From BiblePortal Wikipedia

King James Dictionary [1]

Countenance n. L., to hold.

1. Literally, the contents of a body the outline and extent which constitutes the whole figure or external appearance. Appropriately, the human face the whole form of the face, or system of features visage.

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.  Proverbs 15 .

Be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance.  Matthew 6 .

2. Air look aspect appearance of the face as in the phrase, to change or alter the countenance. 3. The face or look of a beast as a horse of a good countenance. 4. Favor good will kindness.

Thou hast made him glad with thy countenance.  Psalms 21 .

Hence in scriptural language, the light of Gods countenance is his smiles or favorable regards, his favor and grace and to hide his face or countenance is to manifest his displeasure, and withdraw his gracious aids. So the rebuke of his countenance indicates his anger and frowns.  Psalms 80 .

This application of face or countenance, which seems to be of high antiquity, proceeded probably from the practice of turning away the face to express anger, displeasure and refusal a practice still common, but probably universal among rude nations. The opposite conduct would of course express favor. The grant of a petition is accompanied with a look directed to the petitioner the refusal or denial, with an averted face. Hence,

5. Support aid patronage encouragement favor in promoting and maintaining a person or cause.

It is the province of the magistrate, to give countenance to piety and virtue.

Let religion enjoy the countenance of the laws.

Give no countenance to violations of moral duty.

6. Show resemblance superficial appearance.

The election being done, he made countenance of great discontent thereat.

7. In law, credit or estimation.

To keep the countenance, is to preserve a calm, composed or natural look, unruffled by passion to refrain from expressing laughter, joy, anger or other passion, by an unchanged countenance.

In countenance, in favor in estimation.

If the profession of religion were in countenance among men of distinction, it would have a happy effect on society.

To keep in countenance, to give assurance or courage to to support to aid by favor to prevent from shame or dismay.

To put in countenance, to give assurance to encourage or to bring into favor to support.

Out of countenance, confounded abashed with the countenance cast down not bold or assured.

To put out of countenance, to cause the countenance to fall to abash to intimidate to disconcert.


1. To favor to encourage by opinion or words.

The design was made known to the minister, but he said nothing to countenance it.

2. To aid to support to encourage to abet to vindicate by any means.

Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.  Exodus 23 .

3. To encourage to appear in defense.

He countenanced the landing in his long boat.

4. To make a show of.

Each to these ladies love did countenance.

5. To keep an appearance.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [2]

1: Ὄψις (Strong'S #3799 — Noun Feminine — opsis — op'-sis )

only  Revelation 1:16 has "countenance." See Appearance.

2: Πρόσωπον (Strong'S #4383 — Noun Neuter — prosopon — pros'-o-pon )

is translated "countenance" in  Luke 9:29;  Acts 2:28 , and in the AV of  2—Corinthians 3:7 (RV, "face"). See Appearance.

3: Ἰδέα (Strong'S #2397 — Noun Feminine — eidea — id-eh'-ah )

akin to eidon, "to see:" see Appearance.

 Acts 13:24 Matthew 6:16 Luke 24:17 Mark 10:22 Matthew 16:3Lowring.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [3]

I cannot pass over this Scriptural term, because it contains in itself, and conveys to the people, so much in expression of the mind of Jesus. "The lifting up the light of God's countenance upon a soul," implies such an abundance of favour, that whenever we meet with the words, they ought to be treasured up as a renewed token of "the good-will of Him who dwelt in the bush." ( Numbers 6:26;  Psalms 4:6;  Deuteronomy 33:16;  Psalms 21:6;  Song of Song of Solomon 2:14;  Acts 2:28;  Revelation 1:16)

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [4]

 Numbers 6:26 (b) The countenance is the expression of the face. In this Scripture the sweet experience in the heart and soul which comes from seeing and knowing the loving fellowship of GOD is described as His countenance. (See also  Psalm 89:15).

 Proverbs 15:13 (c) Here is indicated that the burden has been lifted from the soul and the heart has been made glad. (See also  Proverbs 27:17).

 Isaiah 3:9 (a) This remarkable statement reveals one of the miracles which may be seen constantly. The form of the face of the Jew identifies him at once in every part of the world.

 Matthew 28:3 (b) This refers to the unusual brightness which surrounded and covered the face of this angel from GOD.

Holman Bible Dictionary [5]

 Genesis 4:5-6 Deuteronomy 28:50 Job 9:27 Psalm 10:4 Proverbs 15:13 Ecclesiastes 7:3 Mark 10:22 Psalm 21:6 Numbers 6:25-26 Psalm 4:6 Psalm 90:15 Psalm 44:3 Psalm 80:16 Psalm 90:8

Webster's Dictionary [6]

(1): (v. t.) To encourage; to favor; to approve; to aid; to abet.

(2): (v. t.) To make a show of; to pretend.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [7]


International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [8]

koun´te - nans  :

(1) The noun (see also under the word Face ) is the translation of a variety of Hebrew and Greek expressions, פּנים , pānı̄m  ; πρόσωπον , prósōpon , being the most frequent. Besides these there are found מראה , mar'eh , "appearance," "shape," "comeliness," "visage," עין , ‛ayı̄n , "the eye," תּאר , tō'ar , "appearance," "figure," etc., and Aramaic זיו , zı̄w . To the Oriental the countenance mirrors, even more than to us, the character and feelings of the heart. The countenance ( mar'eh is "fair" ( 1 Samuel 17:42;  2 Samuel 14:27;  Daniel 1:15 ); in  1 Samuel 16:12 , literally, "fair of eyes"; "comely" ( Song of Solomon 2:14 ); "beautiful" tō'ar ,  1 Samuel 25:3 ); "cheerful" ( pānı̄m ,  Proverbs 15:13 ); "angry" ( Proverbs 15:23 ); "fierce" ( Daniel 8:23 ); "troubled" ( Ezekiel 27:35 ); "sad" ( 1 Samuel 1:18;  Nehemiah 2:2 ,  Nehemiah 2:3;  Ecclesiastes 7:3 ). The countenance is "sharpened" i.e. made keen ( Proverbs 27:17 ); it "falls," i.e. looks despondent, disappointed ( Genesis 4:5 ,  Genesis 4:6 ); is "cast down" ( Job 29:24 ); "changed" ( Job 14:20; compare "altered" into glory,  Luke 9:29;  Daniel 5:6 ,  Daniel 5:9 ,  Daniel 5:10;  Daniel 7:28 , Aramaic zı̄w ). To settle one's countenance stedfastly upon a person ( 2 Kings 8:11 ) is synonymous with staring or gazing at a person. Not infrequently we find compound expressions such as "light of countenance," i.e. favor ( Job 29:24;  Psalm 4:6;  Psalm 44:3;  Psalm 89:15;  Psalm 90:8 ); health of countenance" ( Psalm 41:11;  Psalm 43:5 ); "help of countenance" ( Psalm 42:5 ); "rebuke of countenance" ( Psalm 80:16 ); "pride of countenance" (Hebrew 'aph , literally, "haughty," "lofty nose,"  Psalm 10:4 ).

(2) As verb (Hebrew הדר , hādhar , "to countenance") we find the word in the King James Version of  Exodus 23:3 , where the Revisers translate "Neither shalt thou favor (the King James Version "countenance") a poor man in his cause." Here the meaning seems to be that no distinction of persons shall be made by the judge. See  Leviticus 19:15 , where, however, a different word is used. There is therefore no need of the emendation proposed by Knobel and accepted by Kautzsch, who would read גּדל , gādhōl , "great," for ודל , wedhāl , "and the poor" of the text. The Septuagint has πένης , pénēs , "poor."