|Noah Webster's Dictionary|
1. (superl.) Lacking strength; weak; languid; inclined to swoon; as, faint with fatigue, hunger, or thirst.
2. (superl.) Wanting in courage, spirit, or energy; timorous; cowardly; dejected; depressed; as, Faint heart ne'er won fair lady.
3. (superl.) Lacking distinctness; hardly perceptible; striking the senses feebly; not bright, or loud, or sharp, or forcible; weak; as, a faint color, or sound.
4. (superl.) Performed, done, or acted, in a weak or feeble manner; not exhibiting vigor, strength, or energy; slight; as, faint efforts; faint resistance.
5. (n.) The act of fainting, or the state of one who has fainted; a swoon. [R.] See Fainting, n.
6. (v. i.) To become weak or wanting in vigor; to grow feeble; to lose strength and color, and the control of the bodily or mental functions; to swoon; -- sometimes with away. See Fainting, n.
7. (n.) To sink into dejection; to lose courage or spirit; to become depressed or despondent.
8. (n.) To decay; to disappear; to vanish.
9. (v. t.) To cause to faint or become dispirited; to depress; to weaken.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
fant (`ayeph, `uph, ya`aph, `alaph, aTaph, dawway, yaghea`, macac, rakhakh, paghar, kahah; ekluo, ekkakeo, kamno): The Hebrew vocabulary for the depressing physical conditions and mental emotions which are rendered in the King James Version by the English words "faint," "fainthess," and other compounds of that stem, is, as will be seen above, wide and varied in derivation. The 11 Hebrew and 3 Greek words and their derivatives are used in 62 passages in the King James Version to express these conditions.
`Ayeph is used to express the exhaustion from fatigue and hunger in the case of Esau (Genesis 25:29, 30). This and its variants come from a root which primarily means "to cover or conceal," therefore "to be dark or obscure," and so, figuratively, "to be faint or depressed." Israel's helpless state when harassed by Amalek (Deuteronomy 25:18) and the plight of Gideon's weary force when they sought in vain for help at Succoth (Judges 8:4) are described by the same word. Isaiah also uses it to picture the disappointed and unsatisfied appetite of the thirsty man awakening from his dream of refreshment (Isaiah 29:8). In 2 Samuel 16:14, `ayephim is probably a proper name of a place (Revised Version, margin).
`Uph in 1 Samuel 14:28-31 describes the exhaustion of Saul's host in pursuit of the Philistines after the battle of Michmash. The same word expresses the failure of David's strength when in conflict with the same foes, which led to his imminent peril and to the consequent refusal of the commander of his army to allow him to take part personally in the combat (2 Samuel 21:15).
Ya`-aph is used by Ziba when he brought refreshments to David's men on the flight from Absalom (2 Samuel 16:2); see also its use in Isaiah 40:28. Cognate verbal forms occur in Isaiah 40:30, 31 Jeremiah 2:24; Jeremiah 51:58, 64 Habakkuk 2:13, as also in Judges 8:15, meaning in all cases the faintness or exhaustion of fatigue or weariness.
`Alpah expresses the faintness from thirst in Amos 8:13, or from the heat of the sun (Jonah 4:8), and figuratively, the despondency which was the result of the captivity (Isaiah 51:20). Ezekiel uses it allegorically as describing the withering of the trees for grief at the death of the Assyrian kings (Ezekiel 31:15).
`ATaph is the weariness of the wanderers in the desert (Psalm 107:5), the faintness from hunger (Lamentations 2:19), or the despondency of Jonah dispelled by his remembrance of God's mercies (Jonah 2:7).
Dawway, from a root which signifies the sickness produced by exhaustion from loss of blood, is used in Isaiah 1:5 for the faintness of heart, the result of remorse for sin, and in Jeremiah 8:18 for the prophet's sorrow for the sins of Israel. A cognate form expresses his sorrow on account of the judgments of God which were incurred as punishments for the national backsliding (Lamentations 1:13, 12; Lamentations 5:17).
