Five Hebrew words are thus translated: bin, yadha`, nakhar, ra'ah and shama`. It may simply mean "observe" (bin), "I discerned among the youths" (Proverbs 7:7); or discriminating knowlege, "A wise man's heart discerneth time and judgment" (Ecclesiastes 8:5, yadha`); "He discerned him not, because his hands," etc. (Genesis 27:23, nakhar); "Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked" (Malachi 3:18, ra'ah); "So is my lord the king to discern good," etc. (2 Samuel 14:17, shama`). In the New Testament the words anakrino, diakrino and dokimazo are thus translated, expressing close and distinct acquaintance with or a critical knowledge of things. Used in 1 Corinthians 2:14 the King James Version of "the things of the spirit of God"; in 1 Corinthians 11:29 of "the (Lord's) body" in the sacrament; in Matthew 16:3 of "the face of the heaven"; in Hebrews 5:14 of a clear knowledge of good and evil as the prerogative of a full-grown man. See also next article.
Henry E. Dosker