Skill; Skilful

skil, skil'-fool (forms of yadha` (2Ch 2:14, etc.), bin (1Ch 15:22), sakhal (Da 1:4, etc.), lamadh (1Ch 5:18), chakham (1Ch 28:21), charash (Eze 21:31), yaTabh (Ps 33:3); in Apocrypha empeiria (The Wisdom of Solomon 13:13), episteme (Sirach 1:19; 38:3,6); adverb eumathos (The Wisdom of Solomon 13:11)): As a verb "to skill," meaning to have understanding or to be dexterous, common in Elizabethan English and in the King James Version and the English Revised Version (1Ki 5:6; 2Ch 2:7 f; 2Ch 34:12), is obsolete. The American Standard Revised Version substitutes such expressions as "knoweth how" (1Ki 5:6) and "were skillful with" (2Ch 34:12). As a noun the word is used in the sense of "knowledge" (Ec 9:11), "insight" (Da 1:17), and "wisdom" (1Ch 28:21). The adjective skillful is used in corresponding senses, especially in the American Standard Revised Version, where it takes the place of "cunning" (Ex 26:31; 31:4; 35:33,35; 38:23; 2Ch 2:7,13-14; Song 7:1; Isa 40:20; Jer 10:9) and of "curious" (Ex 35:32), where the Hebrew chashabh suggests planning or devising, and thus what we should call "original" work. Both the English Revised Version and the American Standard Revised Version use the word in place of "eloquent" (Isa 3:3), "right" (Ec 4:4) and "cunning" (1Ch 25:7). In the first of these instances the Hebrew word means "understanding"; in the second, it refers to the manner of doing a thing, and in the third, to the training that makes one "skilled." the Revised Version (British and American) uses the word "skilled" of those that "took the war upon them" (Nu 31:27 the King James Version). Skillfulness (Ps 78:72) is used with reference to the hands, not only in their work, but also in guiding (as, e.g., a pilot). To play well (Hebrew heTibhu naggen), is rendered "play skillfully" (Ps 33:3). "Unskillful" is used with reference to the uninitiated in the sense of "inexperienced" (Heb 5:13, apeiros).

Nathan Isaacs

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