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Bible Lexicons

Girdlestone's Synonyms of the Old TestamentGirdlestone's OT Synonyms


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The idea of amendment or improvement has been sanctioned by our translators in a few passages in 2 Chronicles 34:10, where we read of the amending of the House of the Lord, the Hebrew word is Chazak, to be strong in Jeremiah 7:3; Jeremiah 7:5; Jeremiah 26:13; Jeremiah 35:15 ('Amend your ways'), we find Yathav (יטב ), to make good. this word is used in a great variety of senses in the O.T. Thus it is said that 'God saw all that be had made, and behold it was very good,' Genesis 1:31; in Exodus 2:9, Moses is called 'a goodly child ;' the tents of Israel too are called 'goodly,' Numbers 24:5; it is used of a beautiful woman, 2 Samuel 11:2; of the fair daughters of men, Genesis 6:2; of fair houses, Isaiah 5:9; of precious ointment, Psalms 133:2, Ecclesiastes 7:1; of the idol ready for the sodering, Isaiah 41:7; of welfare, Nehemiah 2:10; of prosperity, Deuteronomy 23:6, Zechariah 1:17; of wealth, Job 21:13; of a good dowry, Genesis 30:20; of the tree which was good for food, Genesis 3:6; and of a merry heart, 1 Samuel 25:36. The thought to be gathered from a consideration of these passages is that goodness is not an absolute moral quality, but signifies that which is agreeable or pleasing, whether to God or man. Hence the verb is rendered to please, or to be pleasant in one's eyes, e.g. Nehemiah 2:6, Psalms 69:31; to find favour, 1 Samuel 2:26; 1 Samuel 29:6; to be accepted, Leviticus 10:19,1 Samuel 18:5. If this view be correct, we are to understand that when Jeremiah says 'amend your ways,' he does not mean 'improve them' in the abstract, or with relation to what they were before; but rather, 'make your course suc has is agreeable to God, and do what is well pleasing in his sight.'

There are several renderings for this word in the LXX, but ἀγαθός, καλός, and χρηστός are the most common. Αγαθός is generally but not always used of moral goodness, as opposed to πονηρία, wickedness, in the N.T., but the idea of what is pleasant in God's sight is implied in the case of the word καλός, the elements of fairness and nobleness underlie the idea of goodness.

Where χρηστός is used in the N.T., the idea of kindness or kindliness is specially introduced. Thus where the Lord says ὁ ζυγός μου χρηστός (Matthew 11:30), we might render his words 'my yoke is kindly' - something more than easy; it is grateful to the spiritual sense of the converted man. So of wine, we may read in Luke 5:39, 'The old is more kindly;' Luke 6:35, 'He is kind to the unthankful;' Romans 2:4, 'The kindness of God leadeth them to repentance;' 1 Corinthians 15:33, 'Evil communications corrupt kindly manners;' 1 Peter 2:3, 'If so be that ye have tasted that the Lord is kind' (quoted from Psalms 34:8).

Bibilography Information
Girdlestone, Robert Baker. Entry for 'Amendment'. Synonyms of the Old Testament. https://www.studylight.org/​lexicons/​eng/​girdlestone/​amendment.html.
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