The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Vol. 4

By Geoffrey W. Bromiley; Everett E. Harrison et al. | Go to book overview

v

VACILLATING "Gk. en elaphríą chráomai" (2 Cor. 1:17); AV USE LIGHTNESS; NEB LIGHTLY CHANGE ONE'S MIND. The expression means literally “act with lightness,” i.e., not take a matter (in this case, plans that were changed) seriously enough.

VAGABOND "Heb. piel part, of hālaḵ–'rover'" (Prov. 6:11); AV “one that travelleth”; NEB ROBBER. Proverbs 6:11 warns the sluggard that for him poverty will appear as suddenly as the vagabond.

VAHEB vā'heb (Nu. 21:14, NEB). See WAHEB.

VAIL.See VEIL.

VAIN "Heb. šāw–'worthless'" (Ex. 20:7; Dt. 5:11; Ps. 60:11 "MT 13"; 108:12 "MT 13"; etc.); NEB also WRONG, etc.; "rîq–'empty'" (Lev. 26:16, 20; Job 39:16; Ps. 2:1; etc.); AV also VANITY; NEB also TO NO PURPOSE, WASTED, FUTILE, etc.; "tôhu–'without form' (cf. Gen. 1:2)"; (1 S. 12:21); NEB FALSE; "šeqer–'falsehood'" (1 S. 25:21; Ps. 33:17; 119:118); AV also FALSEHOOD; NEB A WASTE OF TIME, etc.; "heḇel–'breath, vanity'" (Job 9:29; Ps. 31:6 "MT 7"; Prov. 31:30; Eccl. 6:12; etc.); AV also VANITY, NOUGHT; NEB also USELESS, FLEETING, etc.; "hāḇal–'carry on what is empty'" (Job 27:12; Ps. 62:10 "MT 11"; NEB TALK EMPTY NONSENSE, etc.; "hiphil part, of hāḇal" (“filling with vain hope,” Jer. 23:16); AV THEY MAKE VAIN; NEB WHO BOUY UP WITH FALSE HOPES; "kōzēḇ, emended by RSV to kāzāb" (Ps. 116:11); AV LIARS (with MT); NEB FAITHLESS”; "ḥinnām–'gratis'" (Prov. 1:17; Ezk. 6:10); "'ayin–'nothing'" (Prov. 14:6); AV (FIND) IT NOT; NEB (FIND) NONE; "nô'āš- 'desperate'" (Jer. 18:12); AV NO HOPE; NEB PAST HOPE; "hiphil of yā'al–'resolve,' 'begin to'" (“try in vain,” 1 S. 17:39); AV ASSAY; NEB HESITATE; "teumîm" (Ezk. 24:12); AV LIES; NEB TRY; "Gk. mátēn" (“in vain,” Mt. 15:9 par. Mk. 7:7); "mátaios" (Acts 14:15; Jas. 1:26); AV also VANITIES; NEB FOLLIES, FUTILE; "ikḗ̡" (Rom. 13:4; 1 Cor. 15:2; Gal. 3:4; 4:11); NEB also FOR NOTHING, LOST; "kenós–'empty'" (1 Cor. 15:10, 14, 58; etc.); NEB also NULL AND VOID, LOST, etc.; "pass, of kenóō" (“prove vain,” 2 Cor. 9:3); NEB EMPTY; "kenṓs" (Jas. 4:5); NEB NO MEANING; "malaiología" (“vain discussion,” 1 Tim. 1:6); NEB WILDERNESS OF WORDS; VAINLY "Heb. heḇel" (Lam. 4:17). An adjective and adverb indicating futility, worthlessness, or purposelessness, i.e., that which does not achieve its goal. As the list above makes clear, the AV and RSV reduce a wide range of Hebrew and Greek terms to Eng. “vain”; thus some nuances of the original are unavoidably lost.

Theologically, whatever resists God and His authority is “in vain,” i.e., futile. The taking of God's name “in vain” means to use the name improperly or to no good purpose: in false oaths (cf. Lev. 19:12), frivolously, or in curses and the like (see also NAME C). Such actions constitute a fundamental violation of the sanctity and awesome potency of God's name, which represents the reality of His being and behavior toward human beings. Thus, to worship idols is to worship what is “vain” (Dt. 32:21; Heb. heḇel; RSV “idol”). Similarly, in comparison with God's help, the help of humans is “vain” (Ps. 108:12). And without the Lord's blessing, human undertakings are “in vain” (Ps. 127:1).

In Ezk. 24:12 the AV, RSV, and NEB have all attempted to translate MTt'eunnîm hel'āṯ; most scholars, however, have concluded that these terms are a copyist's dittograph and should be deleted (see BHS; comms.).

The NT's use of “vain” follows OT patterns. Idols are called “vain things” (Acts 14:15). Paul affirms that, as a result of the Resurrection, Christians should be unshakable, “abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58; cf. Isa.

65:23).

See also VANITY. R. C. VAN LEEUWEN

VAINGLORY "Heb. gā'ôn"; AV MAJESTY; NEB PRIDE. Pride or confidence in an illusory object. The RSV, in contrast to the AV (cf. AV Phil. 2:3 "Gk. kenodoxía; RSV “conceit”"; Gal. 5:26 "kenódoxos; RSV “self-conceit”"), uses “vainglory” only in Ezk. 7:20 in reference to the “beautiful ornament” from which Judah made “abominable images.” The “beautiful ornament” refers perhaps to the temple (cf. v. 24: “your proud "gā'ôn" might”; 24:21: “pride "gā'ôn" of your power”; cf. also Jer. 7:4), or, as seems more likely, it may be a collective expression for the gold and silver of v. 19. The expression may even be intended to refer ambiguously to both temple and precious metals as related sources of false pride. Elsewhere the RSV translates similar uses of gā'ôn as “pride” (Ezk. 32:12; Isa. 13:11, 19; Zee. 9:6; 10:11; etc.) or “pomp” (Isa. 14:11). See PRIDE.

See M. Greenberg, Ezekiel 1–20 (AB, 1983+, pp. 153-55.

R. C. VAN LEEUWEN

-963-

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The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Vol. 4
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contributors† v
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Q 1
  • R 27
  • S 247
  • T 695
  • U 937
  • V 963
  • W 1001
  • X 1161
  • Y 1162
  • Z 1167
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