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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words

Might

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Gebûrâh (גְּבֻרָה, Strong's #1369), “might.” This noun is found 61 times in the Hebrew Old Testament, predominantly in poetic books and in Isaiah and Jeremiah. The first occurrence is in Exod. 32:18: “And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.”

The primary meaning of gebûrâh is “power” or “strength.” Certain animals are known for their “strength,” such as horses (Ps. 147:10) and crocodiles (Job 41:4). Man also demonstrates “might” in heroic acts (Judg. 8:21) and in war (Isa. 3:25). David’s powerful regime is expressed as a “kingship of geburah" (1 Chron. 29:30; KJV, “his reign and his might”). Since both physical strength and wisdom were necessary for leadership, these two qualities are joined together: “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength” (Prov. 8:14). Also Micah, being filled with the Holy Spirit, said: “But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin” (Mic. 3:8). In messianic expectations the prophets projected the Messiah’s special role as a demonstration of “might” and counsel: “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord” (Isa. 11:2).

The Psalms ascribe “might” to God. These characterizations are found either in the context of “praise”: “… which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power” (Ps. 65:6), or in the context of prayer: “Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength” (Ps. 54:1). The Lord’s “might” is a manifestation of His wisdom: “With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding” (Job 12:13). In the plural geburah denotes God’s mighty deeds of the past: “O Lord God, thou hast begun to show thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?” (Deut. 3:24).

The Septuagint gives the following translations: dunasteis (“ruler, sovereign; court official”); ischus (“strength; power; might”); and dunamis (“power; strength; might; ability; capability”). The KJV gives these senses: “might; strength; power; mighty acts.”

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Might'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/vot/m/might.html. 1940.

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