Can you explain “ere?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

The Authorized Version employs the term 10 times. If we look at “ere” (see the verses below), we should think of “early.” After all, both “ere” and “early” are related to the Old English “aer,” the Old Norse “ar,” and the Greek “eir.” We can adjust our understanding a bit further, by taking “ere” to mean “before” (an event occurring earlier than another).

  • Exodus 1:19: “And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.”
  • Numbers 11:33: “And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.”
  • Numbers 14:11: “And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?”
  • 1 Samuel 3:3: “And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;….”
  • 2 Samuel 2:26: “Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?”
  • 2 Kings 6:32: “But Elisha sat in his house, and the elders sat with him; and the king sent a man from before him: but ere the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, See ye how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away mine head? look, when the messenger cometh, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door: is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?”
  • Job 18:2: “How long will it be ere ye make an end of words? mark, and afterwards we will speak.”
  • Jeremiah 47:6: “O thou sword of the LORD, how long will it be ere thou be quiet? put up thyself into thy scabbard, rest, and be still.”
  • Hosea 8:5: “Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency?”
  • John 4:49: “The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.”

Also see:
» What does “several” mean in the King James Bible?
» What does “sith” mean in Ezekiel 35:6?
» What does “descry” mean?