West

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Webster's Dictionary [1]

(1): ( n.) A country, or region of country, which, with regard to some other country or region, is situated in the direction toward the west.

(2): ( n.) The Westen hemisphere, or the New World so called, it having been discovered by sailing westward from Europe; the Occident.

(3): ( n.) Formerly, that part of the United States west of the Alleghany mountains; now, commonly, the whole region west of the Mississippi river; esp., that part which is north of the Indian Territory, New Mexico, etc. Usually with the definite article.

(4): ( a.) Lying toward the west; situated at the west, or in a western direction from the point of observation or reckoning; proceeding toward the west, or coming from the west; as, a west course is one toward the west; an east and west line; a west wind blows from the west.

(5): ( adv.) Westward.

(6): ( v. i.) To pass to the west; to set, as the sun.

(7): ( n.) The point in the heavens where the sun is seen to set at the equinox; or, the corresponding point on the earth; that one of the four cardinal points of the compass which is in a direction at right angles to that of north and south, and on the left hand of a person facing north; the point directly opposite to east.

(8): ( v. i.) To turn or move toward the west; to veer from the north or south toward the west.

(9): ( a.) Designating, or situated in, that part of a church which is opposite to, and farthest from, the east, or the part containing the chancel and choir.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [2]

WEST ( δυσμή).—In Palestine the direction of the setting sun is also that of the sea, and the West is therefore the source from which rain is generally expected ( 1 Kings 18:44,  Luke 12:54). The observed connexion between western clouds and rain led Christ to remark on the strange inattention to the spiritual trend of the times ( Luke 12:56). He attributed such disregard and misrepresentation to self-delusion resulting from insincerity. He recognized that the final stage of imperviousness and impotence had been reached, and that the Kingdom of Heaven required the removal of both teachers and teaching and a re-baptism of religious vision and thought ( Matthew 23:36-39,  Mark 8:12,  John 4:21).

The reference to North, South, East, and West as the equal sources from which the Kingdom of Heaven was to draw its membership, indicated the universal scope of His own relationship to the world. The same truth is suggested in the vision of the New Jerusalem as the city with an equal number of open gates on its four sides ( Revelation 21:13). Hence to-day, in the statesmanship of that Kingdom, it is unwise and wasteful to transport to the East the controversies and cleavages of Western Christianity. Only the universal truths of the gospel should be presented to the universal mission field.

G. M. Mackie.

King James Dictionary [3]

WEST, n. L., a decline or fall, departure. In elements, it coincides with waste.

1. In strictness, that point of the horizon where the sun sets at the equinox, or any point in a direct line between the spectator or other object, and that point of the horizon or west is the intersection of the prime vertical with the horizon, on that side where the sun sets. West is directly opposite to east, and one of the cardinal points. In a less strict sense, west is the region of the hemisphere near the point where the sun sets when in the equator. Thus we say, a star sets in the west, a meteor appears in the west, a cloud rises in the west. 2. A country situated in the region towards the sun-setting, with respect to another. Thus in the United States, the inhabitants of the Atlantic states speak of the inhabitants of Ohio, Kentucky or Missouri, and call them people of the west and formerly, the empire of Rome was called the empire of the West, in opposition to the empire of the East, the seat of which was Constantinople.

WEST, a.

1. Being in a line towards the point where the sun sets when in the equator or in a looser sense, being in the region near the line of direction towards that point, either on the earth or in the heavens.

This shall be your west border.  Numbers 34 .

2. Coming or moving from the west or western region as a west wind.

WEST, adv. To the western region at the westward more westward as, Ireland lies west of England.

WEST, To pass to the west to set, as the sun. Not in use.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [4]

1: Δυσμή (Strong'S #1424 — Noun Feminine — dusme — doos-may' )

"the quarter of the sun-setting" (dusis, "a sinking, setting;" duno, "to sink"), hence, "the west," occurs in  Matthew 8:11;  24:27;  Luke 12:54 (some regard this as the sunset); 13:29;   Revelation 21:13 .

Morrish Bible Dictionary [5]

This was expressed by

1. yam, 'the Sea,' referring to the Mediterranean, which lieson the west of Palestine,  Genesis 12:8 , etc.

2. maarab, δυσμή, 'sun-setting,' because the sun sets in the west.  1 Chronicles 7:28;  Matthew 8:11; etc.

3. maarabah, 'sun-setting,' only in   Isaiah 45:6 .

