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name Arkwright means a manufacturer of boxes. Wright is middle English for a
workman coming from the Anglo-Saxon Wryhta. We read too of the ark of bulrushes in
which the baby Moses was placed for safety. This of course was a basket made of
bulrushes and daubed with bitumen and pitch to make it waterproof.
ARMHOLE. This meant originally armpit not a hole in clothing. Jer. 38: 12
reads "put now these old casts clouts and rotten rags under thine armholes under the
cords". The R.S.V. renders this "put the rags and clothes between your armpits and the
ropes". The Hebrew word for armpit means joints of the arms, elbows, or wrists. Instead
of "Sew pillows to all armholes" (Ezek. 13: 18) which is puzzling to say the least, the
meaning in modern English is "sew magic bands upon all wrists" (as R.S.V.).
ARTILLERY. The word was used long before there were cannons or howitzers.
Bows and arrows could be artillery. The Oxford English Dictionary cites a sixteenth
century diarist as listing under artillery `drumes, flutes, trumpets . . .'. We read of
Jonathan giving to a lad "his artillery", i.e. his bows and arrows which the Geneva Bible
so renders the words. Tyndale's and Coverdale's Versions had weapons to which the
modern versions have returned (see R.S.V.).
ASTONIED, ASTONISHED, ASTONISHMENT. These words are derived from
the obsolete word astone which appeared also as astun and astony. It meant like the
word `amaze', to stun, to overwhelm, being much stronger in meaning than the modern
usage and we must be careful to give the words this sense when we meet them in the
Bible. Instead of astonied in Ezra 9: 3 we should read appalled. Ezra says "I sat down
appalled", likewise in Jer. 2: 12; 50: 13 and 51: 37 where the fate of Babylon is dealt with
and she will become not just an astonishment (A.V.) but a horror. Zech. 12: 4 God says
"I will strike every horse with astonishment" (A.V.) meaning I will strike every horse
AWAY WITH. In Isa. 1: 13 we read God's lament concerning Israel ". . . . . the
new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity,
even the solemn meeting". In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries this meant tolerate,
put up with. The sinful state of Israel made all their rituals empty and unendurable by
God. Tyndale rendered Matt. 19: 11 "all men cannot awaye with that sayinge" instead
of received or tolerate.
BARBARIAN, BARBAROUS. Originally these words were applied to all non-Greek
speaking peoples, who were regarded as foreigners not necessarily uneducated people.
Later on they took on the meaning of rude or uncivilized but in the N.T. barbaros is used
only in its original sense and the modern word foreigner should be substituted for it.