The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia



The verb "to desire" in the Scriptures usually means "to long for," "to ask for," "to demand," and may be used in a good or bad sense (compare Deuteronomy 7:25 the King James Version). the Revised Version (British and American) frequently renders the more literal meaning of the Hebrew. Compare Job 20:20, "delight"; Proverbs 21:20, "precious"; Psalms 40:6, "delight"; aiteo (except Colossians 1:9), and erotao (except Luke 7:36) are rendered "to ask" and zeteo, "to seek" (compare Luke 9:9 et. al.). The Hebrew kacaph, literally, "to lose in value," is translated (Zephaniah 2:1) by "hath no shame" (the Revised Version, margin "longing," the King James Version "not desired"). The literal translation "to lose in value," "to degenerate," would be more in harmony with the context than the translations offered. The Hebrew chemdah (2 Chronicles 21:20, "without being desired"), means according to the Arabic "to praise," "to give thanks." The context brings in contrast the burial of the king Jehoram with that of his fathers. In the latter case there was "burning," i.e. recognition and praise, but when Jehoram died, there was no chemdah, i.e. there was no praise for his services rendered to the kingdom. For "desire" in Ecclesiastes 12:5, see CAPERBERRY.

A. L. Breslich

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