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examination under the heading Hid, Hide and Hidden2. We trust sufficient has
been brought forward to stimulate further and fuller examination by the
reader, whenever the word 'face' or its equivalent shall meet him in his
reading of either the Old or New Testament.
(See Fail2, for dispensational usage).
Over forty Hebrew and Greek words are translated 'fail' in the A.V.
Some of these occurrences have no direct bearing upon either doctrine or
dispensation. Those which claim a place in this Analysis are the following:
Gamar, Psalm 77:8. 'Doth His promise fail for evermore?' Psalm 77 is
one of the 'Sanctuary' Psalms, a group that begins with the Psalm of Asaph,
whose despondency was only lifted when he 'went into the sanctuary of God'
(Psa. 73:17). The Hebrew word gamar means 'to finish, to come to an end'.
It is used in a good sense in Psalm 138:8, 'The Lord will perfect that which
concerneth me', and in a bad sense in Psalm 7:9, 'Let the wickedness of the
wicked come to an end'. The cry of the Psalmist in Psalm 77 is, 'will the
promises of God come to a premature end', but verse 10 suggests that he
awakens to the enormity of such a doubt, saying:
'This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand
of the most High'.
Two suggestive alternative renderings have been made of this verse.
The R.V. margin, 'Or, That the right hand of the Most High doth change'.
Luther, 'The right hand of the Highest can change everything'. In spite of
all appearances otherwise, the promises of God will not fail.
Kahah, 'to become weak or dim':
'He shall not fail nor be discouraged' (Isa. 42:4).
A word is used in verse 3 of the 'smoking' or dimly burning flax, that
is very similar in spelling, namely the Hebrew keheh. Kahah is used of the
eye of Moses that grew not 'dim' (Deut. 34:7). The word 'discouraged' is the
Hebrew ratsats, which means 'to break or crush', and the passage can be set
out as follows.
'A crushed reed will He not break'.
'A dimly burning flax will He not quench'.
Mishpat 'He shall bring forth judgment unto truth'.
'He shall not fail' (be quenched).
'Nor be discouraged' (be crushed).
Mishpat 'Till He have set judgment in the earth'.
This passage is quoted in Matthew 12:20, and the inner secret of the
Saviour's perseverance and final victory is indicated in Matthew 12:25,26.
Naphal, 'to fall'. 'There failed not ought of any good thing which the
Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass' (Joshua 21:45).
The meaning of this word translated 'fail' is seen in the usage in 1 Samuel
3:19, 'The Lord ... let none of his words fall to the ground'.
Another passage to note is Numbers 6:12: