Honor (To) - Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words

Usage Number: 1
Part Of Speech: Verb
Strong's Number: H3513
Original Word: kabed

Usage Notes: "to honor." This verb occurs about 114 times and in all periods of biblical Hebrew. Its cognates appear in the same languages as those of the noun kabôd. One occurrence of kabed is in Deut. 5:16: "Honor thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee…"

Usage Number: 2
Strong's Number: H1921
Original Word: hadar
Usage Notes: "to honor, prefer, exalt oneself, behave arrogantly." This verb, which appears 8 times in biblical Hebrew, has cognates only in Aramaic although some scholars suggest cognates in Egyptian and Syriac.

The word means "to honor" or "to prefer" in Exod. 23:3: "Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause." In Prov. 25:6 hadar means "to exalt oneself" or "to behave arrogantly."

Usage Number: 3
Part Of Speech: Noun
Strong's Number: H3519
Original Word: kabôd

Usage Notes: "honor; glory; great quantity; multitude; wealth; reputation [majesty]; splendor." Cognates of this word appear in Ugaritic, Phoenician, Arabic, Ethiopic, and Akkadian. It appears about 200 times in biblical Hebrew and in all periods. Kabôd refers to the great physical weight or "quantity" of a thing. In Nah. 2:9 one should read: "For there is no limit to the treasure, a great quantity of every kind of desirable object." Isa. 22:24 likens Eliakim to a peg firmly anchored in a wall upon which is hung "all the [weighty things] of his father's house." This meaning is required in Hos. 9:11, where kabôd represents a great crowd of people or "multitude": "As for Ephraim, their [multitude] shall fly away…" The word does not mean simply "heavy," but a heavy or imposing quantity of things.

Kabôd often refers to both "wealth" and significant and positive "reputation" (in a concrete sense). Laban's sons complained that "Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this [wealth]" (Gen. 31:1, the first biblical occurrence). The second emphasis appears in Gen. 45:13, where Joseph told his brothers to report to his "father… all my [majesty] in Egypt." Here this word includes a report of his position and the assurance that if the family came to Egypt, Joseph would be able to provide for them. Trees, forests, and wooded hills have an imposing quality, a richness or "splendor." God will punish the king of Assyria by destroying most of the trees in his forests, "and shall consume the glory of his forest,… and the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them" (Isa. 10:18-19). In Psa. 85:9 the idea of richness or abundance predominates: "Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory [or abundance] may dwell in our land." This idea is repeated in Psa. 85:12: "Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase."

Kabôd can also have an abstract emphasis of "glory," imposing presence or position. Phinehas' wife named their son Ichabod, "saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband" (they, the high priests, had died; 1 Sam. 4:21). In Isa. 17:3 kabôd represents the more concrete idea of a fullness of things including fortified cities, sovereignty (self-rule), and people. Among such qualities is "honor," or respect and position. In Isa. 5:13 this idea of "honor" is represented by kabôd: "…And their [my people's] honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst." Thus the word kabôd and its parallel (the multitude) represent all the people of Israel: the upper classes and the common people. In many passages the word represents a future rather than a present reality: "In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious …" (Isa. 4:2).

When used in the sense of "honor" or "importance" (cf. Gen. 45:13) there are two nuances of the word. First, kabôd can emphasize the position of an individual within the sphere in which he lives (Prov. 11:16). This "honor" can be lost through wrong actions or attitudes (Prov. 26:1, 8) and evidenced in proper actions (Prov. 20:3; Prov. 25:2). This emphasis then is on a relationship between personalities. Second, there is a suggestion of nobility in many uses of the word, such as "honor" that belongs to a royal family (1 Kings 3:13). Thus, kabôd can be used of the social distinction and position of respect enjoyed by nobility.

When applied to God, the word represents a quality corresponding to Him and by which He is recognized. Joshua commanded Achan to give glory to God, to recognize His importance, worth, and significance (Josh. 7:19). In this and similar instances "giving honor" refers to doing something; what Achan was to do was to tell the truth. In other passages giving honor to God is a cultic recognition and confession of God as God (Psa. 29:1). Some have suggested that such passages celebrate the sovereignty of God over nature wherein the celebrant sees His "glory" and confess it in worship. In other places the word is said to point to God's sovereignty over history and specifically to a future manifestation of that "glory" (Isa. 40:5). Still other passages relate the manifestation of divine "glory" to past demonstrations of His sovereignty over history and peoples (Exod. 16:7; Exod. 24:16).

