What does “noisome” mean?


by Shawn Brasseaux

The King James translators utilized “noisome” only four times. Our first clue concerning its meaning is that it always sits in a negative context.

  • Psalm 91:3: “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.”
  • Ezekiel 14:15: “If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts:….”
  • Ezekiel 14:21: “For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?”
  • Revelation 16:2: “And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.”

As we can see in the above verses and their contexts, Divine judgment is being meted out on idolatrous sinners. (Psalms contains a promise that believers will be protected.) The curses of the Law of Moses—Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy chapter 28—are being brought to pass. Ultimately, this foretells the LORD God’s wrath during Daniel’s 70th Week, yet future from us, with Israel’s believing remnant spared. (For more information on the Little Flock’s ministry during the Antichrist’s reign and this time of horrific punishment, see our “Mark 16:9-20” article linked below.) Associated diseases/plagues/pestilences and wild animals are described as “noisome.” Yet, contrary to what you might have assumed, friend, this has absolutely nothing to do with noise or sound.

“Noisome” in Middle English was spelled “noysome,” derived from the Anglo-French “anui” (“annoy, bother”). “Noy” is a shortened, obsolete form of “annoy;” thus, you can remember the meaning of “noisome” by altering it to “annoysome” (as in, “full of annoyance”). Applying this to beasts, the sense is thus violent or cruel; noisome diseases and pestilences are therefore destructive or harmful. They are foul, offensive, disgusting.

(Having been acquainted with “noisome,” may it henceforth not annoy us anymore!)

Also see:
» Does Mark 16:9-20 belong in the Bible?
» What is “palsy?”
» Can you explain 2 Kings 2:23-25?
» Did God create evil?
» What is “the botch of Egypt?”
» What are “emerods?”

» What is “the burning ague?”