Discomfit; Discomfiture

dis-kum'-fit, dis-kum'-fi-tur (hum, mehumah): These words are now obsolete or at least obsolescent and are confined in Biblical literature wholly to the Old Testament. The meaning in general is "to annoy," "harass," "confuse," "rout" and "destroy." The most common usage is that based upon the root meaning, "to trouble" or "annoy," sometimes to the point of destruction (Jos 10:10; Jg 4:15; 1Sa 7:10; 2Sa 22:15).

The King James Version errs in the translation in Isa 31:8, where the meaning is obviously "to become subject to task work" or "to place a burden upon one." There seems also to be an unwarranted use of the word in Nu 14:45, where it means rather "to bruise" or "strike." The purest use is perhaps in 1Sa 14:20, where the statement is made that "every man's sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture."

Walter G. Clippinger

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