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Remove, Depart

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words

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A. Verb.

Nâśâ' (נָסָה, Strong's #5375), “to remove, depart, carry away.” This verb occurs in all Semitic languages including biblical Aramaic and in all periods of Hebrew. The Bible attests this Hebrew word about 650 times.

The meaning “to lift up” or “to bear” is seen, for example, in Gen. 7:17 (the first occurrence of this word), where it is reported that the waters “lifted up” the ark. A special use of this emphasis occurs in Job 6:2, where Job prays that his trouble be laid (“lifted up”) in the balances because he believes his trouble far outweighs his sin. Then there is the sense “to bear up” or “to support,” as a loaded donkey “bears up” his load (Gen. 45:23). Then, too, nâśhâ' can be used of bearing something away—David and his men “took away” the abandoned Philistine idols; they lifted them up, bore them, and carried them away (2 Sam. 5:21, RSV). This same nuance is applied to marriage, or taking a wife (Ruth 1:4). The same expression means to steal (or plunder) a wife (Judg. 21:23). The phrase “lift up … heads” sometimes means “to take a census” (KJV, “to number”)—the Lord told Moses to “lift up” the heads of the sons of Israel (Exod. 30:12). This latest phrase may well be an evidence of direct influence from the Akkadian language.

Often nâśâ' is used as a part of a gesture— for example, “to lift up” one’s hand. This gesture can be hostile (2 Sam. 20:21), a part of taking an oath (Exod. 6:8), something done while praying (Ps. 28:9) and signaling (Isa. 49:22). “To lift up the head” can mean to be or declare independence in power and control (Judg. 8:28). The same phrase can be used of being free (2 Kings 25:27; cf. Gen. 40:13), while losing one’s head can mean dying (cf. Gen. 40:19). To “lift one’s face” means to be able to look someone straight in the eye, to have a clear conscience toward someone or with reference to something (2 Sam. 2:22), or to anticipate that things will go well (Job 22:26). God says He will “accept” Lot’s request; He reassures Lot that things will go the way he wants them to (Gen. 19:21). This phrase can mean “to be well disposed toward” or “to respect” (2 Kings 3:14), and “to be biased in favor of” (Job 13:8). God’s “raising His face on one” means that He will show one His favor (Num. 6:26). To raise one’s eyes is to see (Gen. 13:10) and to lust for someone (Gen. 39:7).

Nâśâ' can also be used with words for sounds and verbal communication. “To lift” one’s voice often means to wail (Gen. 21:16). It can also mean to call out loudly (Judg. 9:7), to speak (a proverb; Num. 23:7), to declare (an oracle; 2 Kings 9:25), to slander (Ps. 15:3), to carry (a false rumor; Exod. 23:1), and to speak a name (Exod. 20:7).

This verb can be used with “soul,” in the sense “to lift up” one’s soul. This means “to hand oneself over to” or “to be dependent on” something—the poor man “lifts up his soul” to his wages (Deut. 24:15).

Sometimes nâśâ' means “to support”—Gen. 13:6 says the land could not support, or provide enough sustenance for, Abraham’s and Lot’s parties. The Bible speaks of bearing sin and iniquity in Exod. 28:38, where it is said that Aaron “may bear the iniquity of the holy things”; the sin of the holy things will be on Aaron, who is “holy to the Lord” (v. 36). In Gen. 18:24 Abraham pleads with God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah and to bear away the sin of the place.

B. Nouns.

Nâśı̂y' (נָשִׁא, Strong's #5387), "(elected) chief.” This noun appears 130 times, and it refers to one lifted up publicly: “… Twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation” (Gen. 17:20; cf. Num. 1:44).
Several other related nouns occur less frequently. Massa’ appears 45 times as “load” or “bearing” (Num. 11:11) and 21 times as “utterance” (2 Kings 9:25). Mas’et, which occurs 16 times, refers to the “action of lifting up” (cf. Ps. 141:2) and to “something lifted up” (Gen. 43:34). Se’et occurs 14 times, with 2 senses: (1) a “lifting up,” such as an “uprising” (Job 41:25), and “dignity” (Gen. 49:3); and (2) something that is “lifted up,” such as a swelling or blotch (Lev. 13:2). Nesi’im occurs 4 times with the meaning “damp, fog, hovering clouds” (Jer. 10:13). Both massa’ah (Isa. 30:27) and si’ (Job 20:6) occur only once.

Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Remove, Depart'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​vot/​r/remove-depart.html. 1940.
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