theirs only because the Lord drove out the other nations to “give you their land for an inheritance” (Deuteronomy 4:38). Moses promised that God would make its soil productive, for “He will give rain for your land” so that it would be “a fruitful land,” “a land flowing with milk and honey, a land of wheat and barley” (Deuteronomy 11:13-15; Deuteronomy 8:7-9; Jeremiah 2:7).VED-OT Earth.8

    The Hebrew noun may also be translated “the ground” (Job 2:13; Amos 3:5; Genesis 24:52; Ezekiel 43:14). When God executes judgment, “He brings down the wicked to the ground” (Psalms 147:6, NASB).VED-OT Earth.9


    A. Verb.VED-OT Eat.2

    'Âkal (אָכַל, Strong's #398), “to eat, feed, consume, devour.” This verb occurs in all Semitic languages (except Ethiopic) and in all periods, from the early Akkadian to the latest Hebrew. The word occurs about 810 times in Old Testament Hebrew and 9 times in Aramaic.VED-OT Eat.3

    Essentially, this root refers to the “consumption of food by man or animals.” In Genesis 3:6, we read that Eve took of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and “ate” it. The function of eating is presented along with seeing, hearing, and smelling as one of the basic functions of living (Deuteronomy 4:28). “Eating,” as every other act of life, is under God’s control; He stipulates what may or may not be eaten (Genesis 1:29). After the Flood, man was allowed to “eat” meat (Genesis 9:3). But under the Mosaic covenant, God stipulated that certain foods were not to be “eaten” (Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14)while others were permissible. This distinction is certainly not new, inasmuch as it is mentioned prior to the Flood (Genesis 7:2; cf. Genesis 6:19). A comparison of these two passages demonstrates how the Bible can speak in general terms, with the understanding that certain limitations are included. Hence, Noah was commanded to bring into the ark two of every kind (Genesis 6:19), while the Bible tells us that this meant two of every unclean and fourteen of every clean animal (Genesis 7:2). Thus, Genesis 9:3 implies that man could “eat” only the clean animals.VED-OT Eat.4

    This verb is often used figuratively with overtones of destroying something or someone. So the sword, fire, and forest are said to “consume” men. The things “consumed” may include such various things as land (Genesis 3:17), fields (Isaiah 1:7), offerings (Deuteronomy 18:1), and a bride’s purchase price (Genesis 31:15). 'Âkal might also connote bearing the results of an action (Isaiah 3:10).VED-OT Eat.5

    The word can refer not only to “eating” but to the entire concept “room and board” (2 Samuel 9:11, 13), the special act of “feasting” (Ecclesiastes 10:16), or the entire activity of “earning a living” (Amos 7:12; cf. Genesis 3:19). In Daniel 3:8 and 6:24, “to eat one’s pieces” is to charge someone maliciously. “To eat another’s flesh,” used figuratively, refers to tearing him to pieces or “killing him” (Psalms 27:2), although 'âkal may also be used literally, as when one “eats” human beings in times of serious famine (Leviticus 26:29). Ecclesiastes 4:5 uses the expression, “eat one’s own flesh,” for allowing oneself to waste away.VED-OT Eat.6

    Abstinence from eating may indicate deep emotional upset, like that which overcame Hannah before the birth of Samuel (1 Samuel 1:7). It may also indicate the religious selfdenial seen in fasting. Unlike the pagan deities (Deuteronomy 32:37-38)God “eats” no food (Psalms 50:13); although as a “consuming” fire (Deuteronomy 4:24), He is ready to defend His own honor and glory. He “consumes” evil and the sinner. He will also “consume” the wicked like a lion (Hosea 13:8). There is one case in which God literally “consumed” food—when He appeared to Abraham in the form of three “strangers” (Genesis 18:8).VED-OT Eat.7

    God provides many good things to eat, such as manna to the Israelites (Exodus 16:32) and all manner of food to those who delight in the Lord (Isaiah 58:14), even the finest food (Psalms 81:16). He puts the Word of God into one’s mouth; by “consuming” it, it is taken into one’s very being (Ezekiel 3:2).VED-OT Eat.8

    B. Nouns.VED-OT Eat.9

    'Ôkel (אֹכֶל, Strong's #400), “food.” This word occurs 44 times in the Old Testament. 'Ôkel appears twice in Genesis 41:35 with the sense of “food supply”: “And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.” The word refers to the “food” of wild animals in Psalms 104:21: “The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.” 'Ôkel is used for “food” given by God in Psalms 145:15. The word may also be used for “food” as an offering, as in Malachi 1:12. A related noun, ’aklah, also means “food.” This noun has 18 occurrences in the Old Testament.VED-OT Eat.10