4. mebo hashshemesh, from the 'going down of the sun,' only in  Joshua 23:4;  Zechariah 8:7 .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [6]

(expressed in Heb. by אָחוֹר , Behind; יָם , the Sea; בּוֹא הִשֶּׁמֶשׁ , the Going Down Of The Sun [and so in Greek Δυσμή , sunset]; מִעֲרָב , Evening). The Shemite, in speaking of the quarters of the heavens, etc., supposes his face turned towards the east; so that the east is before him, קָדָם , strictly what is before or in front; the south on his right hand, תַּיטֹן , strictly what lies to the right; the north on his left hand, שַׂמאֹל , the left side; and the west behind him, אָחוֹר , literally the hinder side. The last Hebrew word, though never translated "west" in our version, means so: as in  Isaiah 9:12, "the Philistines behind," opposed to the Syrians, קָדָם Sept. Ἀφ᾿ Ἡλίου Δυσμῶν ; Vulg. Ab Occidente; and in  Job 23:8.The words ( Deuteronomy 11:24) "the uttermost sea," הִיָּם הָאִחֲרוֹן , are rendered in the Sept. Ἕως Τῆς Θαλάσσης Τῆς Ἐπὶ Δυσμῶν ; Vulg. Ad Mare Occidentale (comp.  Isaiah 34:2;  Joel 2:20).

The more general use of the word אָחוֹר for the west was doubtless superseded among the inhabitants of Palestine by יָם , literally "the sea," that is, the Mediterranean Sea, which lay to the west, and which, as a more palpable object, became to them the representative of the west generally, and chiefly associated with their ideas of it. Accordingly this word יַם and its derivatives, יָמָה , etc., are thirty-two times rendered by Θάλασσα , in the Sept., and only once by Δυσμαί ; in the Vulg. by occidens and mare. It is used to signify a quarter of the heavens, or of the earth ( Genesis 28:14;  Deuteronomy 33:23;  1 Kings 7:25;  1 Chronicles 9:24;  2 Chronicles 4:4;  Isaiah 11:14;  Isaiah 49:12;  Ezekiel 48:1;  Hosea 11:10;  Zechariah 14:4). It is used adjectively in the same sense; as, west border ( Numbers 34:6;  Joshua 15:12;  Ezekiel 45:7); western ( Numbers 34:6); west quarter ( Joshua 18:14); west side ( Exodus 26:12;  Exodus 38:12;  Numbers 2:18;  Numbers 35:5;  Ezekiel 48:3-8;  Ezekiel 48:23-24); westward ( Genesis 13:14;  Numbers 3:23;  Deuteronomy 3:27;  Ezekiel 48:18;  Daniel 8:4); west wind ( Exodus 10:19).

Those words of Moses, "Naphtali, possess thou the west and the south" ( Deuteronomy 33:23), seem to contradict the statement of Josephus, that this tribe possessed the east and the north in Upper Galilee (Ant. 5, 1, 22); but Bochart interprets "the south," not with regard to the whole land of Canaan, but to the Danites, mentioned in  Deuteronomy 33:22; and by "the west" he understands the lake of Tiberias, otherwise called the sea of Tiberias, or Galilee, or Gennesaret; for the portion of Naphtali extended from the south of the city called Dan or Laish to the sea of Tiberias, which was in this tribe. So all the Chaldee paraphrasts expound the word יָם , here translated West; Sept. Θάλασσαν Καὶ Λίβα ; Vulg. Nare Et Meridiem (Hieroz. pt. 1, lib. 3, c. 18). In some passages the word signifies the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, and "the islands of the sea" denotes the western part of the world, or European nations. Thus, in regard to the future restoration of the Jews to their own' land, it is said ( Hosea 11:10), "when the Lord shall roar, then the children shall tremble (that is, hasten; an allusion to the motion of a bird's wings in flying) from the west"(see  Hosea 11:11, and comp.  Isaiah 24:14-15, with  Isaiah 11:11;  Isaiah 24:14).

In the account given of the removal of the plague of locusts from Egypt, we are told ( Exodus 10:19), "the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind," יוּהִאּיָם , Ἄνεμον Ἀπὸ Θαλάσσης . Supposing that these were the very words of Moses, or a literal rendering of his words, it follows that the Egyptians made a similar reference to the Mediterranean, since Moses, all Egyptian, would no doubt use the language of his country in describing an event, which occurred in it. If his words do not refer to the Mediterranean, they must refer to the far-distant Atlantic, which, however, according to Herodotus, was not known to the Egyptians till many ages afterwards. Moses also represents God as saying to Abram, in the land, "Lift up thine eyes and look northward, and southward and eastward, and westward, יָמָה ( Genesis 13:14). The allusion to the sea in the latter passage may be accounted for upon the supposition that the very words of God to Abram had been preserved, and were inserted by Moses in his history. In two passages ( Psalms 107:3;  Isaiah 49:12) מִיַם stands opposed to מַצָּפוֹן , but ought still to be rendered "the west" comp.  Amos 8:12;  Deuteronomy 33:23.

