The usua1 (11 out of 16 times) translation of rakh, "soft," "delicate," with the noun rokh, in Deuteronomy 28:56 and the verb rakhakh, in 2 Kings 22:19 parallel 2 Chronicles 34:27. Attention need be called only to the following cases: In Genesis 29:17, "Leah's eyes were tender," a physical defect is described ("weak-eyed"; see BLINDNESS). "Tender-hearted" in 2 Chronicles 13:7 means "faint-hearted," while in 2 Kings 22:19 parallel 2 Chronicles 34:27 ("because thy heart was tender"), it means "penitent." Contrast the modern use in Ephesians 4:32.

Throughout Psalms (10 times) and Proverbs (12:10), but not elsewhere (the King James Version has "tender love" in Daniel 1:9, the Revised Version (British and American) "compassion"), English Versions of the Bible translate rachamim, "bowels," by "tender mercies," and this translation has been carried into the New Testament as "tender mercy" (the Revised Version margin "heart of mercy") for the corresponding Greek phrase splagchna eleous ("bowels of mercy") in Luke 1:78; compare "tenderhearted" for eusplagchnos ("right boweled") in Ephesians 4:32, based upon the idea of psychology widely spread among Semitic people, which considers the "bowels" (qerebh) as the seat of all tender emotions of kindness and mercy:

See BOWELS. the King James Version also has "of tender mercy" in James 5:11 without justification in the Greek (oiktirmon, the Revised Version (British and American) "merciful").

Other special phrases:

"tender grape" in the King James Version, Song of Solomon 2:13,15; 7:12, for cemadhar. The meaning of the word is not quite certain, but Revised Margin's "blossom" (except 7:12 margin) is probably right. "Tender grass" in 2 Samuel 23:4; Proverbs 27:25; the Revised Version (British and American) Deuteronomy 32:2 (the King James Version "tender herb"); Isaiah 15:6; 66:14 for deshe' "grass" (Aramaic dethe', Daniel 4:15,23). The context in these passages and the meaning of the cognates of deshe' in other Semitic languages make this translation probable, but Revised Version's usage is not consistent (compare Genesis 1:11,12; Job 6:5; Psalms 23:2, etc.). Isa, 53:2 has "tender plant" for yoneq, "a sapling," while Job 14:7 has "tender branch" for the allied word yoneqeth, usually rendered "shoot" (Job 8:16, etc.). Finally, "tender" in Mark 13:28 parallel Matthew 24:32 is for hapalos, "soft." The running sap of springtime softens the branches that were stiff during the winter.

The verb "tender" occurs in 2 Macc 4:2, the King James Version "(he had) tendered his own nation," in the modern sense of "tend." The translation is a paraphrase of the noun kedemon, "a protector," the Revised Version (British and American) "the guardian of his fellow-countrymen."

Burton Scott Easton

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