The meaning of Assay in the Bible
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
a-sa' (ya'al; nacah; peirdzein; peirasthai; peiran lambanein): The Hebrew and Greek words which are rendered in the King James Version "assay" are so rendered in the Revised Version (British and American), and the use of it is extended in the Revised Version (British and American) in two additional cases. The Hebrew word ya'al (I Samuel 17:39) is used of David clad in Saul's armor, who "assayed," that is, "tried unsuccessfully," to go and attack Goliath in it, for "he had not proved it," where nacah is the verb. In Deuteronomy 4:34 and Job 4:2 nacah is rendered "assay," in the sense of "attempt," "venture." In Acts 16:7 Paul is said to have "assayed," that is, "attempted" (but was hindered), to go into Bithynia, and now in Acts 24:6 Paul is charged with having "assayed," that is, "having had the audacity," to profane the temple, where peirazein is the verb used in both cases. In Acts 9:26, and now in the Revised Version (British and American) Acts 26:21, "assay," renders the verb peirasthai, "to attempt," in both cases unsuccessfully. In Hebrews 11:29 it translates two Greek words peiran lambanein "to make an attempt unsuccessfully."
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