Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"right" - yashar

Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon
3474 יָשַׁר, שָׁרָה [yashar /yaw·shar/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 930; GK 3837 and 9223; 27 occurrences; AV translates as “please” six times, “straight” five times, “direct” four times, “right” three times, “well” twice, “fitted” once, “good” once, “make straight” once, “meet” once, “upright” once, and “uprightly” once. 1 to be right, be straight, be level, be upright, be just, be lawful, be smooth. 1a (Qal). 1a1 to go straight. 1a2 to be pleasing, be agreeable, be right (fig.). 1a3 to be straightforward, be upright. 1b (Piel). 1b1 to make right, make smooth, make straight. 1b2 to lead, direct, lead straight along. 1b3 to esteem right, approve. 1c (Pual) to be made level, be laid smoothly out. 1d (Hiphil) to make straight, look straight.[1]

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words
A. Adjective. 
yashar (יָשָׁר, 3477), “upright; right; righteous; just.” This adjective occurs first in Exodus in the idiom “right in his eyes”: "[He] said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Exod. 15:26). Its usage is infrequent in the Pentateuch and in the prophetical writings. Predominantly a poetic term, yashar also occurs idiomatically (“to do what is right”) in the historical books; cf. 1 Kings 15:5: “Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.” 
The basic meaning is the root meaning “to be straight” in the sense of “to be level.” The legs of the creatures in Ezekiel’s vision were straight (Ezek. 1:7). The Israelites designated an easy road for traveling as a “level road.” It had few inclines and declines compared to the mountain roads (cf. Jer. 31:9: “They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of water in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn”). 
Yashar with the meaning “right” pertains to things and to abstracts. Samuel promised himself to instruct God’s people in “the good and the right way” (1 Sam. 12:23). Nehemiah thanked God for having given just ordinances: “Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments” (Neh. 9:13). Based on His revelation God expected His people to please Him in being obedient to Him: “And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers” (Deut. 6:18). 
When yashar pertains to people, it is best translated “just” or “upright.” God is the standard of uprightness for His people: “Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way” (Ps. 25:8). His word (Ps. 33:4), judgments (Ps. 19:9), and ways (Hos. 14:9) reveal His uprightness and are a blessing to His people. The believer follows Him in being “upright” in heart: “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous; and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart” (Ps. 32:11; cf. 7:10; 11:2). In their daily walk they manifest that they are walking on the narrow road: “The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation” (Ps. 37:14). The “just” are promised God’s blessing upon their lives (Prov. 11:10-11). 
Finally, yashar is also the abstract “rightness,” especially when the Hebrew word has the definite article (hayyashar, “the right”): “Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity [all that is right]” (Mic. 3:9). 
The Septuagint translations are: arestos (“pleasing”); dikaios (“upright; just; righteous”); euthes (“upright”); and euthus (“straight”). 
B. Verb. 
yashar (יָשַׁר, 3474), “to be straight, be smooth, be right.” This verb, which occurs rarely has many derivatives in the Bible. 
In Akkadian the verb isharu signifies “to be straight, bring in order,” and the noun misharum denotes justice and an upright way of life. The Hebrew word has many related words in other Semitic languages (Phoenician, Ugaritic) and even in Egyptian. 
One occurrence of the verb is in 1 Chron. 13:4: “And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.” In this usage yashar has the sense of being pleasing or agreeable. In Hab. 2:4 the word implies an ethical uprightness. 
C. Nouns. 
yosher (ישֶׁר, 3476), “straightness.” This noun occurs about 15 times. One occurrence is in Prov. 2:13: “Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness.” 
Other nouns occur less frequently. Yishrah means “uprightness” and occurs once (1 Kings 3:6). The noun yeshurun is an honorific title for Israel (Deut. 32:15; 33:5). Mishor means “level place, uprightness.” In 1 Kings 20:23 mishor refers to “level country”; in Isa. 11:4 the word refers to “uprightness”: “… And reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.…” 

Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
930        יָשַׁר (yāšar) be level, straight, (up) right, just, lawful. (ASV, RSV, neb similar except that they vary translations with “honest,” “righteous.”)
