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Bible Dictionaries
Remainder; Remnant

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words

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A. Nouns.

Yether (יֶתֶר, Strong's #3499), “remainder; remnant.” Yether appears 94 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. The word occurs mainly (about 45 times) in the historical books in the stereotype phrase “the rest of the acts,” as in “And the rest of the acts of Solomon [the events of Solomon’s reign], and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the Book of the Acts of Solomon?” (1 Kings 11:41). In these verses, yether is used to refer to those events which have not been included in the works of the biblical historiographers.

The more general meaning of yether is “whatever remains”: the prey (Num. 31:32); the giants (Deut. 3:11); the kingdom (Josh. 13:27); and the people (Judg. 7:6). A good illustration is found in Joel’s teaching on the locusts: “That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten” (Joel 1:4).

The prophets used she’erit as a technical term for “the remnant of Israel.” They predicted that after the Exile a “remnant” of God-fearing people would return to the land (cf. Hag. 2:2-3). Few prophets (Micah; Zeph. 2:9) employ yether for this purpose: “Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant [yether] of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel” (Mic. 5:3).

The Septuagint translations are: loipos (“remaining; rest; remainder”) and kataloipos (“what is left; remaining”).

Several other nouns which appear infrequently are related to yether. Yoter (“advantage; excess; over,”) can be found in Eccl. 6:8: “For what advantage does the wise man have over the fool?” (NASB). Yitron means “abundance” or “riches” and occurs only in Jer. 48:36. Yoteret can refer to “advantage, gain, profit,” and this word appears only in Ecclesiastes (cf. Eccl. 1:3; 2:11). Yoteret, “appendage of the liver,” occurs about 10 times (cf. Exod. 29:13, 22; Lev. 3:4, 10, 15). Motar, which means “abundance, superiority, profit,” is found in Prov. 14:23. See also REMNANT.

B. Verb.

Yâthar (יָתַר, 3498), “to be superfluous.” This verb is related to other Semitic languages, where the root yâthar/wâthar signifies the state of abundance (Ugaritic, Phoenician, Arabic). In Hebrew many forms are derived from the verb yâthar. The word occurs about 107 times, once in Dan. 10:13: “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.”

Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Remainder; Remnant'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​vot/​r/remainder-remnant.html. 1940.
 
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