n. — moral excellence or admirableness.
Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good [טוֹב] and evil.
Genesis 2:9 (NRSV)
As mentioned in a previous Sense of the Day post, good can take on many different shades of meaning in a variety of languages. One helpful way to understand the meaning of a word like good is to think about its opposites. For example, when good has a moral meaning, as in today’s example verse, it is difficult to understand what the text means by “good” if we don’t also have some understanding of the meaning of “evil.” Here the Bible Sense Lexicon can help because it includes information about antonyms for some entries. We can check out the concordance entry for “good (moral concept),” and with one click we can check out the entry for “evil (quality).” We can then begin to ask ourselves questions about the occurrences. Is either one of these meanings absolute (e.g., like “alive” and “dead”)? Or are they gradable (e.g., can they both be modified by a word like “very” as in “a very good thing” or “a very bad thing”)? It is possible to miss the antonym links since they aren’t in the visualization on the right, but they can open important doors to the analysis of meaning.
What is the Bible Sense Lexicon?
Sense of the Day is based on content from Logos’ Bible Sense Lexicon, which organizes biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words by meaning based on a variety of semantic relationships. Sense of the Day provides examples of senses in context, along with insight into their application for theology and interpretation.
The Bible Sense Lexicon is a Logos dataset available in Logos 5 Gold and higher base packages. If you’re enrolled in the Logos Academic Discount Program, you can also find the Bible Sense Lexicon in the Biblical Languages base package. Take your studies even further by exploring semantic domains, engaging the biblical text like never before.
Learn more about the Bible Sense Lexicon.