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Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words

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A. Verb.

Qârab (קָרַב, Strong's #7126), “to offer, come near, approach.” This word appears in nearly all branches of the Semitic languages from the earliest times and at all periods. Hebrew also attests the verb at all periods and about 295 times. (It appears 9 times in biblical Aramaic.)

In general qârab signifies “approach or coming near someone or something” apart from any sense of intimacy. In Gen. 12:11 (the first biblical occurrence) the word is used of spatial proximity, of being spatially close to something: “And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife.…” Usually the word represents being so close to something (or someone) that the subject can see (Exod. 32:19), speak to (Num. 9:6), or even touch (Exod. 36:2) the object or person in question. This verb also is used of temporal nearness, in the sense that something is about to occur. Qârab can be used of the imminence of joyous occasions, such as religious feasts: “Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand …” (Deut. 15:9). The word is also used of the imminence of foreboding events: “… Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand [literally, “my father will soon die”] …” (Gen. 27:41)

. Qârab is used in a number of technical senses. In all these instances personal involvement is suggested; the idea is not simply being close to something (someone) but being actively and personally involved with it (him). In military contexts the word signifies armed conflict. In Deut. 2:37 the Lord commended Israel because “unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not.” Yet in Deut. 2:19 He allowed them to “come nigh” that land: “And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them.…” The later passage (Deut. 2:37) uses the word technically, to close in battle. Therefore, Israel did not come close to the land of Ammon; they did not close in battle with them (cf. Josh. 8:5). In some passages this martial coloring is not immediately obvious to the casual reader but is nonetheless present: “When the wicked … came upon me to eat up my flesh …” (Ps. 27:2). Ps. 27:3 (“though a host should encamp against me”) substantiates that this use of the verb is “to close in battle” (cf. Ps. 91:10; 119:150).

Qârab is used technically of having sexual relations. In Gen. 20:4 before Abimelech states his innocence with regard to Sarah we read he “had not come near her” (cf. Deut. 22:14; Isa. 8:3).

In another technical use the word represents every step one performs in presenting his offering and worship to God. This idea first appears in Exod. 3:5 where God tells Moses not to “draw near” before removing his sandals. Later Israel’s meeting with God’s representative was a drawing near to God (Exod. 16:9). At Sinai they drew near to receive God’s law (Deut. 5:23, 27). In the causative stem the verb often represents the sacrificial presentation of offerings (Lev. 1:14) through the priests (Lev. 1:5) to the Lord (Lev. 1:13).

Israel also came near the Lord’s representative in serious legal cases so that God the great King and Judge could render a decision (Josh. 7:14). In the eschaton all peoples are to gather before God; they are “to come near” Him to hear and receive His judgment (Isa. 41:1; 48:16).

B. Nouns.

Qorbân (קֻרְבָּן, Strong's #7133), “offering; oblation.” This noun occurs about 80 times in biblical Hebrew. The word is also found in Ethiopic and old South Arabic. The first occurrence of the word is used of an “offering” presented as a sacrifice: “If any man of you bring an offering unto the Lord, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock” (Lev. 1:2).

Some other related nouns appear less frequently: qarob, “neighbor” (Exod. 32:27); qirbah occurs twice with the meaning of drawing near to worship God and offer sacrifice (Ps. 73:28; Isa. 58:2); qurban, which appears twice, means “supply, offering” (Neh. 10:35; 13:31)— it appears to be a late pronunciation of qorbân! The word qerab, which appears 8 times, is an Aramaic loan word; it means “war, battle,” or the actual engaging in battle (Ps. 55:18).

C. Adjectives.

Qârôb (קָרֹב, Strong's #7138), “near.” This word occurs about 77 times. Qârôb can represent nearness in space (Gen. 19:20—the first biblical occurrence) and an epistemological nearness (Deut. 30:14). The adjective also appears in Ezek. 6:12: “He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword.…”

The adjective qâreb parallels qârôb in meaning. Qâreb, which occurs 11 times, means “near”; it represents intimate proximity (usually in a cultic context referring to cultic activity). One appearance is in Ezek. 45:4: “The holy portion of the land shall be for the priests the ministers of the sanctuary, which shall come near to minister unto the Lord.…”

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