(1) The uses of the simple verb in English Versions of the Bible are nearly all good modern English. In Isaiah 5:2, however, "He looked that it should bring forth grapes"--"look" is used in the sense of "expect." Compare the King James Version of Sirach 20:14; Acts 28:6, "They looked when he should have swollen" (the Revised Version (British and American) "They expected that he would have swollen"). In 1 Macc 4:54, the King James Version has inserted "look" (omitted in the Revised Version (British and American)) as a simple interjection, without a corresponding word in the Greek
(2) "Look upon" means "fix one's attention on," and is often so used in English Versions of the Bible without further significance (Ecclesiastes 2:11; Luke 22:56, etc.); but in 2 Chronicles 24:22 the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), "Yahweh look upon it" means "remember." However, continual attention given to an object usually denotes that pleasure is found in it, and from this fact such uses as those of Proverbs 23:31, "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red," are derived. In particular, God's "looking upon" a person becomes a synonym for "showing favor unto," as in Deuteronomy 26:7 the King James Version; Psalms 84:9 the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American); Psalms 119:132 the King James Version; Luke 1:48 the Revised Version (British and American) only, etc. (the Revised Version (British and American) usually, re-words, in such passages). On the other hand, "look on" may be weakened, as in such phrases as "fair to look unon" (Genesis 12:11 etc.), where it means only "fair to the sight." Or as in modern English, "look on" may describe the attitude of the passive spectator, even when applied to God. So Psalms 35:17, "Lord, how long wilt thou look on?"
(3) "Look to" usually means "pay attention to," as in Proverbs 14:15; Jeremiah 39:12; 2 John 1:8, etc., and the Revised Version (British and American) occasionally uses this phrase in place of AV's "look upon" (Philippians 2:4). The reverse change is made in the King James Version's 1 Samuel 16:12, "goodly to look to"; Ezekiel 23:15, "all of them princes to look to," but in the latter verse a more drastic revision was needed, for the meaning is "all of them in appearance as princes." "Look out" may mean "search for" (Genesis 41:33; Acts 6:3), but may also be used literally, (Genesis 26:8, etc.). The King James Version's "looking after those things" in Luke 21:26 has been changed by the Revised Version (British and American) into "expectation of the things." "Look one another in the face" in 2 Kings 14:8,11 means "meet in battle."
Burton Scott Easton
These files are public domain.