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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Lack

(forms of חסר , ḥāṣēr , "to lack," אין , 'ayin , "nought"): This word in its various forms has the usual meaning of "want," "need," "deficiency." There is but little change in the use of the word in the different versions. Sometimes one of the common synonyms is exchanged for the word itself, e.g. in the Old Testament, 1 Samuel 21:15 the Revised Version (British and American) has "lack" ("Do I lack madmen?") where the King James Version has "need of"; Proverbs 5:23 , "for lack," instead of "without"; Proverbs 6:32 , "void of" for "lacketh"; Proverbs 10:21 , "lack" for "want"; Proverbs 31:11 , "lack" for "need"; Isaiah 59:15 , "lacking" for "faileth." In the New Testament "lack" is the translation of ὑστερέω , husteréō , literally, "to be behind," and ἐνδεής , endeḗs , "in want." In Luke 8:6 , the Revised Version (British and American) reads "had no" instead of "lacked" in the King James Version. In 2 Corinthians 11:9 , the Revised Version gives "my want" for "which was lacking to me" in the King James Version; in Colossians 1:24 "that which is lacking" for "that which is behind"; James 2:15 "lack" for "destitute." It will readily be seen that sometimes the slight variation helps to explain the meaning.

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Lack'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/l/lack.html. 1915.

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