Cheer; Cheerfulness


cher, cher'-fool-nes:

The English word "cheer" meant:

(1) originally face, countenance (Greek kara, "head," through Old French, chere, "face"),

(2) then the expression on the face, especially

(3) the expression of good spirits, and finally

(4) good spirits, without any reference to the facial expression.

The noun "cheer" in English Versions of the Bible is only found with adjective "good" (except 1 Esdras 9:54, "great cheer"), the word not having quite lost its earlier neutral character (any face expression, whether joyous or otherwise). In Old Testament, Tobh, is translated "cheer," "let thy heart cheer thee" (see GOOD); sameach, "to rejoice" is so translated in Deuteronomy 24:5, "shall cheer his wife" (the King James Version "cheer up his wife"), and Judges 9:13, "wine, which cheereth God ('elohim) and man." The phrase "of good cheer" occurs in Old Testament in Job 9:27 (the King James Version "comfort"); in Apocrypha, 1 Esdras 9:54; The Wisdom of Solomon 18:6; Baruch 4:5,30; Sirach 18:32 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "luxury"); in New Testament for Greek euthumeo, euthumos, in Acts 27:22,25,36, and for tharseo in Matthew 9:2,22. (the King James Version "comfort"); Matthew 14:27; Mark 6:50; 10:49 (RV; "comfort" in the King James Version); John 16:33; Acts 23:11. "Cheer" as verb transitive occurs in Ecclesiastes 11:9; Deuteronomy 24:5; Judges 9:13.

Cheerful occurs in Proverbs 15:13,15 (the King James Version "merry"); Zechariah 8:19; 9:17 the King James Version; Sirach 30:25; 2 Corinthians 9:7.

Cheerfully, Acts 24:10.

Cheerfulness, Romans 12:8.

D. Miall Edwards

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