The west is also indicated by the phrase אֶרֶ מַבּוֹא הִשֶּׁמֶשׁ , Sept. Ἀπὸ Γῆς Δυσμῶν ; Vulg. De Terra Occasus Solis. These words are translated "the west country" in  Zechariah 8:7, literally, the country of the going-down of the sun, and are fully translated in  Psalms 1:1;  Psalms 113:3;  Malachi 1:11; comp.  Deuteronomy 11:30;  Joshua 1:4;  Joshua 23:4. Another word by which the west is denoted is מִעֲרָב , from עָרִב , to remove, pass away, disappear as the sun does; hence the quarter of the heavens, etc., where the sun sets, the west. The same idea is conveyed in. the Greek word Δυσμαί , from Δύω . It occurs in  1 Chronicles 12:15;  Psalms 75:6;  Psalms 103:12;  Psalms 107:3;  Isaiah 43:5;  Isaiah 45:6;  Isaiah 9:19; Sept. Δυσμαί ; Vulg. Occidens: in  Daniel 8:5, Sept. Λίψ ; Vulg. Occidens. It is used to denote the west quarter of the heavens or earth. In the Apocrypha and New Test. the word translated "west" invariably corresponds to Δυσμαί ( Judith 2:19;  Matthew 8:11;  Matthew 24:27;  Luke 12:54;  Luke 13:29;  Revelation 21:13); Vulg. occidens, occasus. Our Lord's memorable words, "They shall come from the east and the west," etc. ( Matthew 8:11), to which Luke adds " And from the north and the south"( Matthew 13:29), signify all the regions of the world; as in classical writers also (Xenoph. Cyr. 1, 1, 3). Grotius thinks that this passage refers to the promise to Jacob ( Genesis 28:14). In our Lord's prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans ( Matthew 24:27), "For as the lightning cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west, so also shall the coming of the son of man be," he is supposed to have intimated the precise direction in which the Roman army conducted the invasion. His reference to the cloud, Τὴν Νεφέλην , rising out of the west, as the precursor of a shower (comp.  1 Kings 18:43-46); still corresponds to the weather in Palestine. Volney says, "The west and south-west winds, which in Syria and Palestine prevail from November to February, are, to borrow an expression of the Arabs, "the fathers of showers" (Voyage en Syrie, 1, 297; comp. Shaw, Travels, p. 329). Kitto. Notable instances of such showers are those at the battle of Bethhoron (Joshua 11), and Elijah's sacrifice on Mt. Carmel ( 1 Kings 18:44).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [7]

(1) Usually ( ים , yām ), "sea" because the Mediterranean lies to the West of Palestine; not usually in figurative expressions; but compare   Hosea 11:10 . (2) Often (מערב , ma‛ărābh ); compare Arabic ( gharb ), and ( maghrib ), "west" ( maghrib - ush - shems ), or simply ( maghrib ), "sunset." (3) (השׁמשׁ מבוא , mebhō' ha - shemesh ), "entrance of the sun," (מבוא , mābhō' , root בּוא , bō' ), "to come in." (Just as מזרח , mizrāḥ , is the rising of the sun, or east, so מבוא , mābhō' (or מערב , ma‛ărābh , is the setting of the sun, or west: "From the rising of the sun ( mizraḥ - shemesh ) unto the going down ( mābhō' ) thereof" ( Psalm 50:1; compare  Psalm 113:3;  Malachi 1:11 ).) (4) (δυσμή , dusmḗ , from δύω , dúō ), "to enter," "sink," "set." The Greek usage is parallel to the Hebrew just cited: "Many shall come from the east anatolḗ , "rising") and the west" ( dusmḗ , "setting") ( Matthew 8:11 ).

The chief figurative use of the word "west" is in combination with "east" to denote great or infinite distance, as:

"As far as the east is from the west,

So far hath he removed our transgressions from us" ( Psalm 103:12 ).

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [8]

The Shemite, in speaking of the quarters of the heavens, etc. supposes his face turned towards the east; so that the east is before him; the south on his right hand; the north on his left hand, and the west behind him; and the various words employed to designate the quarters of the heavens have literally the signification mentioned (Voyage en Syrie, tom. i. p. 297; Shaw's Travels, p. 329).

References