Can you explain “betimes?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

“Betimes,” although unfamiliar to us, is actually derived from two easy words we know all too well—“by” and “time.” The concept being communicated is soon, early, or in good time; it is in contrast to something being late or stalled. We find it five times in the King James text:

  • Genesis 26:31: “And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.”
  • 2 Chronicles 36:15: “And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:….”
  • Job 8:5: “If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty;….”
  • Job 24:5: “Behold, as wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness yieldeth food for them and for their children.”
  • Proverbs 13:24: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”

Also see:
» Can you explain “ere?”
» What are “prognosticators?”
» What does “listeth” mean?