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

Throughout Psalms (10 times) and Proverbs (12:10), but not elsewhere (the King James Version has "tender love" in Da 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 Lu 1:78; compare "tenderhearted" for eusplagchnos ("right boweled") in Eph 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 Jas 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, So 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 2Sa 23:4; Pr 27:25; the Revised Version (British and American) De 32:2 (the King James Version "tender herb"); Isa 15:6; 66:14 for deshe' "grass" (Aramaic dethe', Da 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 Ge 1:11,12; Job 6:5; Ps 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 Mr 13:28 parallel Mt 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

© Levend Water