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Straight; Straightway

STRAIGHT; STRAIGHTWAY

strat, strat'-wa:

"Straiglit" and "strait" are two entirely different words that have no connection with each other in English, the former being derived from the Anglo-Saxon, while the latter has come back from the Latin through the Romance. At some point still farther back, however, the two words may have had some common original with the general meaning "to stretch." But in straight the stretched object is a cord from which all curvature is removed, while in strait a solid is thought of, which is drawn out and made narrow, used figuratively in Job 20:22; 36:16; Matthew 7:13; Philippians 1:23. Before English spelling had reached a relatively settled stage the spelling of the two words was interchanged occasionally, but in even Elizabethan times this could happen only through ignorance. In English Versions of the Bible the forms are kept distinct with great care. "Straight," then, appears only in the sense "not crooked," in the Old Testament most commonly for some form of yashar, "be smooth" (2 Chronicles 32:30, etc.). In the Apocrypha and New Testament the word is not very common, being used for orthos (Baruch 6:27; Hebrews 12:13); euthus (Judith 13:20; Mark 1:3 and parallel's), with the verbs anorthoo (Luke 13:13), and euthuno (John 1:23; Hebrews 12:12 the Revised Version margin), "to make straight," and euthudromeo, "to make a straight course" (Acts 16:11; 21:1). For straightway in English Versions of the Bible overwhelmingly the most common word is euthus, or eutheos. the King James Version varies the translation of this adverb by using either "straightway" or "immediately" without distinction, but the Revised Version (British and American) (with a very few exceptions, e.g., Matthew 24:29) has adhered to "straightway." The other occurrences in the Bible (1 Samuel 9:13; 28:20, etc.) represent no special word.

Burton Scott Easton


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