From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [1]

A. Verb.

Bâchar ( בָּחַר , Strong'S #977), “to choose.” This verb is found 170 times throughout the Old Testament. It is also found in Aramaic, Syriac, and Assyrian. The word has parallels in Egyptian, Akkadian, and Canaanite languages. Bâchar first occurs in the Bible in Gen. 6:2: “… They took them wives of all which they chose.” It is often used with a man as the subject: “Lot chose [for himself] all the plain of Jordan …” (Gen. 13:11). In more than half of the occurrences, God is the subject of bâchar , as in Num. 16:5: “… The Lord will show who are his, and who is holy; … even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him.”

Neh. 9:7-8 describes God’s “choosing” (election) of persons as far back as Abram: “You are the Lord God, who chose Abram … and you made a covenant with him” (NIV). Bâchar is used 30 times in Deuteronomy, all but twice referring to God’s “choice” of Israel or something in Israel’s life. “Because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them …” (Deut. 4:37). Being “chosen” by God brings people into an intimate relationship with Him: “… The children of the Lord your God: … the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth” (Deut. 14:1-2).

God’s “choices” shaped the history of Israel; His “choice” led to their redemption from Egypt (Deut. 7:7-8), sent Moses and Aaron to work miracles in Egypt (Ps. 105:26- 27), and gave them the Levites “to bless in the name of the Lord” (Deut. 21:5). He “chose” their inheritance (Ps. 47:4), including Jerusalem, where He dwelt among them (Deut. 12:5; 2 Chron. 6:5, 21). But “they have chosen their own ways, and … I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them …” (Isa. 66:3- 4). The covenant called men to respond to God’s election: “… I have set before you life and death … : therefore choose life …” (Deut. 30:19; cf. Josh. 24:22).

The Greek Septuagint version translated bâchar chiefly by eklegein , and through this word the important theological concept of God’s “choosing” came into the New Testament. The verb is used of God’s or Christ’s “choice” of men for service, as in Luke 6:13 (“of them he chose twelve …”) or of the objects of His grace: “… He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world …” (Eph. 1:4). John 15:16 expresses the central truth of election in both Testaments: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, … that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.…”

B. Noun.

Bâchı̂yr ( בָּחִיר , Strong'S #972), “chosen ones.” Another noun, bâchı̂yr is used 13 times, always of the Lord’s “chosen ones”: “Saul, whom the Lord did choose” (2 Sam. 21:6); “ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones” (1 Chron. 16:13).

King James Dictionary [2]


1. To pick out to select to take by way of preference from two or more things offered to make choice of.

The man the Lord doth choose shall be holy.  Numbers 16 .

2. To take in preference.

Let us choose to us judgment.  Job 34 .

3. To prefer to choose for imitation to follow.

Envy not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.  Proverbs 3 .

4. To elect for eternal happiness to predestinate to life.

Many are called but few chosen.  Matthew 20 .

For his elects sake, whom he hath chosen.  Mark 13 .

5. To elect or designate to office or employment by votes or suffrages. In the United States, the people choose representatives by votes, usually by ballot.


1. To prefer as, I choose to go. 2. To have the power of choice. The phrase, he cannot choose but stay, denotes that he has not the power of choice, whether to stay or not.

The verb, in these phrases, is really transitive the following verb standing as the object, instead of a noun.

Webster's Dictionary [3]

(1): (v. i.) To do otherwise.

(2): (v. t.) To make choice of; to select; to take by way of preference from two or more objects offered; to elect; as, to choose the least of two evils.

(3): (v. t.) To wish; to desire; to prefer.

(4): (v. i.) To make a selection; to decide.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [4]

See Election Elect