    Elder; Aged

    Zâqên (זָקֵן, Strong's #2204, זָקֵן, Strong's #2205), “old man; old woman; elder; old.” Zâqên occurs 174 times in the Hebrew Old Testament as a noun or as an adjective. The first occurrence is in Genesis 18:11: “Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.” In Genesis 19:4, the word “old” is used as an antonym of “young”: “But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young [na’ar “young man”], all the people from every quarter” (cf. Joshua 6:21). A similar usage of zâqên and “young” appears in other Bible references: “But [Rehoboam] forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men [yeled, “boy; child”] that were grown up with him …” (1 Kings 12:8). “Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men [bachur] and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow” (Jeremiah 31:13). The “old man” is described as being advanced in days (Genesis 18:11), as being satisfied with life or full of years. A feminine form of zâqên refers to an “old woman” (zâqênah). The word zâqên has a more specialized use with the sense of “elder” (more than 100 times). The “elder” was recognized by the people for his gifts of leadership, wisdom, and justice. He was set apart to administer justice, settle disputes, and guide the people of his charge. Elders are also known as officers (shotrim), heads of the tribes, and judges; notice the parallel usage: “Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them; I am old and stricken in age …” (Joshua 23:2). The “elders” were consulted by the king, but the king could determine his own course of action (1 Kings 12:8). In a given city, the governing council was made up of the “elders,” who were charged with the well-being of the town: “And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?” (1 Samuel 16:4). The elders met in session by the city gate (Ezekiel 8:1). The place of meeting became known as the “seat” or “council” (KJV, “assembly”) of the elders (Psalms 107:32).VED-OT Elder; Aged.2

    The Septuagint gives the following translations: presbutera (“man of old; elder; presbyter”), presbutes (“old man; aged man”), gerousia (“council of elders”). The KJV gives various translations of zâqên “old; elder; old man; ancient.” Note that the KJV distinguishes between “elder” and “ancient”; whenever the word zâqên does not apply to age or to rule, the KJV uses the word “ancient.”VED-OT Elder; Aged.3

    Zâqên means “beard.” The word zâqên refers to a “beard” in Psalms 133:2: “It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments.…” The association of “old age” with a “beard” can be made, but should not be stressed. The verb zâqên (“to be old”) comes from this noun.VED-OT Elder; Aged.4


    'Ashshâph (אַשָּׁף, Strong's #825), “enchanter.” Cognates of this word appear in Akkadian, Syriac, and biblical Aramaic (6 times). The noun appears only twice in biblical Hebrew, and only in the Book of Daniel.VED-OT Enchanter.2

    The vocation of ashipu is known from earliest times in the Akkadian (Old Babylonian) society. It is not clear whether the ashipu was an assistant to a particular order of Babylonian priests (mashmashu) or an order parallel in function to the mashmashu order. In either case, the ashipu offered incantations to deliver a person from evil magical forces (demons). The sick often underwent actual surgery while the incantations were spoken.VED-OT Enchanter.3

    In the Bible, 'ashshâph first occurs in Daniel 1:20: “And as for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters (NASB, “conjurers”) who were in his realm.”VED-OT Enchanter.4

    Encounter, Befall

    Qârâ' (קָרָא, Strong's #7122), “to encounter, befall.” Qârâ' represents an intentional confrontation, whereby one person is immediately before another person. This might be a friendly confrontation, in which friend intentionally “meets” friend; so the kings of the valley came out to “meet” Abram upon his return from defeating the marauding army of Chedorlaomer (Genesis 14:17). A host may go forth to “meet” a prospective ally (Joshua 9:11; 2 Samuel 19:15). In cultic contexts, one “meets” God or “is met” by God (Exodus 5:3).VED-OT Encounter, Befall.2

    Qârâ' may also be used of hostile “confrontation.” In military contexts, the word often represents the “confrontation” of two forces to do battle (Joshua 8:5); so Israel is told: “Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel” (Amos 4:12). This verb infrequently may represent an “accidental meeting,” so it is sometimes translated “befall” (Genesis 42:4).VED-OT Encounter, Befall.3


    A. Nouns. VED-OT End.2

    'Ephes (אֶפֶס, Strong's #657), “end; not; nothing; only.” The 42 occurrences of this word appear in every period of biblical literature. It has a cognate in Ugaritic. Basically, the noun indicates that a thing “comes to an end” and “is no more.”VED-OT End.3