930a    יָשָׁר (yāšār) (up-) right.
930b    יֹשֶׁר (yōšer) uprightness, straightness.
930c    יְשָׁרָה (yĕšārâ) uprightness.
930d    יְשֻׁרוּן (yĕšūrûn) upright, law keeping, Jeshurun.
930e    מֵישָׁר (mêšār) uprightness, straightness.
930f     t מִישׁוֹר (mîšôr) level place, uprightness.
The root y-š-r is employed in at least three ways.
1. Literally. “To go straight or direct in the way” (I Sam 6:12), but more frequently in the intensive (Piel) “to make (a way) straight,” i.e. direct and level and free from obstacles, as when preparing to receive a royal visitor. This is the work of God for man (Prov 3:6 KJV “direct”), but also of man for God (Isa 40:3). It is “to look straight ahead of you” (Prov 4:25), to do something evenly (I Kgs 6:35, KJV) as Solomon’s overlaying the cherubs with gold or Hezekiah’s designing the aqueduct bringing it straight (II Chr 32:30, KJV) to the west of Jerusalem.
2. Ethically. Uprightness as the manner of life is a characteristic of the blameless (Prov 11:5) and of the man of discernment (Ps 119:128, “I have lived uprightly”). Thus the fact that God has made man upright (Eccl 7:29) is probably to be interpreted as granting him the ability to recognize the divine law, rather than some inborn character as honest or straightforward (so neb). It is said of the reckless that his soul is not upright within him (Hab 2:4) and this leads to pride and failure.
יָשָׁר (yāšār). Upright. The attributive adjective is used to emphasize an attribute of: a. God, describing his reign over his people (Deut 32:4), his ways (Hos 14:10), words (Ps 111:8), and judgments (Ps 119:137); b. especially qualified persons, as a parallel to the righteous (Ps 33:1) or the perfect (Job 1:1, 8). It is a quality of heart and mind (Ps 7:11; 11:2, et al.) which enables the upright man to keep loyally to any legally binding agreement (II Kgs 10:15). It is not always possible to be sure whether the “level” path (Jer 31:9) or “straight” foot is to be understood as an ethical appraisal of the way of life or literally. Certainly the nouns meaning “uprightness” are used of a moral quality of heart (yōšer, Deut 9:5; I Kgs 9:4), as often in Prov (2:13; 4:11) which results in “right paths,” i.e. right both morally and practically (Job 33:23). This was a characteristic of David’s life (I Kgs 3:6, yĕšārâ, only here). It is used both of words spoken (Job 6:25) and written (Eccl 12:10).
3. As an idiomatic expression with “eyes.” “To be right in the eyes (of a person)” is to have his approval by keeping his commands. It is used of God (Num 23:27; Jer 27:5) perhaps also under the figure of the Potter (Jer 18:4). When marriage was so considered by Samson (Jud 14:3, 7), Saul, and David (I Sam 18:26), it can be rendered “lawful” as in Ugaritic (ysr; Van Zijl, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 10:83). Similarly when a treaty (II Sam 17:4) or religious action (II Chr 30:4) was ratified by an assembly.
A fuller phrase “to do what is right (hayyāšār, the right) in the eyes of the Lord” is linked with obedience to his commands (Ex 15:26; Deut 6:17–18) and covenant (Deut 12:28; 13:19). It is commonly used by the so-called Deuteronomist historian in his summary evaluation of the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah. Thus David is said to have followed the Lord’s commands (I Kgs 15:5–7) and the laws of Moses (I Kgs 14:8) as did Solomon when he followed his father’s statutes, which were the same as those of the Lord (I Kgs 3:3, 14). Asa (I Kgs 15:11; II Chr 14:1) and Josiah (II Kgs 22:2) were similarly described as having done the right. So Jehoshaphat did the same as had Asa (II Chr 10:32), Azariah as did Amaziah (II Kgs 15:3; cf. II Chr 25:2) and Amaziah as did Joash (II Kgs 14:3). Hezekiah did the right in that he kept the commandments which the Lord had commanded Moses (II Kgs 18:6). Note that this phrase implies the existence and knowledge of the law of God, and that individual kings were thought to have kept it. This was shown by the king taking action (the so-called reforms) to ensure that the people also kept the Law. Such action was marked by public decrees which might include remission of dues, deliverance from oppressive legislation (Josh 9:23ff.), and the observance of religious festivals (Passover). Even when a king was said to have done the right, any major omission in his endorsement of the whole law is carefully noted ("except in the case of’) Hezekiah’s public act was initiated in the first full regnal year. It has been pointed out that there is a somewhat similar practice among Mesopotamian kings who effected the continuity of law and order by issuing mēšarm, decrees (Wiseman, D. J., “The Laws of Hammurabi Again,” JSS 7:167–68). In this phrase the ot uses yšr with the force of law-keeping, doing justice according to the law, which was the norm (as the Akkadian isartu is used of what is normal in writing).
