The Berean Expositor
Volume 48 - Page 30 of 181
Index | Zoom
Archaic and Obsolete Words
of the Authorized Version.
pp. 174 - 180
BASE. This word as an adjective does not mean worthless or wicked, but of low rank,
lowly, humble. "The basest of men" (Dan. 4: 17) does not mean men of bad character
but the "lowliest of men". In II Cor. 10: 1 Paul refers to himself as "who in presence am
base among you", i.e. humble among you.  Likewise Ezek. 29: 15, "the basest of
kingdoms" means "the most lowly of the kingdoms".
BESTEAD  originally meant placed or situated, and then came to be used only in
cases of difficulty or hostility. In Isa. 8: 21 we read, "And they shall pass through it
hardly bestead and hungry". This means `hard-pressed and hungry'. Shakespeare uses it
in this sense.
BEWRAY means to reveal or disclose, almost the same as `betray', except it did not
have the thought of treachery or disloyalty behind it. Of Peter after his denial of the Lord
it was said `thy speech bewrayeth thee', that is, your pronunciation reveals your identity
or your origin.
BOLLED.  In Exod. 9: 31 we are told that through the Lord's judgments on
Pharaoh and Egypt, the flax and barely were ruined, "for the barley was in the ear, and
the flax was bolled". The Hebrew word means bud, so the A.S.5: translates `the flax was
in bloom' and the R.S.V. `the flax was in bud'.
BOOTIES is the plural, now obsolete, of booty and occurs once in the A.V. namely
Hab. 2: 7 "shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex
thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them?". Now we should use `booty' always in
the singular and this is followed by modern translations.
BRAVERY. This word has nothing to do with being brave but with women's finery.
Its occurrence in Isa. 3: 18-23 makes this clear. "In that day the Lord will take away
the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round
tires like the moon." Cauls comes from the old French cale and means cap or headgear.
Tire has no connection with fatigue, but is a shortened form of attire, another word for
headgear or an ornament worn on the head.