Skill; Skilful


skil, skil'-fool (forms of yadha` (2 Chronicles 2:14, etc.), bin (1 Chronicles 15:22), sakhal (Daniel 1:4, etc.), lamadh (1 Chronicles 5:18), chakham (1 Chronicles 28:21), charash (Ezekiel 21:31), yaTabh (Psalms 33:3); in Apocrypha empeiria (The Wisdom of Solomon 13:13), episteme (Sirach 1:19; 38:3,6); adverb eumathos (The Wisdom of Solomon 13:11)):

As a verb "to skill," meaning to have understanding or to be dexterous, common in Elizabethan English and in the King James Version and the English Revised Version (1 Kings 5:6; 2 Chronicles 2:7; 34:12), is obsolete. The American Standard Revised Version substitutes such expressions as "knoweth how" (1 Kings 5:6) and "were skillful with" (2 Chronicles 34:12). As a noun the word is used in the sense of "knowledge" (Ecclesiastes 9:11), "insight" (Daniel 1:17), and "wisdom" (1 Chronicles 28:21). The adjective skillful is used in corresponding senses, especially in the American Standard Revised Version, where it takes the place of "cunning" (Exodus 26:31; 31:4; 35:33,35; 38:23; 2 Chronicles 2:7,13,14; Song of Solomon 7:1; Isaiah 40:20; Jeremiah 10:9) and of "curious" (Exodus 35:32), where the Hebrew chashabh suggests planning or devising, and thus what we should call "original" work. Both the English Revised Version and the American Standard Revised Version use the word in place of "eloquent" (Isaiah 3:3), "right" (Ecclesiastes 4:4) and "cunning" (1 Chronicles 25:7). In the first of these instances the Hebrew word means "understanding"; in the second, it refers to the manner of doing a thing, and in the third, to the training that makes one "skilled." the Revised Version (British and American) uses the word "skilled" of those that "took the war upon them" (Numbers 31:27 the King James Version). Skillfulness (Psalms 78:72) is used with reference to the hands, not only in their work, but also in guiding (as, e.g., a pilot). To play well (Hebrew heTibhu naggen), is rendered "play skillfully" (Psalms 33:3). "Unskillful" is used with reference to the uninitiated in the sense of "inexperienced" (Hebrews 5:13, apeiros).

Nathan Isaacs

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