The meaning of Prove in the Bible
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
proov (bachan, nacah; dokimazo, peirazo): Means (1) to test or try; (2) to establish, demonstrate; (3) to find by experience. It is for the most part in the first (original) sense that the word is found in Scripture. In the Old Testament it is most frequently the translation of nacah, primarily "to lift," hence, to weigh (Genesis 42:15-16, etc.). God is said to "prove" His people, i.e. to test or try them for their good (Genesis 22:1; Exodus 15:25; Deuteronomy 8:16, etc.). The Psalmist prays that God may prove him (Psalms 26:2). The word is frequently rendered "tempt." See TEMPT. The word bachan, primarily "to try by heat," has a similar meaning (Psalms 17:3, the heart, like metal, purified from dross; compare Job 23:10; Psalms 7:9; Malachi 3:2, etc.). In the New Testament the word most frequently rendered "prove" (sometimes "try") is dokimazo (Luke 14:19; Romans 12:2; II Corinthians 8:8, II Corinthians 8:22; II Corinthians 13:5; Ephesians 5:10; I Thessalonians 5:21). Peirazo, "to tempt," "to prove," used in both a good and a bad sense, frequently translated "tempt" (which see), is rendered "prove" in John 6:6, "This he said to prove him." Both Greek words occur frequently in Apocrypha (Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus). the Revised Version (British and American) has "prove" for "tempt" (Genesis 22:1); for, "make" (Job 24:25; Galatians 2:18); for "manifest" (Ecclesiastes 3:18); for "examine" (I Corinthians 11:28); for "try" (I Corinthians 3:13; I John 4:1), etc.
W. L. Walker
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