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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words

Field

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Śâdeh (שָׂדַי, Strong's #7704), “field; country; domain [of a town].” Śâdeh has cognates in Akkadian, Phoenician, Ugaritic, and Arabic. It appears in biblical Hebrew about 320 times and in all periods.

This word often represents the “open field” where the animals roam wild. That is its meaning in its first biblical appearance: “And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth …” (Gen. 2:5). Thus, “Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents” (Gen. 25:27). A city in the “open field” was unfortified; David wisely asked Achish for such a city, showing that he did not intend to be hostile (1 Sam. 27:5). Dwelling in an unfortified city meant exposure to attack.

Śâdeh represents the “fields surrounding a town” (Josh. 21:12; cf. Neh. 11:25). “Arable land,” land that is either cultivated or to be cultivated, is also signified by śâdeh: “If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which is in the end of his field …” (Gen. 23:8-9). The entirety of one’s cultivated or pasture land is called his “field”: “And the king [David] said unto him [Mephibosheth], Why speakest thou any more of thy matters? I have said, Thou and Ziba divide the land [previously owned by Saul]” (2 Sam. 19:29).

Sometimes particular sections of land are identified by name: “And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre …” (Gen. 23:19).

Śâdeh (שָׂדַי, Strong's #7704), “open field.” Śâdeh occurs 12 times, only in poetical passages. Deut. 32:13 is the first biblical appearance: “He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; …”

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

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