    Some scholars suggest that this word is related to the Akkadian apcu (Gk. abuccoc), the chasm of fresh water at the edge of the earth (the earth was viewed as a flat surface with four corners and surrounded by fresh water). But this relationship is highly unlikely, since none of the biblical uses refers to an area beyond the edge of the earth. The idea of the “far reaches” of a thing is seen in passages such as Proverbs 30:4: “Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends [boundaries] of the earth?” (cf. Psalms 72:8). In other contexts, 'ephes means the “territory” of the nations other than Israel: “… With them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth …” (Deuteronomy 33:17). More often, this word represents the peoples who live outside the territory of Israel: “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the [very ends] of the earth for thy possession” (Psalms 2:8). In Psalms 22:27, the phrase, “the ends of the world,” is synonymously parallel to “all the [families] of the nations.” Therefore, “the ends of the earth” in such contexts represents all the peoples of the earth besides Israel.VED-OT End.4

    'Ephes is used to express “non-existence” primarily in poetry, where it appears chiefly as a synonym of ‘ayin (“none, nothing”). In one instance, 'ephes is used expressing the “non-existence” of a person or thing and is translated “not” or “no”: “Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God unto him?” (2 Samuel 9:3). In Isaiah 45:6, the word means “none” or “no one”: “That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me” (cf. v. 9).VED-OT End.5

    In a few passages, 'ephes used as a particle of negation means “at an end” or “nothing”: “And all her princes shall be nothing,” or “unimportant” and “not exalted” to kingship (Isaiah 34:12). The force of this word in Isaiah 41:12 is on the “non-existence” of those so described: “… They that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.”VED-OT End.6

    This word can also mean “nothing” in the sense of “powerlessness” and “worthlessness”: “All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and [meaningless]” (Isaiah 40:17).VED-OT End.7

    In Numbers 22:35, 'ephes means “nothing other than” or “only”: “Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shall speak” (cf. Numbers 23:13). In such passages, 'ephes (with the Hebrew particle ki) qualifies the preceding phrase. In 2 Samuel 12:14, a special nuance of the word is represented by the English “howbeit.”VED-OT End.8

    In Isaiah 52:4, 'ephes preceded by the preposition be (“by; because of”) means “without cause”: “… And the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.”VED-OT End.9

    Qêts (קֵץ, Strong's #7093), “end.” A cognate of this word occurs in Ugaritic. Biblical Hebrew attests qêts about 66 times and in every period.VED-OT End.10

    First, the word is used to denote the “end of a person” or “death”: “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me …” (Genesis 6:13). In Psalms 39:4, qêts speaks of the “farthest extremity of human life,” in the sense of how short it is: “Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.”VED-OT End.11

    Second, qêts means “end” as the state of “being annihilated”: “He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection …” (Job 28:3).VED-OT End.12

    Third, related to the previous meaning but quite distinct, is the connotation “farthest extremity of,” such as the “end of a given period of time”: “And after certain years [literally, “at the end of years”] he went down to Ahab to Samaria …” (2 Chronicles 18:2; cf. Genesis 4:3—the first biblical appearance).VED-OT End.13

    A fourth nuance emphasizes a “designated goal,” not simply the extremity but a conclusion toward which something proceeds: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie …” (Habakkuk 2:3).VED-OT End.14

    In another emphasis, qêts represents the “boundary” or “limit” of something: “I have seen an end of all perfection” (Psalms 119:96).VED-OT End.15

    In 2 Kings 19:23, the word (with the preposition le) means “farthest”: “… And I will enter into the lodgings of his borders, and into the forest of his Carmel.”VED-OT End.16

    Qâtseh (קֵצֶה, Strong's #7097), “end; border; extremity.” The noun qâtseh appears 92 times and in all periods of biblical Hebrew.VED-OT End.17

    In Genesis 23:9, qâtseh means “end” in the sense of “extremity”: “That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which is in the end of his field.…” The word means "[nearest] edge or border” in Exodus 13:20: “And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in the Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.” At other points, the word clearly indicates the “farthest extremity”: “If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee” (Deuteronomy 30:4).VED-OT End.18

    Second, qâtseh can signify a “temporal end,” such as the “end of a period of time”; that is the use in Genesis 8:3, the first biblical occurrence of the word: “… After the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.”VED-OT End.19

    One special use of qâtseh occurs in Genesis 47:2, where the word is used with the preposition min (“from”): “And from among his brothers he took five men and presented them to Pharaoh” (RSV; cf. Ezekiel 33:2). In Genesis 19:4, the same construction means “from every quarter (or “part”) of a city”: “… The men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter.” A similar usage occurs in Genesis 47:21, except that the phrase is repeated twice and is rendered “from one end of the borders of Egypt to the other.” In Jeremiah 51:31, the phrase means “in every quarter” or “completely.”VED-OT End.20

