Destroy (To) - Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words

Usage Number: 1
Strong's Number: H8045
Original Word: shamad

Usage Notes: "to destroy, annihilate, exterminate." This biblical word occurs also in modern Hebrew, with the root having the connotation of "religious persecution" or "forced conversion." Shamad is found 90 times in the Hebrew Old Testament, the first time in Gen. 34:30: "I shall be destroyed."

This word always expresses complete "destruction" or "annihilation." While the word is often used to express literal "destruction" of people (Deut. 2:12; Judg. 21:16), shamad frequently is part of an open threat or warning given to the people of Israel, promising "destruction" if they forsake God for idols (cf. Deut. 4:25-26). This word also expresses the complete "destruction" of the pagan high places (Hos. 10:8) of Baal and his images (2 Kings 10:28). When God wants to completely "destroy," He will sweep "with the [broom] of destruction" (Isa. 14:23).

Usage Number: 2
Strong's Number: H7843
Original Word: shahat

Usage Notes: "to corrupt, spoil, ruin, mar, destroy." Used primarily in biblical Hebrew, this word has cognate forms in a few other Semitic languages such as Aramaic and Ethiopic. It is used about 150 times in the Hebrew Bible and is found first in Gen. 6, where it is used 4 times in reference to the "corruption" that prompted God to bring the Flood upon the earth (Gen. 6:11-12, 17).

Anything that is good can be "corrupted" or "spoiled," such as Jeremiah's loincloth (Jer. 13:7), a vineyard (Jer. 12:10), cities (Gen. 13:10), and a temple (Lam. 2:6). Shahat has the meaning of "to waste" when used of words that are inappropriately spoken (Prov. 23:8). In its participial form, the word is used to describe a "ravening lion" (Jer. 2:30, rsv) and the "destroying angel" (1 Chron. 21:15). The word is used as a symbol for a trap in Jer. 5:26. Shahat is used frequently by the prophets in the sense of "to corrupt morally" (Isa. 1:4; Ezek. 23:11; Zeph. 3:7).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words