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Cunning

CUNNING

kun'-ing (chakham, chashabh):

In Bible-English "cunning" means always "wise" or "skilful"; the word does not occur in the bad sense, and it is found in the Old Testament only. The chief Hebrew words are chakham, "wise," "skilful" (2 Chronicles 2:7 the King James Version "a man cunning to work in gold"; 2 Chronicles 2:13; Isaiah 3:3 the King James Version, etc.); chashabh, "to think," "devise," "desire" (Exodus 26:1,31; 28:6,15 the King James Version, etc.). We have also da`ath, "knowledge" (1 Kings 7:14 the King James Version); bin, "to be intelligent" (1 Chronicles 25:7 the King James Version); machasbebheth, "thought," "device," "design" (Exodus 31:4; 35:33,15 the King James Version); 'aman, "artificer" (Song of Solomon 7:1 the King James Version); yadha`, "to know," once translated "cunning" (Daniel 1:4 the King James Version).

For cunning the American Standard Revised Version gives "skilful" (Exodus 31:4, etc.; Isaiah 3:3 "expert"); for "cunning work" the work of the "skilful workman" (Exodus 26:1,31, etc., the English Revised Version "cunning workman"); for "curious," "skilfully woven," the English Revised Version "cunningly woven" (Exodus 28:8, etc.).

W. L. Walker


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