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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

 

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HARDEN

har'-d'-n (chazaq, qashah; skleruno):
(1) "Harden" occurs most frequently in the phrase "to harden the heart," or "the neck." This hardening of men's hearts is attributed both to God and to men themselves, e.g. with reference to the hearts of Pharaoh and the Egyptians; the Hiphil of chazaq, "to make strong," is frequently used in this connection (Ex 4:21, "I will harden his heart," the Revised Version margin (Hebrew) "make strong"; 7:13, "And he hardened P.'s heart," the Revised Version (British and American) "was hardened," margin (Hebrew) "was strong"; 7:22; 8:19; 9:12; 10:20,27, etc.; 14:17, "I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians," the Revised Version margin (Hebrew) "make strong"; compare Josh 11:20); qashah, "to be heavy," "to make hard" (Ex 7:3); kabhedh, "heavy," "slow," "hard," not easily moved (Ex 10:1, the Revised Version margin (Hebrew) "made heavy"). When the hardening is attributed to man's own act kabhedh is generally used (Ex 8:15, "He hardened his heart, and hearkened not," the Revised Version margin (Hebrew) "made heavy"; Ex 8:32, "Pharaoh hardened his heart" (the Revised Version margin as before); Ex 9:7,34; 1 Sam 6:6 twice). The "hardening" of men's hearts by God is in the way of punishment, but it is always a consequence of their own self-hardening. In Pharaoh's case we read that "he hardened his heart" against the appeal to free the Israelites; so hardening himself, he became always more confirmed in his obstinacy, till he brought the final doom upon himself. This is how sin is made to become its own punishment. It was not confined to Pharaoh and the Egyptians nor does it belong to the past only. As Paul says (Rom 9:18),"Whom he will he hardeneth" (skleruno); Ex 11:7, "The election obtained it, and the rest were hardened" (the Revised Version (British and American) and King James Version margin, poroo, "to make hard" or "callous"); Ex 11:25, a "Hardening in part hath befallen Israel" (porosis); compare Jn 12:40 (from Isa 6:10), "He hath blinded their eyes, and he hardened their heart"; Isa 63:17, "O Yahweh, why dost thou make us to err from thy ways, and hardenest our heart from thy fear?" (qashach, "to harden"); compare on the other side, as expressing the human blameworthiness, Job 9:4, "Who hath hardened himself against him, and prospered?" Mk 3:5, "being grieved at the hardening of their heart;" 6:52, "Their heart was hardened"; Rom 2:5, "after thy hardness and impenitent heart." In Hebrew religious thought everything was directly attributed to God, and the hardening is God's work, in His physical and ethical constitution and laws of man's nature; but it is always the consequence of human action out of harmony therewith. Other instances of skleruno are in Acts 19:9; Heb 3:8,13,15; 4:7.
(2) "Harden" in the sense of "to fortify one's self" (make one's self hard) is the translation of caladh, "to leap," "exult" (Job 6:10 the King James Version, "I would harden myself in sorrow," the Revised Version (British and American) "Let me exult in pain," margin "harden myself").
(3) In Prov 21:29 "harden" has the meaning of "boldness," "defiance" or "shamelessness" (brazen-faced); `azaz, Hiphil, "to strengthen one's countenance," "A wicked man hardeneth his face"; Delitzsch, "A godless man showeth boldness in his mien"; compare Prov 7:13; Eccl 8:1; see also HARD.
For "harden" the Revised Version (British and American) has "stubborn" (Ex 7:14; 9:7, margin "heavy"); "hardenest" (Isa 63:17); "made stiff" (Jer 7:26; 19:15); for "is hardened" (Job 39:16, the American Standard Revised Version "dealeth hardly," and the English Revised Version margin); "at the hardening" instead of "for the hardness" (Mk 3:5); "hardening" for "blindness" (Eph 4:18).
W. L. Walker

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'HARDEN'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE; 1915.

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