The noun "meaning" (Daniel 8:15 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "I sought to understand"; and 1 Corinthians 14:11) is synonymous with "signification" but in 1 Macc 15:4 the King James Version it expresses "purpose" (the Revised Version (British and American) "I am minded to land"). The noun "mean" in Hebrew always occurs in the plural, and is generally used in the sense of "agency," "instrument" (compare 1 Kings 10:29, etc.). the Revised Version (British and American) very frequently changes, King James Version: The Wisdom of Solomon 8:13, "because of her"; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, "in any wise"; Luke 8:36, "how"; Proverbs 6:26, "on account of"; Revelation 13:14, "by reason of" (compare also 2 Thessalonians 3:16; John 9:21). Hebrews 9:15 (the King James Version "that by means of death") translates literally, "that a death having taken place," from ginomai, "to become," "to happen." Acts 18:21 the King James Version, "I must by all means keep this feast," is omitted in the Revised Version (British and American) in harmony with several cursives, the Vulgate, and some other versions

The adjective "mean" is used in the sense of "common," "humble" ('adham, "man"; compare Isaiah 2:9; 5:15; 31:8 omits "mean"). It is also used in the sense of "obscure" (Proverbs 22:29, chashokh, "obscure"; asemos, literally, "without a mark," "unknown," Acts 21:39). "Mean" is found in expressions like "in the meanwhile" (the King James Version 1 Kings 18:45, the Revised Version (British and American) "little while"; John 4:31; Romans 2:15, the Revised Version (British and American) "one with another"); "in the meantime" (1 Macc 11:41 the King James Version; Luke 12:1); and "in the mean season" the King James Version (1 Macc 11:14; 15:15). The adverb "meanly" is found (2 Macc 15:38) in the sense of "moderately."

The verb "mean" expresses purpose (Isaiah 3:15; 10:7; Genesis 50:20, etc.). In some cases the Revised Version (British and American) renders literal translation:

Acts 27:2, "was about to sail" (the King James Version "meaning to sail"); compare Acts 21:13; 2 Corinthians 8:13. In other instances the idea of "to mean" is "to signify," "to denote" (1 Samuel 4:6; Genesis 21:29; Matthew 9:13, etc.). Luke 15:26 translates literally, "what these things might be." In Exodus 12:26 the sense of "mean ye" is "to have in mind."

A. L. Breslich

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