    Qâtsâh (קָצָה, Strong's #7098), “end; border; edge; extremity.” The noun qâtsâh appears in the Bible 28 times and also appears in Phoenician. This word refers primarily to concrete objects. In a few instances. however, qâtsâh is used of abstract objects; one example is of God’s way (Job 26:14): “These are but the fringe of his power; and how faint the whisper that we hear of him!” (NEB).VED-OT End.21

    'Achărı̂yth (אַחֲרִית, Strong's #319), “hind-part; end; issue; outcome; posterity.” Akkadian, Aramaic, and Ugaritic also attest this word. It occurs about 61 times in biblical Hebrew and in all periods; most of its occurrences are in poetry.VED-OT End.22

    Used spatially, the word identifies the “remotest and most distant part of something”: “If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea …” (Psalms 139:9).VED-OT End.23

    The most frequent emphasis of the word is “end,” “issue,” or “outcome.” This nuance is applied to time in a superlative or final sense: “… The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year” (Deuteronomy 11:12). A slight shift of meaning occurs in Daniel 8:23, where 'achărı̂yth is applied to time in a relative or comparative sense: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.” Here the word refers to a “last period,” but not necessarily the “end” of history. In a different nuance, the word can mean “latter” or “what comes afterward”: “O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!” (Deuteronomy 32:29). In some passages, 'achărı̂yth represents the “ultimate outcome” of a person’s life. Numbers 23:10 speaks thus of death: “Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!”VED-OT End.24

    In other passages, 'achărı̂yth refers to “all that comes afterwards.” Passages such as Jeremiah 31:17 use the word of one’s “descendants” or “posterity” (KJV, “children”). In view of the parallelism suggested in this passage, the first line should be translated “and there is hope for your posterity.” In Amos 9:1, 'achărı̂yth is used of the “rest” (remainder) of one’s fellows. Both conclusion and result are apparent in passages such as Isaiah 41:22, where the word represents the “end” or “result” of a matter: “Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.”VED-OT End.25

    A third nuance of 'achărı̂yth indicates the “last” or the “least in importance”: “Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold. the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert” (Jeremiah 50:12).VED-OT End.26

    The fact that 'achărı̂yth used with “day” or “years” may signify either “a point at the end of time” or “a period of the end time” has created considerable debate on fourteen Old Testament passages. Some scholars view this use of the word as noneschatological— that it merely means “in the day which follows” or “in the future.” This seems to be its meaning in Genesis 49:1 (its first occurrence in the Bible): “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.” Here the word refers to the entire period to follow. On the other hand, Isaiah 2:2 uses the word more absolutely of the “last period of time”: “In the last days, … the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established [as the chief of the mountains].…” Some scholars believe the phrase sometimes is used of the “very end of time”: “Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days” (Daniel 10:14). This point, however, is much debated.VED-OT End.27

    B. Adverb.VED-OT End.28

    'Ephes ( אֶפֶס, Strong's #657), “howbeit; notwithstanding; however; without cause.” This word’s first occurrence is in Numbers 13:28: "Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land.…”VED-OT End.29


    'yêb (אוֹיֵב, Strong's #341), “enemy.” 'yêb has an Ugaritic cognate. It appears about 282 times in biblical Hebrew and in all periods. In form, the word is an active infinitive (or more precisely, a verbal noun).VED-OT Enemy.2

    This word means “enemy,” and is used in at least one reference to both individuals and nations: “… In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies” (Genesis 22:17—the first occurrence). “Personal foes” may be represented by this word: “If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again” (Exodus 23:4). This idea includes “those who show hostility toward me”: “But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong; and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied” (Psalms 38:19).VED-OT Enemy.3

    One might be an “enemy” of God: “… The Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies” (Nahum 1:2). God is the “enemy” of all who refuse to submit to His lordship: “But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy …” (Isaiah 63:10).VED-OT Enemy.4

    Tsâr (צָר, Strong's #6862), “adversary; enemy; foe.” This noun occurs 70 times in the Hebrew Old Testament, mainly in the Psalms (26 times) and Lamentations (9 times). The first use of the noun is in Genesis 14:20: “And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.”VED-OT Enemy.5

