fal (kalah, karath; ekleipo):

"Fail" is both intransitive, "to fall short," "be wanting," and trans, "to be wanting to."

Of the many words translated "fail" in the Old Testament, kalah is the most frequent, meaning "to be consumed," "ended" (Job 11:20; 17:5; Psalms 69:3; 71:9, etc.; Proverbs 22:8; Isaiah 15:6, etc.; Jeremiah 14:6; Lamentations 2:11; 3:22; 4:17); it is the translation of karath, "to be cut off" (2 Samuel 3:29, of failure in succession; so 1 Kings 2:4, etc.); `adhar, "to marshal," "to be missed" or "lacking" (Isaiah 34:16 the King James Version; Isaiah 40:26 the King James Version; Isaiah 59:15 the King James Version; Zechariah 3:5); of raphah, "to become faint" or "to make feeble" (Deuteronomy 31:6,8; "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee," Joshua 1:5; 1 Chronicles 28:20); of '-abhadh, "to perish," "be lost" (Psalms 142:4, "Refuge hath failed me"; Ezekiel 12:22, "Every vision faileth"). Many other Hebrew words are translated "fail," "faileth," for the most part in single instances.

In the New Testament, ekleipo, "to leave out" or "off," is thrice rendered "fail" (Luke 16:9 "when it shall fail"; Luke 22:32, "that thy faith fail not"; Hebrews 1:12, "Thy years shall not fail"); ekpipto, "to fall off or away" (1 Corinthians 13:8, "Charity (the Revised Version (British and American) "love") never faileth"); katargeo, "to make useless" (1 Corinthians 13:8 the King James Version, "Whether prophecies, they shall fail"); hustereo, "to be behind," "to lack" (Hebrews 12:15 the King James Version); apopsucho, "to swoon away," "failing" (Luke 21:26 the King James Version).

The Revised Version (British and American) has "fail," in a new translation of Jeremiah 18:14, for "fall" (Lamentations 1:14, margin "stumble"); "his hand fail" for "fallen in decay" (Leviticus 25:35); "I will in no wise fail thee" for "I will never leave thee" (Hebrews 13:5; compare Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:5); "failed to enter" for "entered not" (Hebrews 4:6); "faileth" (American Standard Revised Version) for "ceaseth" (Psalms 49:8), the English Revised Version "must be let alone for ever"; "failing" for "was darkened" (Luke 23:45); for "fail" (Ezra 4:22), "be slack," "be missing" (Isaiah 34:16); "falleth short of" (Hebrews 12:15, maqrgin, "falleth bacf from"); for "failed," "was all spent" (Genesis 47:15); "wholly" (Joshua 3:16); "fail (in looking)" (Lamentations 4:17); for "faileth," "is lacking" (Isaiah 40:26; 59:15); for "men's hearts failing them" (Luke 21:26), "men fainting," margin "expiring."

W. L. Walker

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