Beautiful - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G5611, horaios ]
describes that which is seasonable, produced at the right time," as of the prime of life, or the time when anything is at its loveliest and best (from hora, "a season," a period fixed by natural laws and revolutions, and so the best season of the year). It is used of the outward appearance of whited sepulchres in contrast to the corruption within, Matthew 23:27; of the Jerusalem gate called "Beautiful," Acts 3:2, Acts 3:10; of the feet of those that bring glad tidings, Romans 10:15.

In the Sept. it is very frequent, and especially in Genesis and the Song of Solomon. In Genesis it is said of all the trees in the garden of Eden, Genesis 2:9, especially of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Genesis 3:6; of the countenances of Rebekah, Genesis 26:7, Rachel, Genesis 29:17 and Joseph, Genesis 39:6. It is used five times in the Song of Solomon, Song of Songs 1:16; Song of Songs 2:14; Song of Songs 4:3; Song of Songs 6:3, Song of Songs 6:5.

[ 2,,G791, asteios ]
connected with astu, "a city," was used primarily "of that which befitted the town, town-bred" (corresponding Eng. words are "polite," "polished," connected with polis, "a town;" cp. "urbane," from Lat., urbs, "a city"). Among Greek writers it is set in contrast to agroikos, "rustic," and aischros, "base," and was used, e.g., of clothing. It is found in the NT only of Moses, Acts 7:20, "(exceeding) fair," lit., "fair (to God)," and Hebrews 11:23, "goodly" (AV, "proper"). See FAIR, GOODLY, Note, PROPER.


(1) In the Sept. it is far less frequent than horaios. It is said of Moses in Exodus 2:2; negatively, of Balaam's procedure in the sight of God, Numbers 22:32; of Eglon in Judges 3:17.

(2) Asteios belongs to the realm of art, horaios, to that of nature. Asteios is used of that which is "beautiful" because it is elegant; horaios describes that which is "beautiful" because it is, in its season, of natural excellence.

(3) Kalos, "good," describes that which is "beautiful" as being well proportioned in all its parts, or intrinsically excellent. See BETTER, FAIR, GOOD, etc.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words