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

Usage Number: 1
Strong's Number: H6327
Original Word: pûs?

Usage Notes: "to scatter, disperse, be scattered." This term is found in both ancient and modern Hebrew. Occurring some 65 times in the Hebrew Old Testament, the word is found for the first time in Gen. 10:18: "… The families of the Canaanites spread abroad." The word is used 3 times in the story of the tower of Babel (Gen. 11:4, 8-9), apparently to emphasize how men and their languages "were spread" throughout the world.

Pus, in the sense of "scattering," often has an almost violent connotation to it. Thus, when Saul defeated the Ammonites, "they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together" (1 Sam. 11:11). Such "scattering" of forces seems to have been a common thing after defeats in battle 1 Kings 22:17; 2 Kings 25:5). Many references are made to Israel as a people and nation "being scattered" among the nations, especially in the imagery of a scattered flock of sheep (Ezek. 34:5-6; Zech. 13:7). Ezekiel also promises the gathering together of this scattered flock: "… I will even gather you from the people,… where ye have been scattered …" (Ezek. 11:17; Ezek. 20:34, 41).

In a figurative sense, this word is used to refer to lightning as arrows which God "scatters" (2 Sam. 22:15). According to Job, "the clouds scatter his lightning" (Job 37:11, rsv). No harvest is possible unless first the seeds "are scattered" in rows (Isa. 28:25).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words