The word translated in the King James Version from 9 Hebrew and 4 Greek expressions has nowhere in the Bible the modern sense of "blond," "fair-skinned." The translation of Isaiah 54:11, "fair colors," refers to the cosmetic use of pukh, stibium, antimony powder, with which black margins were painted around the eyelids, so as to make the eyes appear large and dark. The stones of rebuilt Jerusalem, beautifully laid in their black mortar, are compared with such eyes. We can distinguish the following varieties of meaning:
(1) Beautiful, attractive, Tobh, yaphah, yapheh; Aramaic shappir; Septuagint kalos; in the New Testament asteios. This latter word is in both places where it is found used of Moses (Acts 7:20; Hebrews 11:23, the Revised Version (British and American) "goodly"), and means literally, town bred (as opposed to boorish), polite, polished in manners, urbane, then nice, pretty.
(2) Pure, free of defilement, the Revised Version (British and American) "clean," Tahor (Zechariah 3:5).
(4) Making a fine display (euprosopein, Galatians 6:12, "to make a fair show").
H. L. E. Luering
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