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Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words


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râtsâh (רָצָה, Strong's #7521), “to be pleased, be pleased with, accept favorably, satisfy.” This is a common term in both biblical and modern Hebrew. Found approximately 60 times in the text of the Old Testament, one of its first appearances is in Gen. 33:10: “Thou wast pleased with me.” In the RSV rendering of this verse, “favor” appears twice, the first time being a translation of chen.

When râtsâh expresses God’s being pleased with someone, the English versions often translate it as “be delighted,” which seems to reflect a sense of greater pleasure: “… mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth” (Isa. 42:1); “… thou hadst a favor unto them” (Ps. 44:3). This nuance is reflected also in Prov. 3:12, where râtsâh is paralleled with ‛ahab “to love”: “… for whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”

On the other hand, when one must meet a certain requirement to merit râtsâh it seems more logical to translate it with “to please” or “to accept.” For example: “Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams …?” (Mic. 6:7); “… burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them …” (Amos 5:22).

râtsâh can be used in the sense of “to pay for” or “to satisfy a debt,” especially as it relates to land lying fallow in the sabbath years: “Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, … even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths” (Lev. 26:34). Here the RSV, NASB, and NEB also translate râtsâh as “enjoy.” However, the context seems to require something like “the land shall repay (satisfy) its sabbaths.” Similarly, the phrase, “… her iniquity is pardoned” (Isa. 40:2), must mean “her iniquity is paid for” or “her punishment is accepted as satisfactory.”

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Accept'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words. 1940.

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