From BiblePortal Wikipedia

King James Dictionary [1]


1. To stick to adhere to hold to.

My bones cleave to my skin.  Psalms 102 .

Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.  Psalms 137 .

Cleave to that which is good.  Romans 12 .

2. To unite aptly to fit to sit well on. 3. To unite or be united closely in interest or affection to adhere with strong attachment.

A man shall leave father and mother, and cleave to his wife.  Genesis 2 . Math. 19.

Cleave to Jehovah your God.  Joshua 23 .


1. To part or divide by force to split or rive to open or serve the cohering parts of a body, by cutting or by the application of force as, to cleave wood to cleave a rock to cleave the flood.  Psalms 74 . 2. To part or open naturally.

Every beast that cleaveth the cleft into two claws.  Deuteronomy 14 .

CLEAVE, To part to open to crack to separate, as parts of cohering bodies as, the ground cleaves by frost.

The mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof.  Zechariah 14 .

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [2]

 Psalm 22:15 (b) This is a description of the terrible results of the suffering of Christ on the Cross.

 Psalm 44:25 (b) Here is a graphic story of the utter depression which comes upon those whom GOD forsakes.

 Psalm 119:25 (b) In this way is described the feelings of the psalmist when sorrow had overwhelmed him.

 Matthew 19:5 (b) It is a figure to show how closely related and attached a husband and wife are in the sight of the Lord.

 Romans 12:9 (a) This is a strong expression to show how fully we should be given over to the good things of GOD.

Webster's Dictionary [3]

(1): (v. i.) To adhere closely; to stick; to hold fast; to cling.

(2): (v. i.) To unite or be united closely in interest or affection; to adhere with strong attachment.

(3): (v. i.) To fit; to be adapted; to assimilate.

(4): (v. i.) To part; to open; to crack; to separate; as parts of bodies; as, the ground cleaves by frost.

(5): (v. t.) To part or open naturally; to divide.

(6): (v. t.) To part or divide by force; to split or rive; to cut.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [4]

klēv  : Is used in the Bible in two different senses:

(1) בּקע , bāḳa‛ "to split," or "to rend." We are told that Abraham "clave the wood for the burnt-offering" ( Genesis 22:3 ), and that "they clave the wood of the cart" ( 1 Samuel 6:14 ). The Psalmist speaks of Yahweh cleaving fountain and flood ( Psalm 74:15 ), and the plowman cleaving the earth ( Psalm 141:7 ). For other examples see  Judges 15:19;  Ecclesiastes 10:9;  Psalm 78:15;  Habakkuk 3:9 .

(2) דּבק , dābhaḳ  ; κολλάω , kolláō , "to adhere to," or "to join one's self to." This meaning is the reverse of the preceding. The Psalmist speaks of his tongue cleaving to the roof of his mouth ( Psalm 137:6 ). We are told that a man should cleave unto his wife ( Genesis 2:24;  Matthew 19:5 ). It is said that Ruth clave unto her mother-in-law (Rth 1:14), and that certain men clave unto Paul ( Acts 17:34; compare  Acts 4:23;  Acts 11:23 margin).

"Cleave" is also used in this sense to describe one's adherence to principles. Paul admonished the Romans to cleave to that which is good ( Romans 12:9 ).