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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words

Buy, Acquire

Qânâh (קָנָה, Strong's #7069), “to get, acquire, create, buy.” A common Semitic word, qânâh is found in ancient and modern Hebrew and in ancient Akkadian and Ugaritic. It occurs in the text of the Hebrew Old Testament 84 times. The first occurrence of qânâh in the Old Testament is in Gen. 4:1: “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” In this passage, qânâh expresses a basic meaning of God’s “creating” or “bringing into being,” so Eve is really saying, “I have created a man-child with the help of the Lord.” This meaning is confirmed in Gen. 14:19, 22 where both verses refer to God as “creator of heaven and earth” (KJV, NASB, “possessor”; RSV, “maker”).

In Deut. 32:6, God is called the “father” who “created” Israel; a father begets or “creates,” rather than “acquires” children. In the Wisdom version of the Creation story (Prov. 8:22-36), Wisdom herself states that “the Lord created me at the beginning of his work” (RSV, NEB, JB, TEV). “Possessed” (KJV, NASB) is surely not as appropriate in such a context.

When the Psalmist says to God, “Thou didst form my inward parts” (Ps. 139:13, RSV) he surely meant “create” (JB).

Qânâh is used several times to express God’s redeeming activity in behalf of Israel, again reflecting “creativity” rather than “purchase.” Exod. 15:16 is better translated, “… Thy people … whom thou hast created,” rather than “thou hast purchased” (RSV). See also Ps. 74:2; 78:54.

The meaning “to buy” is expressed by qânâh frequently in contexts where one person makes a purchase agreement with another. The word is used to refer to “buying” a slave (Exod. 21:2) and land (Gen. 47:20).

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Buy, Acquire'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/vot/b/buy-acquire.html. 1940.

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