See (properly רָאָה, raah; ειδον), a term used in Scripture not only of the sense of vision by which we perceive external objects, but also of inward perception, of the knowledge of spiritual things, and even of the supernatural sight of hidden things — of prophecy, visions, ecstasies. Hence it is that those persons were formerly called seers who afterwards were called Nabi, or prophets, and that prophecies were called visions. SEE SEER.

The verb to see is Hebraistically used to express all kinds of sensations. It is said (Ex 20:18) that the Israelites saw voices, thunder, lightnings. the sound of the trumpet, and the whole mountain of Sinai covered with clouds or smoke. To see good, or goods, is to enjoy them. "I believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living" (Ps 27:13), i.e. I hope that God will bring me back into my own country, into the land of Judea, where I shall live in peace and prosperity. Job says (Job 7:7), "I shall die, and see no more; I shall no longer enjoy the good things of this world." The psalmist says (Ps 4:6), "There be many that say, Who will show us any good?" that is, to enjoy any happiness in this life.

By an easy metaphor from this, to see the face of the king is to be of his council, his household, or to approach him. The kings of Persia, to maintain their respect and majesty, seldom permitted their subjects to see them, and hardly ever showed themselves in public. None but their most intimate friends or their familiar domestics had the honor of beholding their faces (Es 1:10,14). Frequent allusion is made to this custom in Scripture, which mentions the seven principal angels that see the face of the Lord and appear in his presence (Re 1:4).

Definition of see

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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