מִישׁוֹר (mîšôr). Level place, uprightness. mêšār. Uprightness, straightness (in government), justice. mêšārîm and mîšôr could well be translated “justly” (with justice) or “lawfully” (as in Ug ’Anat 3.3) and describe the way judgment is given (Ps 58:1 [H 2); 75:2 [H 3], RSV “with equity”). With the verb “to judge” it means “decide in favour” (KB). It is the way a people should be judged (Ps 67:4 [H 5]; KJV righteously; RSV with equity; neb with justice). To do this is holding to the covenant (Mal 2:6). It is the Lord who declares “justice” (Isa 4:19) and this sense of the word persists (Dan 11:6, laʿăsôt mēšārîm “to make an equitable arrangement”). Occasionally these nouns are clearly used in a legal context (Prov 2:9; cf. Ps 17:2). They are not really synonymous with righteousness (ṣedeq) although often used in parallel with it, with good (ṭôb) and with judgment (mišpāṭ). Cf. also Ugaritic ṣdq. In Akkadian documents “justice” also appears as a deity (dMišarum; Ugaritica 5:220, line 166), namely the son of the sun-god Shamash, who was in Mesopotamia the primary god of justice.
יְשׁוּרוּן (yĕšûrûn). Jeshurun. Jeshurun is a proper name used only of Israel, in four passages. The parallelism of Jacob and Israel with Jacob and Jeshurun (Deut 32:15; Isa 44:2, Jeshurun) makes it clear that the reference must be to Jacob under his name Israel (so Deut 33:5). The Lord is “God of Jeshurun” (Deut 33:26).
While it might designate Israel as an ideal, upright one (so Gr, Vulg rectissimus, dilectus) it is more probable that the sense of law-keeping or upholding justice is appropriate here; they are a Rechtsfolk who possess the law. The old etymology as a diminutive of yāšûr “good little people” cannot be supported since there is no evidence of such a diminutive formation in Hebrew; nor would the title be apposite. Personal names in -ûn do occur (possibly as hypocoristica) and the possibly contemporary name of Jesher, the son of Caleb (I Chr 2:18) the Ras Shamra name of Misara (Ugaritica 5, RS 17.325), and Ugaritic bn msrm “son of uprightness” (UT 19: no. 1566) may be compared, even though they lack the termination.
The “book of Jashar” (Josh 10:13) is given as a source or record of Israel’s defeat of the Amorites. It also recorded the defeat and death of Saul and Jonathan at the hands of the Philistines and David’s lament for them (II Sam 1:18). It contained information which could be quoted or taught. While most scholars consider it a collection of ancient national poetry, it may well have been part of the pre-monarchy state records which would have included written agreements or other publicly issued statements similar to the msrm decrees.
The noun mîšôr, derived from yāšār, means primarily “a level place,” and is used for geographical descriptions as well as to connote “justice” discussed above in connection with mêšārîm.
Thus it marks the “plain” in contrast to the hills (I Kgs 20:23–25; it is so rendered by KJV, RSV, jb, neb, or as opposed to the valleys (Isa 40:11). In Isa 42:16 it may be translated “level tracks” (jb) or “(straighten) twisted roads” (neb). As used in David’s prayers (Ps 26:12; 27:11; 143:10), the word could mean a level place or be figurative for a place of safety, comfort, and prosperity (BDB). It may denote justice or the blessing which follows from lawkeeping in view of the invocation of the Lord as judge (Ps 26:1f.). In Jer 21:13, “the rock of the plain” seems to refer to a precise topographical location in Jerusalem (KB), perhaps the palace on Ophel (jb).