    Tsâr is a general designation for “enemy.” The “enemy” may be a nation (2 Samuel 24:13) or, more rarely, the “opponent” of an individual (cf. Genesis 14:20; Psalms 3:1). The Lord may also be the “enemy” of His sinful people as His judgment comes upon them (cf. Deuteronomy 32:41-43). Hence, the Book of Lamentations describes God as an “adversary” of His people: “He hath bent his bow like an enemy [‘oyeb]: he stood with his right hand as an adversary [tsâr], and slew all that were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire” (Lamentations 2:4).VED-OT Enemy.6

    The word tsâr has several synonyms: ’oyeb, “enemy” (cf. Lamentations 2:5); sone’, “hater” (Psalms 44:7); rodep, “persecutor” (Psalms 119:157); ‘arits, “tyrant; oppressor” (Job 6:23).VED-OT Enemy.7

    In the Septuagint, tsâr is generally translated by echthros (“enemy”). The KJV gives these translations: “enemy; adversary; foe.”VED-OT Enemy.8


    'Êphôd (אֵפֹד, Strong's #646), “ephod.” This word, which appears in Assyrian and (perhaps) Ugaritic, occurs 49 times in the biblical Hebrew, 31 times in the legal prescriptions of Exodus—Leviticus and only once in biblical poetry (Hosea 3:4).VED-OT Ephod.2

    This word represents a close-fitting outer garment associated with worship. It was a kind of long vest, generally reaching to the thighs. The “ephod” of the high priest was fastened with a beautifully woven girdle (Exodus 28:27-28) and had shoulder straps set in onyx stones, on which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes. Over the chest of the high priest was the breastplate, also containing twelve stones engraved with the tribal names. Rings attached it to the “ephod.” The Urim and Thummin were also linked to the breastplate.VED-OT Ephod.3

    Apparently, this “ephod” and attachments were prominently displayed in the sanctuary. David consulted the “ephod” to learn whether the people of Keilah would betray him to Saul (1 Samuel 23:9-12); no doubt the Urim and Thummim were used. The first biblical occurrence of the word refers to this high priestly ephod: “Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate” (Exodus 25:7). So venerated was this “ephod” that replicas were sometimes made (Judges 8:27; Judges 17:1-5) and even worshiped. Lesser priests (1 Samuel 2:28) and priestly trainees wore less elaborate “ephods” made of linen whenever they appeared before the altar.VED-OT Ephod.4

    ’Apuddah means “ephod; covering.” This word is a feminine form of 'êphôd (or 'ephod). The word occurs 3 times, first in Exodus 28:8: “And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of … gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.”VED-OT Ephod.5


    Mâlaṭ (מָלַט, Strong's #4422), “to escape, slip away, deliver, give birth.” This word is found in both ancient and modern Hebrew. Mâlaṭ occurs approximately 95 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. The word appears twice in the first verse in which it is found: “Flee for your life; … flee to the hills, lest you be consumed” (Genesis 19:17, RSV). Sometimes mâlaṭ is used in parallelism with $, “to flee” (1 Samuel 19:10), or with mâlaṭ, “to flee” (1 Samuel 19:12). The most common use of this word is to express the “escaping” from any kind of dangersuch as an enemy (Isaiah 20:6), a trap (2 Kings 10:24), or a temptress (Ecclesiastes 7:26). When Josiah’s reform called for burning the bones of false prophets, a special directive was issued to spare the bones of a true prophet buried at the same place: “… So they let his bones alone …” (2 Kings 23:18; literally, “they let his bones escape”). Mâlaṭ is used once in the sense of “delivering a child” (Isaiah 66:7).VED-OT Escape.2


    ‛Ereb (עֶרֶב, 6153), “evening, night.” The noun ‛ereb appears about 130 times and in all periods. This word represents the time of the day immediately preceding and following the setting of the sun. During this period, the dove returned to Noah’s ark (Genesis 8:11). Since it was cool, women went to the wells for water in the “evening” (Genesis 24:11). It was at “evening” that David walked around on top of his roof to refresh himself and cool off, and observed Bathsheba taking a bath (2 Samuel 11:2). In its first biblical appearance, ‛ereb marks the “opening of a day”: “And the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5). The phrase “between the evenings” means the period between sunset and darkness, “twilight” (Exodus 12:6; KJV, “in the evening”).VED-OT Evening.2

    Second, in a late poetical use, the word can mean “night”: “When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? And I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day” (Job 7:4).VED-OT Evening.3

    Ever, Everlasting

    ‛Ôlâm (עֹלָם, Strong's #5769), “eternity; remotest time; perpetuity.” This word has cognates in Ugaritic, Moabite, Phoenician, Aramaic, Arabic, and Akkadian. It appears about 440 times in biblical Hebrew and in all periods.First, in a few passages the word means “eternity” in the sense of not being limited to the present. Thus, in Ecclesiastes 3:11 we read that God had bound man to time and given him the capacity to live “above time” (i.e., to remember yesterday, plan for tomorrow, and consider abstract principles); yet He has not given him divine knowledge: “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”VED-OT Ever, Everlasting.2

