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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Naught

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NAUGHT. ‘Naught’ is ‘nothing’ (from A.S. na ‘not,’ and wiht ‘a whit or a thing’). Sometimes the spelling became ‘nought’ (perhaps under the influence of ‘ought’). In the earliest editions of AV [Note: Authorized Version.] there is no difference between ‘naught’ and ‘nought’; but in the ed. of 1638 a difference was introduced, ‘naught’ being used in 2 Kings 2:19 , Proverbs 20:14 , because there the meaning is ‘bad’; ‘nought’ everywhere else, but with the meaning ‘worthlessness.’ This distinction was preserved by Scrivener, in his Cambr. Par. Bible , and is found in most modern English Bibles.

‘Naughty,’ however, is simply ‘worthless,’ as Jeremiah 24:2 ‘very naughty figs.’ But ‘ naughtiness ’ always means ‘wickedness,’ as Proverbs 11:6 ‘transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.’

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Naught'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/n/naught.html. 1909.

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