WHAT DOES “CHIDE” MEAN?
by Shawn Brasseaux
What does “chide” mean? Using context clues, we can guess the definition of this term that appears four times in the King James text:
- “Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?” (Exodus 17:2).
- “And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply” (Judges 8:1).
- “He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever” (Psalm 103:9).
“Chide” has a negative connotation, and is related to unhappiness and displeasure. In Exodus, millions of thirsty Israelites complain to Moses that they have no potable, or drinkable, water in the wilderness. Concerning Judges, the men of Ephraim are irritated that Gideon did not involve them when he battled the Midianites. In Psalms, the LORD is angered that Israel has habitually broken the Law of Moses by worshipping and serving idols.
We can also mention the two past tense occurrences, which help us better understand the definition:
- “And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me?” (Genesis 31:36).
- “And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD!” (Numbers 20:3).
Our English words “chide” and “chode” (etymological origin unknown) are the opposite of “praise.” All five passages have in common the idea of arguing or faultfinding, one party upset with another.