    Second, the word signifies “remotest time” or “remote time.” In 1 Chronicles 16:36, God is described as blessed “from everlasting to everlasting” (KJV, “for ever and ever”), or from the most distant past time to the most distant future time. In passages where God is viewed as the One Who existed before the creation was brought into existence, ‛ôlâm (or ‛olam) may mean: (1) “at the very beginning”: “Remember the former things [the beginning things at the very beginning] of old: for I am God, and there is none else …” (Isaiah 46:9); or (2) “from eternity, from the pre-creation, till now”: “Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old [from eternity]” (Psalms 25:6). In other passages, the word means “from (in) olden times”: “… Mighty men which were of old, men of renown” (Genesis 6:4). In Isaiah 42:14, the word is used hyperbolically meaning “for a long time”: “I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself.…” This word may include all the time between the ancient beginning and the present: “The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied …” (Jeremiah 28:8). The word can mean “long ago” (from long ago): “For [long ago] I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands …” (Jeremiah 2:20). In Joshua 24:2, the word means “formerly; in ancient times.” The word is used in Jeremiah 5:15, where it means “ancient”: “Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the Lord: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation.…” When used with the negative, ‛ôlâm (or ‛olam) can mean “never”: “We are thine: thou never barest rule [literally, “not ruled from the most distant past”] over them …” (Isaiah 63:19). Similar meanings emerge when the word is used without a preposition and in a genitive relationship to some other noun.VED-OT Ever, Everlasting.3

    With the preposition ’ad, the word can mean “into the indefinite future”: “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord for ever” (Deuteronomy 23:3). The same construction can signify “as long as one lives”: “I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord, and there abide for everw (1 Samuel 1:22). This construction then sets forth an extension into the indefinite future, beginning from the time of the speaker. In the largest number of its occurrences, ‛ôlâm (or ‛olam) appears with the preposition le. This construction is weaker and less dynamic in emphasis than the previous phrase, insofar as it envisions a “simple duration.” This difference emerges in 1 Kings 2:33, where both phrases occur. Le‛ôlâm is applied to the curse set upon the dead Joab and his descendants. The other more dynamic phrase (‘ad ‛ôlâm), applied to David and his descendants, emphasizes the ever-continued, ever-acting presence of the blessing extended into the “indefinite future”: “Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever [le ‛ôlâm]: but upon David, and upon his seed, and upon his house, and upon his throne, shall there be peace for ever [‘ad ‛ôlâm] from the Lord.” In Exodus 21:6 the phrase le ‛ôlâm means “as long as one lives”: “… And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.” This phrase emphasizes “continuity,” “definiteness,” and “unchangeability.” This is its emphasis in Genesis 3:22, the first biblical occurrence of ‛ôlâm (or ‛olam): “… And now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.…”VED-OT Ever, Everlasting.4

    The same emphasis on “simple duration” pertains when ‛ôlâm (or ‛olam) is used in passages such as Psalms 61:8, where it appears by itself: “So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.” The parallelism demonstrates that ‛ôlâm (or ‛olam) means “day by day,” or “continually.” In Genesis 9:16, the word (used absolutely) means the “most distant future”: “And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature.…” In other places, the word means “without beginning, without end, and evercontinuing”: “Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:4).VED-OT Ever, Everlasting.5

    The plural of this word is an intensive form.VED-OT Ever, Everlasting.6

    Exalted, to Be

    A. Verb.VED-OT Exalted, to Be.2

    Rûm (רָמַם, Strong's #7311), “to be high, exalted.” This root also appears in Ugaritic (with the radicals r-m), Phoenician, Aramaic (including biblical Aramaic, 4 times), Arabic, and Ethiopic. In extra-biblical Aramaic, it appears as r’m. The word occurs in all periods of biblical Hebrew and about 190 times. Closely related is the rather rare (4 times) rmm, “to rise, go away from.”VED-OT Exalted, to Be.3

