Can you explain “durst?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

The King James Bible features “durst” nine times. It is the simple past tense of a more familiar word—“dare” (as in a risk or venture). Read the following verses and their contexts and apply that definition of “dared:”

  • Esther 7:5: “Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?”
  • Job 32:6: “And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.”
  • Matthew 22:46: “And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.”
  • Mark 12:34: “And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.”
  • Luke 20:40: “And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.”
  • John 21:12: “Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.”
  • Acts 5:13: “And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.”
  • Acts 7:32: “Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.”
  • Jude 9: “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”

In all the above cases, individuals are hazarding or not hazarding themselves by pursuing a certain course of action. As opposed to complaining about “archaic” words, we have expanded our vocabulary.

Also see:
» Can you explain “inditing?”
» What does “trow” mean?
» Can you explain “bethink?”

» What does “circumspect” mean?