Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words

Take Away

A. Verbs.

Lâqach (לָקַח, Strong's #3947), “to take, receive, take away.” This word occurs in all Semitic languages and in all periods of Hebrew. It occurs about 965 times in the Old Testament.

Primarily this word means “to take, grasp, take hold of,” as when Noah reached out and “took hold of” the dove to bring it back into the ark (Gen. 8:9). A secondary meaning is “to take away, remove, take to oneself,” as when the invading kings “took away” and “took to themselves” all the movable goods of the cities of the plain (Gen. 14:11). Sometimes this verb implies “to receive something from someone.” So Abraham asks Ephron the Hittite to “receive from” his hand payment for the field which contained the sepulchre (Gen. 23:13). With the particle “for” lâqach means “to take someone or something,” as when Joseph’s brothers remarked that they were afraid he was scheming “to take” them to be slaves, mentioned in Gen. 43:18. Another secondary use of this word is “to transfer” a thing, concept, or emotion, such as “take vengeance” (Isa. 47:3), “receive reproach” (Ezek. 36:30), and “receive a [whisper]” (Job 4:12). In other passages this verb is virtually a helping verb serving to prepare for an action stipulated in a subsequent verb; God “took” Adam and put him into the garden of Eden (Gen. 2:15—the first occurrence of the verb). Finally, this word can be used elliptically, suggesting the phrase “take and bring,” but only “taken” is written. Noah is told to “take” (and bring) clean animals by sevens into the ark (Gen. 7:2).

This verb is used of God in several connections. Sometimes God is pictured as having bodily parts (anthropomorphically). This is the implication of Gen. 2:15, where the Lord “took” Adam and put him into Eden. God’s taking sometimes connotes election, as when He “took” Abraham from his father’s house (Gen. 24:7). He also “takes” in the sense of taking to Himself or accepting. Thus, He “accepts” offerings (Judg. 13:23) and prayers (Ps. 6:9). God “takes away” in judgment David’s wives (2 Sam. 12:11) and the kingdom (1 Kings 11:34)

Of special interest is the use of the verb in the absolute sense: God “took away” Enoch so that he was not found on earth (Gen. 5:24). This meaning of receiving one into heaven to Himself seems to be the force of Ps. 73:24 and perhaps of Ps. 49:15.

Lâkad (לָכַד, Strong's #3920), “to capture; seize; take captive.” This term is found in both ancient and modern Hebrew. It occurs about 120 times in biblical Hebrew and is found for the first time in the text in Num. 21:32, where the Israelites are said to have taken the villages of the Amorites.

The act of “capturing, seizing” is usually connected with fighting wars or battles, so a variety of objects may be tken. Cities are often “captured” in war (Josh. 8:21; 10:1; Judg. 1:8, 12). Land or territory also is taken as booty of war (Josh. 10:42; Dan. 11:18). Strategic geographic areas such as watercourses “are captured” (Judg. 3:28). Sometimes kings and princes “are seized” in battle (Judg. 7:25; 8:12, 14), as well as fighting men and horses (2 Sam. 8:4). Saul is spoken of as actually taking the kingdom, apparently by force of arms (1 Sam. 14:47). In establishing the source of Israel’s defeat by Ai, lots were used “to take or separate” the guilty party, Achan and his family (Josh. 7:14).

Occasionally lâkad is used in the figurative sense, especially in terms of men “being caught” in the trap of divine judgment (Ps. 9:15; Isa. 8:15; 24:18).

B. Nouns.

Leqach (לֶקַח, Strong's #3948), “teaching; instruction; persuasiveness; understanding.” The word is used in the sense of something taken in. This noun occurs 9 times in the Old Testament, several times in Proverbs. One occurrence is in Prov. 1:5: “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning.…” The word refers to “persuasiveness” in Prov. 7:21.

Several other nouns are related to leqach. Malqoach refers to “things taken in warfare,” and it appears 7 times (Num. 31:32). Malqoach also means “jaws” once (Ps. 22:15). Melqachayim refers to “snuffers” (Exod. 37:23), and it is found 6 times. Miqqach occurs once to mean “taking” (2 Chron. 19:7). Maqqachot means “wares” once (Neh. 10:31).

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

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