    Basically, rûm represents either the “state of being on a higher plane” or “movement in an upward direction.” The former meaning appears in the first biblical occurrence of the word: “And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lifted [rose] up above the earth” (Genesis 7:17). Used of men, this verb may refer to their “physical stature”; for example, the spies sent into Canaan reported that “the people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven …” (Deuteronomy 1:28). The second emphasis, representing what is done to the subject or what it does to itself, appears in Psalms 12:8: “The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.” The psalmist confesses that the Lord will “set me up upon a rock” so as to be out of all danger (Psalms 27:5). A stormy wind (Psalms 107:25) “lifts up” the waves of the sea. Rûm is used of the building of an edifice. Ezra confessed that God had renewed the people of Israel, allowing them “to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem” (Ezra 9:9; cf. Genesis 31:45). In Ezekiel 31:4, this verb is used of “making a plant grow larger”: “The waters made him [the cedar in Lebanon] great, the deep set him up on high.…” Since in Deuteronomy 1:28 |gadal(“larger”) and rûm (“taller”) are used in close connection, Ezekiel 31:4 could be translated: “The waters made it grow bigger, the deep made it grow taller.” Closely related to this nuance is the use of rûm to represent the process of child-rearing. God says through Isaiah: “… I have nourished [gadal] and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me” (Isaiah 1:2).VED-OT Exalted, to Be.4

    Rûm sometimes means “to take up away from,” as in Isaiah 57:14: “Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people.” When used in reference to offerings, the word signifies the “removal of a certain portion” (Leviticus 2:9). The presentation of the entire offering is also referred to as an “offering up” (Numbers 15:19).
    In extended applications, rûm has both negative and positive uses. Positively, this word can signify “to bring to a position of honor.” So God says: “Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high” (Isaiah 52:13). This same meaning occurs in 1 Samuel 2:7, where Hannah confessed: “The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.” Used in a negative sense, rûm eans “to be haughty”: “And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down” (2 Samuel 22:28).
    VED-OT Exalted, to Be.5

    Rûm is often used with other words in special senses. For example, to lift one’s voice is “to cry aloud.” Potiphar’s wife reported that when Joseph attacked her, she “raised” her voice screaming. These two words (rûm and “voice”) are used together to mean “with a loud voice” (Deuteronomy 27:14).VED-OT Exalted, to Be.6

    The raising of the hand serves as a symbol of power and strength and signifies being “mighty” or “triumphant”: “Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high [literally, “is raised”] …” (Deuteronomy 32:27). To raise one’s hand against someone is to rebel against him. Thus, “Jeroboam … lifted up his hand against the king” (1 Kings 11:26).VED-OT Exalted, to Be.7

    The raising of one’s horn suggests the picture of a wild ox standing in all its strength. This is a picture of “triumph” over one’s enemies: “My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies …” (1 Samuel 2:1). Moreover, horns symbolized the focus of one’s power. Thus, when one’s horn is “exalted,” one’s power is exalted. When one exalts another’s horn, he gives him “strength”: “… He [the Lord] shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed” (1 Samuel 2:10).VED-OT Exalted, to Be.8

    Raising one’s head may be a public gesture of “triumph and supremacy,” as in Psalms 110:7, where it is said that after defeating all His enemies the Lord will “lift up the head.” This nuance is sometimes used transitively, as when someone else lifts a person’s head. Some scholars suggest that in such cases the verb signifies the action of a judge who has pronounced an accused person innocent by raising the accused’s head. This phrase also came to signify “to mark with distinction,” “to give honor to,” or “to place in a position of strength”: “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter up of mine head” (Psalms 3:3).VED-OT Exalted, to Be.9

    To raise one’s eyes or heart is to be “proud” and “arrogant”: “Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 8:14).VED-OT Exalted, to Be.10

    B. Nouns.VED-OT Exalted, to Be.11

    Rûm (רֻם, Strong's #7312), “height; haughtiness.” This word occurs 6 times, and it means “height” in Proverbs 25:3. Rûm signifies “haughtiness” in Isaiah 2:11.VED-OT Exalted, to Be.12

    Mârôm (מָרוֹם, Strong's #4791), “higher plane; heighthigh social position.” Mârôm appears about 54 times in biblical Hebrew. It also is attested in Ugaritic and Old South Arabic. In its first biblical occurrence (Judges 5:18), mârôm means “a higher plane on the surface of the earth.” Job 16:19 and Isaiah 33:5 contain the word with the meaning of “the height” as the abode of God. Job 5:11 uses the word to refer to “a high social position.” Mârôm can also signify “self-exaltation” (2 Kings 19:22; Psalms 73:8).VED-OT Exalted, to Be.13


