The word appears both as a substantive and as a verb in the Old Testament, having a variety of meanings:

  1. The substantive, peh, means "mouth" and also "speech." In this form it occurs in Job 33:6 margin:

    "Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead." Elihu here refers to Job's expressed desire for an umpire (9:33), and one who would maintain his right with God (16:21).

  2. The verb:

    1. haphets, "willing," or "desirous" (Psalms 40:14 the King James Version);
    2. sha'-al, "to ask," "petition," "supplicate" (Job 31:30 the King James Version);
    3. another variation of meaning is found in Psalms 73:7 where maskith, "to imagine," is translated "wish":

      "They have more than heart could wish";

    4. euchomai, "to solicit," "to implore" (Romans 9:3).

Arthur Walwyn Evans

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