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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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(1) Usually ( ים , yām ), "sea" because the Mediterranean lies to the West of Palestine; not usually in figurative expressions; but compare Hosea 11:10 . (2) Often (מערב , ma‛ărābh ); compare Arabic (gharb ), and (maghrib ), "west" (maghrib -ush -shems ), or simply (maghrib ), "sunset." (3) (השׁמשׁ מבוא , mebhō' ha -shemesh ), "entrance of the sun," (מבוא , mābhō' , root בּוא , bō' ), "to come in." (Just as מזרח , mizrāḥ , is the rising of the sun, or east, so מבוא , mābhō' (or מערב , ma‛ărābh , is the setting of the sun, or west: "From the rising of the sun (mizraḥ -shemesh ) unto the going down (mābhō' ) thereof" (Psalm 50:1 ; compare Psalm 113:3 ; Malachi 1:11 ).) (4) (δυσμή , dusmḗ , from δύω , dúō ), "to enter," "sink," "set." The Greek usage is parallel to the Hebrew just cited: "Many shall come from the east anatolḗ , "rising") and the west" (dusmḗ , "setting") (Matthew 8:11 ).

The chief figurative use of the word "west" is in combination with "east" to denote great or infinite distance, as:

"As far as the east is from the west,

So far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12 ).

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'West'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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