    A. Adverb. VED-OT Exceedingly.2

    Me'ôd (מְאֹד, Strong's #3966), “exceedingly; very; greatly; highly.” This word occurs about 300 times and in all periods of biblical Hebrew. A verb with a similar basic semantic range appears in Akkadian, Ugaritic, and Arabic. “Me'ôd functions adverbially, meaning “very.” The more superlative emphasis appears in Genesis 7:18, where the word is applied to the “amount (quantity)” of a thing: “And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth.…” In Psalms 47:9, me'ôd is used of “magnifying” and “exaltation”: “… For the shields of the earth belong unto God; he is greatly exalted.” The doubling of the word is a means of emphasizing its basic meaning, which is “very much”: “And the waters prevailed exceedingly (NASB, “more and more”) upon the earth …” (Genesis 7:19).VED-OT Exceedingly.3

    B. Noun. VED-OT Exceedingly.4

    Me'ôd (מְאֹד, Strong's #3966), “might.” This word is used substantively in the sequence “heart … soul … might”: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:5).VED-OT Exceedingly.5


    ‛Ayin (עַיִן, 5869), “eye; well; surface; appearance; spring.” ‛Ayin has cognates in Ugaritic, Akkadian, Aramaic, and other Semitic languages. It occurs about 866 times and in all periods of biblical Hebrew (5 times in biblical Aramaic).VED-OT Eye.2

    First, the word represents the bodily part, “eye.” In Genesis 13:10, ‛ayin is used of the “human eye”: “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan.…” It is also used of the “eyes” of animals (Genesis 30:41), idols (Psalms 115:5), and God (Deuteronomy 11:12— anthropomorphism). The expression “between the eyes” means “on the forehead”: “And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in thy mouth …” (Exodus 13:9). “Eyes” are used as typical of one’s “weakness” or “hurt”: “And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said …” (Genesis 27:1). The “apple of the eye” is the central component, the iris: “Keep me as the apple of the eye” (Psalms 17:8). “Eyes” might be a special feature of “beauty”: “Now he was ruddy, and withal [fair of eyes], and goodly to look to” (1 Samuel 16:12).VED-OT Eye.3

    ‛Ayin is often used in connection with expressions of “seeing”: “And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you” (Genesis 45:12). The expression “to lift up one’s eyes” is explained by a verb following it: one lifts up his eyes to do something—whatever the verb stipulates (cf. Genesis 13:10). “Lifting up one’s eyes” may also be an act expressing “desire,” “longing,” “devotion”: “And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife [looked with desire at] Joseph …” (Genesis 39:7). The “eyes” may be used in gaining or seeking a judgment, in the sense of “seeing intellectually,” “making an evaluation,” or “seeking an evaluation or proof of faithfulness”: “And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him” (Genesis 44:21).VED-OT Eye.4

    “Eyes” sometimes show mental qualities, such as regret: “Also regard not [literally, “do not let your eye look with regret upon”] your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours” (Genesis 45:20). “Eyes” are used figuratively of mental and spiritual abilities, acts and states. So the “opening of the eyes” in Genesis 3:5 (the first occurrence) means to become autonomous by setting standards of good and evil for oneself. In passages such as Proverbs 4:25, “eye” represents a moral faculty: “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.” Proverbs 23:6 uses the word of a moral state (literally“evil eye”): “Eat thou not the bread of [a selfish man], neither desire thou his dainty meats.” An individual may serve as a guide, or one’s “eyes”: “And he said, Leave us not, I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes” (Numbers 10:31).VED-OT Eye.5

    The phrase, “in the eye of,” means “in one’s view or opinion”: “And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes” (Genesis 16:4).VED-OT Eye.6

    Another phrase, “from the eyes of,” may signify that a thing or matter is “hidden” from one’s knowledge: “And a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and [she be undetected] …” (Numbers 5:13).VED-OT Eye.7

    In Exodus 10:5, the word represents the “visible surface of the earth”: “And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth.…” Leviticus 13:5 uses ‛ayin to represent “one’s appearance”: “And the priest shall look on him the seventh day: and behold, if the plague in his sight be at a stay [NASB, “if in his eyes the infection has not changed”].…” A “gleam or sparkle” is described in the phrase, “to give its eyes,” in passages such as Proverbs 23:31: “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color [gives its eyes] in the cup.…”VED-OT Eye.8

    ‛Ayin also represents a “spring” (literally, an “eye of the water”): “And the angel of the Lord found her by a spring [KJV, “fountain”] of water in the wilderness, by the spring [KJV, “fountain”] on the way to Shur” (Genesis 16:7).VED-OT Eye.9

    Ma‛yân (מַעְיָנָה, Strong's #4599), “spring.” This word appears 23 times in the Old Testament. In Leviticus 11:36, ma‛yân means “spring”: “Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcase shall be unclean.” Another example is found in Genesis 7:11: “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, … the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.”VED-OT Eye.10

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