In a number of verses mîšôr marks a specific region of Jordan, north of the Arnon River, which was captured by the Hebrews. It lay in the desert wilderness (Deut 4:43) where there was grazing (II Chr 26:10). Within the area were villages (Deut 3:10) as well as one of the cities of refuge (Josh 20:8).
Bibliography: Finkelstein, J. J., “Some new mišarm material with its implications,” in Studies in Honor of B. Landsberger, ed. Hans G. Guterbock and Thorkild Jacobsen, Chicago: University Press, 1965. Richardson, TWB, p. 273. THAT, I, pp. 790–93.
יְשֻׁרוּן (yĕšūrûn). See no. 930d.[3]

Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon
יָשָׁר S3477 TWOT930a GK3838, 3839 adj. straight, right;—י׳ 1 S 29:6 + 70 times; cstr. יְשַׁר Pr 29:27; f. יְשָׁרָה Ez 1:7 + 4 times; pl. יְשָׁרִים Nu 23:10 + 31 times; cstr. יִשְׁרֵי ψ 7:11 + 8 times; f. יְשָׁרוֹת Ez 1:23 (del. Co);—
1. straight, level, of a way Is 26:7 Je 31:9 ψ 107:7 Ezr 8:21; foot Ez 1:7; wings v 23 (? v. supr.)
2. right, pleasing:
a. to God, הַיָּשָׁר בעיני that which is right, pleasing in the eyes of, agreeable to (either cstr. before י׳, or with sfs. referring to him), especially in Deut. writers, Ex 15:26 (R), Dt 12:25; 13:19; 21:9 1 K 11:33, 38; 14:8, 15:5, 11; 22:43 = 2 Ch 20:32, 2 K 10:30, 12:3; 14:3; 15:3, 34; 16:2; 18:3; 22:2 = 2 Ch 24:2; 25:2; 26:4; 27:2; 28:1; 29:2; 34:2, Je 34:15; הישׁר והטוב בעיני י׳ Dt 6:18; הטוב והישׁר בעיני י׳ 12:28 2 Ch 14:1; הטוב והישׁר והאמח לפני י׳ 31:20.
b. to man, (ה)ישׁר בעיני Dt 12:8 Ju 17:6; 21:25 2 S 19:7 Je 40:5 Pr 12:15; 21:2; (ה)טוב ו(ה)ישׁר בעיני Jos 9:25 (D), Je 26:14; 40:4; יֵשׁ דֶּרֶךְ יָשָׁר לִפְנֵי־אִישׁ Pr אָ֑יִן Mi 7:2 an upright man among men there is none, and yet Job is תָּם וְיָשָׁר Jb 1:1 (v. Da), v 8; 2:3, cf. ψ 37:37; זַךְ וישׁר Jb 8:6; so earlier of David as an uprightman 1 S 29:6; of man’s doings || זַךְ Pr 20:11, cf. 21:8; of his way of life || טובה 1 S 12:23; יְשַׁר־דֶּרֶךְ Pr 29:27; יִשְׁרִי־דֶרֶךְ ψ 37:14; of his heart, mind, and will, יִשְׁרֵי לֵבָב upright of heart 2 Ch 29:34; רִשְׁרֵי־לֵב ψ 7:11; 11:2; 32:11; 36:11; 64:11; 94:15; 97:11; יְשָׁרִים בְּלִבּוֹתָם 125:4.
c. as a noun,
(1) with ref. to things, יָשָׁר הֶעֱוֵיתִי the right I have perverted Jb 33:27; הַיְשָׁרָה יְעַקֵּ֑שׁוּ Mi 3:9 pervert the right (lit. twist that which is straight); דֹּבֵר יְשָׁרִים speaketh right things Pr 16:13, cf. 2 K 10:15.
