the kidneys, the supposed seat of the desires and affections; used metaphorically for "heart." The "reins" and the "heart" are often mentioned together, as denoting the whole moral constitution of man ( Psalms 7:9 ; 16:7 ; 26:2 ; 139:13 ; Jeremiah 17:10 , etc.).
Innermost parts of man.
Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and REINS. ( Psalm 7:9 )
(i.e. kidneys). In the ancient system of physiology the kidneys were believed to be the seat of desire and longing, which accounts for their often being coupled with the heart. ( Psalms 7:9 ; 26:2 ; Jeremiah 11:20 ; 17:10 ), etc. [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
ranz (kilyah; nephros, words promiscuously translated "heart," "inward parts," "kidneys" or "reins." The latter word, which is derived from Latin "renes" through Old French "reins", has given place in modern English to the word "kidneys" (see Skeat, Concise Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, 398). the Revised Version (British and American) has, however, retained the older word, at least in the margin, in all passages in which it is found in the King James Version):
According to Hebrew psychology the reins are the seat of the deepest emotions and affections of man, which God alone can fully know. Thus the Revised Version (British and American) has substituted "heart" for "reins" in the text of Job 19:27; Psalms 7:9; 16:7; 26:2; 73:21; Proverbs 23:16; Jeremiah 11:20; 12:2; 17:10; 20:12; the translation "inward parts" is found but once (Psalms 139:13). In one passage the King James Version has translated the Hebrew [~halac ("loins") with "reins" (Isaiah 11:5), where the Revised Version (British and American) has rightly substituted "waist" (which see). The Greek word nephros (which is etymologically allied to the Middle English nere, Get. Niere; see Skeat, ibid, 231, under the word "Kidney") is found in 1 Macc 2:24; Revelation 2:23.
H. L. E. Luering
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