WHAT DOES “LUSTY” MEAN?
by Shawn Brasseaux
Judges 3:29-30 has the only occurrence of “lusty” in the King James Bible: “And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man. So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.” According to this Scripture, Israel has successfully vanquished her Gentile oppressors. This Moabite army of nearly 10,000 men was described “lusty.” However, the adjective has nothing to do with lusting (as in sexual desires or urges).
According to The Oxford English Dictionary, “lust” originally meant “vigor” (stamina, strength, energy). In other words, the Israelites defeated healthy, mighty, courageous, able-bodied individuals here in Judges chapter 3. How were they able to do this? The LORD was on Israel’s side to ensure their victory! “And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over” (verse 28).