To examine, prove or test; scrutinize.

And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is. And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. Ye hypocrites, ye can DISCERN the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not DISCERN this time? ( Luke 12:54-56 )

Source: A King James Dictionary. (Used with permission. Copyright © Philip P. Kapusta)

Bibliography Information

"Entry for 'Discern'". A King James Dictionary.



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

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

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