From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [1]

A. Verb.

Mâlê' ( מָלָא , Strong'S #4390), “to fill, fulfill, overflow, ordain, endow.” This verb occurs in all Semitic languages (including biblical Aramaic) and in all periods. Biblical Hebrew attests it about 250 times.

Basically, mâlê' means “to be full” in the sense of having something done to one. In 2 Kings 4:6, the word implies “to fill up”: “And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said.…” The verb is sometimes used figuratively as in Gen. 6:13, when God noted that “the earth is filled with violence.” Used transitively, this verb means the act or state of “filling something.” In Gen. 1:22 (the first occurrence of the word), God told the sea creatures to “penetrate” the waters thoroughly but not exhaustively: “Be fruitful, and multiplyand fill the waters in the seas.” Mâlê'— can also mean “to fill up” in an exhaustive sense: “… And the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exod. 40:34). In this sense an appetite can be “filled up,” “satiated,” or “satisfied.”

Mâlê' is sometimes used in the sense “coming to an end” or “to be filled up,” to the full extent of what is expected. For example, in 1 Kings 2:27 we read: “So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the Lord; that he might fulfill —the word of the Lord, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.” This constitutes a proof of the authority of the divine Word.

In a different but related nuance, the verb signifies “to confirm” someone’s word. Nathan told Bathsheba: “Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words” (1 Kings 1:14). This verb is used to signify filling something to the full extent of what is necessary, in the sense of being “successfully completed”: “When her days to be delivered were fulfilled …” (Gen. 25:24). This may also mean “to bring to an end”; so God tells Isaiah: “Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished —…” (Isa. 40:2).

Mâlê' is used of “filling to overflowing”—not just filling up to the limits of something, but filling so as to go beyond its limits: “For Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest” (Josh. 3:15).

A special nuance appears when the verb is used with “heart”; in such cases, it means “to presume.” King Ahasuerus asked Esther: “Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume [literally, “fill his heart”] to do so?” (Esth. 7:5). To call out “fully” is to cry aloud, as in Jer. 4:5.

The word often has a special meaning in conjunction with “hand.” Mâlê' can connote “endow” (“fill one’s hand”), as in Exod. 28:3: “And thou shalt speak unto all that are wisehearted, whom I have [endowed] with the spirit of wisdom.…” In Judg. 17:5, “to fill one’s hand” is “to consecrate” someone to priestly service. A similar idea appears in Ezek. 43:26, where no literal hand is filled with anything, but the phrase is a technical term for “consecration”: “Seven days shall they [make atonement for] the altar and purify it; and they shall consecrate themselves.” This phrase is used not only of setting someone or something aside for special religious or cultic use, but of formally installing someone with the authority and responsibility to fulfill a cultic function (i.e., to be a priest). So God commands concerning Aaron and his sons: “And thou … shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office” (Exod. 28:41).

In military contexts, “to fill one’s hand” is to prepare for battle. This phrase may be used of “becoming armed,” as in Jer. 51:11: “Sharpen the arrows, fill the quivers.” (KJV, “Make bright the arrows; gather the shields.”) In a fuller sense, the phrase may signify the step immediately before shooting arrows: “And Jehu drew [literally, “filled his hand with”] a bow with his full strength …” (2 Kings 9:24). It can also signify “being armed,” or having weapons on one’s person: “But the man that shall touch them must be [armed] with iron and the staff of a spear …” (2 Sam. 23:7).

B. Adjective.

Mâlê' ( מָלָא , Strong'S #4390), “full.” The adjective mâlê' —appears 67 times. The basic meaning of the word is “full” or “full of” (Ruth 1:21; Deut. 6:11).

King James Dictionary [2]

FILL, Gr. allied perhaps to fold and felt to stuff L. pilus, pileus. We are told that the Gr. to approach, signified originally to thrust or drive, L. pello, and contracted, it is rendered to fill, and is full.

1. Properly, to press to crowd to stuff. Hence, to put or pour in, till the thing will hold no more as, to fill a basket, a bottle, a vessel.

Fill the water pots with water: and they filled them to the brim.  John 2 .

2. To store to supply with abundance.

Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas.  Genesis 1 .

3. To cause to abound to make universally prevalent.

The earth was filled with violence.  Genesis 6 .

4. To satisfy to content.

Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?  Matthew 15 .

5. To glut to surfeit.

Things that are sweet and fat are more filing.

6. To make plump as, in a good season the grain is well filled. In the summer of 1816, the driest and coldest which the oldest man remembered, the rye was so well filled, that the grain protruded beyond the husk, and a shock yielded a peck more than in common years. 7. To press and dilate on all sides or to the extremities as, the sails were filled. 8. To supply with liquor to pour into as, to fill a glass for a guest. 9. To supply with an incumbent as, to fill an office or vacancy. 10. To hold to possess and perform the duties of to officiate in, as an incumbent as, a king fills a throne the president fills the office of chief magistrate the speaker of the house fills the chair. 11. In seamanship, to brace the sails so that the wind will bear upon them and dilate them.

To fill out, to extend or enlarge to the desired limit.

1. To fill up, to make full.

It pours the bliss that fills up all the mind.

But in this and many other cases, the use of up weakens the force of the phrase.

2. To occupy to fill. Seek to fill up life with useful employments. 3. To fill to occupy the whole extent as, to fill up a given space. 4. To engage or employ as, to fill up time. 5. To complete as, to fill up the measure of sin.  Matthew 23 . 6. To complete to accomplish.

And fill up what is behind of the afflictions of Christ.

 Colossians 1 .


1. To fill a cup or glass for drinking to give to drink.

In the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double.

 Revelation 18 .

2. To grow or become full. corn fills well in a warm season. A mill pond fills during the night. 3. To glut to satiate.

To fill up, to grow or become full. The channel of the river fills up with sand, every spring.

FILL, n. Fullness as much as supplies want as much as gives complete satisfaction. Eat and drink to the fill. take your fill of joy.

The land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety.  Leviticus 25 .

Webster's Dictionary [3]

(1): ( n.) That which fills; filling; specif., an embankment, as in railroad construction, to fill a hollow or ravine; also, the place which is to be filled.

(2): ( a.) To press and dilate, as a sail; as, the wind filled the sails.

(3): ( a.) To fill or supply fully with food; to feed; to satisfy.

(4): ( a.) To possess and perform the duties of; to officiate in, as an incumbent; to occupy; to hold; as, a king fills a throne; the president fills the office of chief magistrate; the speaker of the House fills the chair.

(5): ( a.) To furnish an abudant supply to; to furnish with as mush as is desired or desirable; to occupy the whole of; to swarm in or overrun.

(6): ( n.) One of the thills or shafts of a carriage.

(7): ( v. t.) A full supply, as much as supplies want; as much as gives complete satisfaction.

(8): ( a.) To make full; to supply with as much as can be held or contained; to put or pour into, till no more can be received; to occupy the whole capacity of.

(9): ( a.) To trim (a yard) so that the wind shall blow on the after side of the sails.

(10): ( v. i.) To fill a cup or glass for drinking.

(11): ( v. i.) To become full; to have the whole capacity occupied; to have an abundant supply; to be satiated; as, corn fills well in a warm season; the sail fills with the wind.

(12): ( a.) To supply with an incumbent; as, to fill an office or a vacancy.

(13): ( a.) To make an embankment in, or raise the level of (a low place), with earth or gravel.