(2) more commonly of men, in sg. (ה)יָשָׁר Mi 2:7; 7:4 2 K 10:3 Pr 21:29 Jb 23:7; collective, ψ 11:7; also in סֵפֶר הַיָּשָׁר book of the upright Jos 10:13 2 S 1:18 (cf. 1 K 8:53 G; DrIntr. 182), a collection of ancient national poetry; in pl. יְשָׁרִים the upright, of pious Israel Nu 23:10 (song E); elsewhere of the upright among the people of God as distinguished from the wicked, in WisdLt, Jb 4:7; 17:8 Pr 2:7, 21; 3:32; 11:3, 6, 11; 12:6; 14:9, 11; 15:8, 19; 16:17; 21:18; 28:10; 29:10, in late ψψ 33:1; 49:15; 107:42; 111:1; 112:2, 4; 140:14 and Dn 11:17.
4. abstr., uprightness, בֶּאֱמֶת וְיָשָׁר ψ 111:8 (Thes), but read rather ישֶׁר with Hi Ri Bae, after G S T Jer.[4]straightforward, just, upright: a. of God, צַדִּיק וְיָשָׁר הוּא Dt 32:4 (song); טוב וישׁר י׳ ψ 25:8; ישׁר י׳ 92:16; his ways Ho 14:10; his משׁפטים Ne 9:13 ψ 119:137; פִּקּוּדִים 19:9; דָּבָר 33:4; the words of divine wisdom Pr 8:9. b. of man, God made him upright Ec 7:29; but יָשָׁר בָּאָדָם [5]

v v: verb
[1] James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2001).
[2] W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 273–274.
JSS Journal of Semitic Studies
KB L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner, Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros, 2nd ed., Eng.-Ger., 1958
Vulg The Vulgate version of the Bible in Latin
UT C.H. Gordon, Ugaritic Textbook, 1965 (Grammar cited by chapter and section; texts cited by chap (16) and no. of line. Glossary cited by chap (19) and no. of word)
BDB Brown, Driver, Briggs, A Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament, 1905
KB L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner, Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros, 2nd ed., Eng.-Ger., 1958
THAT E. Jenni u. C. Westermann, Theologisches handbuch zum Alten Testament
[3] Donald J. Wiseman, “930 יָשַׁר,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 417–418.
prefixed, or added, or both, indicates ‘All passages cited.’
S Strong’s Concordance
TWOT Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.
adj. adjective.
+ plus, denotes often that other passages, etc., might be cited. So also where the forms of verbs, nouns, and adjectives are illustrated by citations, near the beginning of articles; while ‘etc.’ in such connexions commonly indicates that other forms of the word occur, which it has not been thought worth while to cite.
f. feminine, feminae.
+ plus, denotes often that other passages, etc., might be cited. So also where the forms of verbs, nouns, and adjectives are illustrated by citations, near the beginning of articles; while ‘etc.’ in such connexions commonly indicates that other forms of the word occur, which it has not been thought worth while to cite.
+ plus, denotes often that other passages, etc., might be cited. So also where the forms of verbs, nouns, and adjectives are illustrated by citations, near the beginning of articles; while ‘etc.’ in such connexions commonly indicates that other forms of the word occur, which it has not been thought worth while to cite.
+ plus, denotes often that other passages, etc., might be cited. So also where the forms of verbs, nouns, and adjectives are illustrated by citations, near the beginning of articles; while ‘etc.’ in such connexions commonly indicates that other forms of the word occur, which it has not been thought worth while to cite.
f. feminine, feminae.
del. dele, strike out (also delet, delent).
v. vide, see.
supr. supra, above.
sfs. suffix, or with suffix.
v. vide, see.
cf. confer, compare.
cf. confer, compare.
|| parallel, of words (synonymous or contrasted); also of passages; sometimes = ‘see parallel,’ or ‘see also parallel.’
cf. confer, compare.
cf. confer, compare.
G Greek version of the LXX.
Intr. S. R. Driver, Introduction to Literature of O. T.
Thes W. Gesenius, Thesaurus Linguae Hebraeae.
G Greek version of the LXX.
S Syriac Version.
T Targum.
[4] Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver, and Charles Augustus Briggs, Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 2000), 449.