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Ancient

ANCIENT

an'-shent:

This word renders several Hebrew words:

(1) qedhem, which denotes "beforetime," "yore"; generally the remote past (compare Deuteronomy 33:15, "ancient mountains"; Judges 5:21, Kishon, the "ancient river"; Isaiah 19:11 "ancient kings").

(2) zaqen, "old" in years. Whereas the King James Version generally renders the word by "old" (or "elders" when the plural form is found) in six cases "ancient" is used and "ancients" in nine cases. See ANCIENTS.

(3) `olam, which denotes "long duration" --past or future. In regard to the past it suggests remote antiquity. The connotation may be discovered in such expressions as:

"the years of ancient times" (Psalms 77:5); "ancient land-mark" or "paths" (Proverbs 22:28; Jeremiah 18:15); "ancient people" or "nation" (Isaiah 44:7; Jeremiah 5:15); "ancient high places" (Ezekiel 36:2).

(4) `attiq. This word--really Aramaic--comes from a stem which means "to advance," i.e. in age; hence old, aged (1 Chronicles 3:22).

(5) yashish, literally, "weak," "impotent," hence decrepit aged; a rare and poetical word, and found only in Job. It is rendered "ancient" only in one instance (Job 12:12 the King James Version).

Thomas Lewis


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