Usage Number: 4
Strong's Number: H1926
Original Word: hadar
Usage Notes: "honor; splendor." Cognates of this word appear only in Aramaic. Its 31 appearances in the Bible are exclusively in poetic passages and in all periods.

First, hadar refers to "splendor" in nature: "And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees [literally, trees of splendor or beauty] …" (Lev. 23:40, the first occurrence).

Second, this word is a counterpart to Hebrew words for "glory" and "dignity." Thus hadar means not so much overwhelming beauty as a combination of physical attractiveness and social position. The Messiah is said to have "no form nor [majesty]; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him" (Isa. 53:2). Mankind is crowned with "glory and honor" in the sense of superior desirability (for God) and rank (Psa. 8:5). In Prov. 20:29 hadar focuses on the same idea, an aged man's mark or rank and privilege is his gray hair. This reflects the theme present throughout the Bible that long life is a mark of divine blessing and results (often) when one is faithful to God, whereas premature death is a result of divine judgment. The ideas of glorious brilliance, preeminence, and lordship are included in hadar when it is applied to God: "Glory and honor are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place" (1 Chron. 16:27). Not only are these characteristics of His sanctuary (Psa. 96:6) but He is clothed with them (Psa. 104:1). This use of hadar is rooted in the ancient concept of a king or of a royal city. God gave David all good things: a crown of gold on his head, long life, and glory or "splendor" and majesty (Psa. 21:3-5). In the case of earthly kings their beauty or brilliance usually arises from their surroundings. So God says of Tyre: "They of Persia and of Lud and of Phut were in thine army, thy men of war: they hanged the shield and helmet in thee; they set forth thy comeliness [honor]. The men of Arvad with thine army were upon thy walls round about, and the Gammadim were in thy towers: they hanged their shields upon thy walls round about; they have made thy beauty perfect" (Ezek. 27:10-11). God, however, manifests the characteristic of "honor or splendor" in Himself.

The noun hadarah means "majesty; splendor; exaltation; adornment." This noun appears 5 times in the Bible. The word implies "majesty or exaltation" in Prov. 14:28: "In a multitude of people is the glory of a King, but without people a prince is ruined" (rsv). Hadarah refers to "adornment" in Psa. 29:2.

Usage Number: 5
Part Of Speech: Adjective
Strong's Number: H3515
Original Word: kabed

Usage Notes: "heavy; numerous; severe; rich." The adjective kabed occurs about 40 times. Basically this adjective connotes "heavy." In Exod. 17:12 the word is used of physical weight: "But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands…." This adjective bears the connotation of heaviness as an enduring, ever-present quality, a lasting thing. Used in a negative but extended sense, the word depicts sin as a yoke ever pressing down upon one: "For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me" (Psa. 38:4). A task can be described as "heavy" (Exod. 18:18). Moses argued his inability to lead God's people out of Egypt because he was "slow of speech, and of a slow tongue"; his speech or tongue was not smooth-flowing but halting (heavy; Exod. 4:10). This use of kabed appears with an explanation in Ezek. 3:6, where God is describing the people to whom Ezekiel is to minister: "… not to many people of a strange speech and of a hard language, whose words thou canst not understand." Another nuance of this word appears in Exod. 7:14, where it is applied to Pharaoh's heart: "Pharoah's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go." In all such contexts kabed depicts a burden which weighs down one's body (or some part of it) so that one is either disabled or unable to function successfully.

A second series of passages uses this word of something that falls upon or overcomes one. So God sent upon Egypt a "heavy" hail (Exod. 9:18), a "great" swarm of insects (Exod. 8:24), "numerous" locusts, and a "severe" pestilence (Exod. 9:3). The first appearance of the word belongs to this category: "… The famine was [severe] in the land" of Egypt (Gen. 12:10). Used with a positive connotation, kabed can describe the amount of "riches" one has: "And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold" (Gen. 13:2). In Gen. 50:9 the word is used to modify a group of people, "a very great company." The next verse uses kabed in the sense of "imposing" or "ponderous": "… They mourned with a great and very sore lamentation…."

This adjective is never used of God.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words