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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words

Marvelous, to Be

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A. Verb.

Pâlâ' (פָּלָא, Strong's #6381), “to be marvelous, be extraordinary, be beyond one’s power to do, do wonderful acts.” As can be seen from the suggested meanings, this verb is not easy to define. As a denominative verb, it is based on the noun for “wonder, marvel,” so it expresses the idea of doing or making a wondrous thing. Found in both biblical and modern Hebrew, pâlâ' occurs some 70 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. The verb is found for the first time in Gen. 18:14: “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?”

Pâlâ' is used primarily with God as its subject, expressing actions that are beyond the bounds of human powers or expectations. This idea is well expressed by the psalmist: “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes” (Ps. 118:23). Deliverance from Egypt was the result of God’s wondrous acts: “And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in [it] …” (Exod. 3:20). Praise is constantly due God for all His wonderful deeds (Ps. 9:1). At the same time, God does not require anything of His people that is too hard for them (Deut. 30:11). Although something may appear impossible to man, it still is within God’s power: “If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in mine eyes? saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 8:6).

B. Noun.

Pele' (פֶּלֶא, Strong's #6382), “wonder; marvel.” This noun frequently expresses the “wonder,” the extraordinary aspects, of God’s dealings with His people (Exod. 15:11; Ps. 77:11; Isa. 29:14). The messianic title, “marvel of a counselor” (Isa. 9:6; KJV, RSV, “wonderful counselor”), points toward God’s Anointed continuing the marvelous acts of God.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Marvelous, to Be'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/vot/m/marvelous-to-be.html. 1940.

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