Macac, literally, "dissolving or melting," is applied to the contagious fear which the example of a cowardly soldier produces among his comrades (Deuteronomy 20:8, the Revised Version (British and American) "melt"). In the remarkable passage in Isaiah 10:18, in which God pronounces the doom of Assyria when his purposes of chastisement on Israel have been fulfilled, the collapse of Assyria is said to be "as when a standard-bearer fainteth." For this the Revised Version, margin substitutes "as when a sick man pineth away," which is probably the correct rendering. The word macac may mean either a sick man, or else something glittering and seen from afar, such as a standard, but the former sense is more intelligible and suggestive in the context. The rarely used verbal form cognate to macac is used on account of its assonance. Yaghea` (yagha`), which is usually translated "grieved" or "tormented" or "fatigued," is rendered as "fainted" in Jeremiah 45:3. This passage, "I fainted in my sighing" the King James Version, is in Hebrew the same as that which reads, "I am weary with my groaning" in Psalm 6:6, and is similarly rendered in the Revised Version (British and American).
Rakhakh, like macac, primarily signifies "to melt" or "to become soft," and is used in prophetic exhortations in which the people are encouraged not to be panic-stricken in the presence of enemies (Deuteronomy 20:3, and also Jeremiah 51:46 Isaiah 7:4). Another related word, morekh, in the sense of despair and utter loss of courage, is used in expressing the consequences of God's wrath against Israel (Leviticus 26:36). In its literal sense it signifies "blandness," as of the words of a hypocritical enemy (Psalm 55:21).
Paghar is the prostration of utter fatigue whereby one is unable to raise himself or to proceed on a journey, as were some of David's little band (1 Samuel 30:10-21). A cognate word describes the prostration of amazement and incredulity with which Jacob heard of Joseph's condition in Egypt (Genesis 45:26).
Kahah, the pining of earnest, longing desire, is translated "fainteth" in Psalm 84:2; Psalm 119:81; elsewhere it is rendered by words expressing wasting or languishing. The panic in Canaan due to famine is expressed (Genesis 47:13) by the word lahah, which implies a state of frenzy.
The only records of actual fainting are
(1) Daniel, in Daniel 8:27, where the word used is the Niphal of the verb hayah, literally, "became," meaning that he became weak;
(2) swooning is mentioned in Additions to Esther 5:7-14.
In the New Testament "faint" is used in the sense of physical exhaustion (Matthew 9:36 the King James Version; Matthew 15:32 Mark 8:3), where it is part of the verb ekluo, "to relax." Otherwise it is used figuratively of discouragement of spirit. The same verb is used in Galatians 6:9 Hebrews 12:3, 5; but in Luke 18:1 2 Corinthians 4:1-16; Ephesians 3:13 it is part of the verb ekkakeo (according to some authorities egkakeo, pronounced enkakeo, meaning "to be faint-hearted" or "to be culpably negligent"). In Revelation 2:3 it is kopiao, literally, "to be tired."
Faint (76 Occurrences)
Matthew 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. (Root in KJV WEY WBS YLT)
Matthew 15:32 Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days and have nothing to eat. I don't want to send them away fasting, or they might faint on the way." (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Mark 8:3 If I send them away fasting to their home, they will faint on the way, for some of them have come a long way." (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT)
2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, even as we obtained mercy, we don't faint. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT)
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we don't faint, but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT)
Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT)
Ephesians 3:13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT)
2 Thessalonians 3:13 But ye, brethren, do not faint in well-doing. (DBY)
Hebrews 12:3 For consider him who has endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, that you don't grow weary, fainting in your souls. (Root in WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV)
Hebrews 12:5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which reasons with you as with children, "My son, don't take lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by him; (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Genesis 25:29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS)
Genesis 25:30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS)
Leviticus 13:39 then the priest shall examine them; and behold, if the bright spots on the skin of their body are a dull white, it is a harmless rash, it has broken out in the skin; he is clean. (See NAS)
Deuteronomy 20:3 and shall tell them, "Hear, Israel, you draw near this day to battle against your enemies: don't let your heart faint; don't be afraid, nor tremble, neither be scared of them; (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 20:8 The officers shall speak further to the people, and they shall say, "What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest his brother's heart melt as his heart." (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 25:18 how he met you by the way, and struck the hindmost of you, all who were feeble behind you, when you were faint and weary; and he didn't fear God. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)
Joshua 2:9 And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. (KJV DBY WBS)
Joshua 2:24 And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us. (KJV DBY WBS RSV)
Judges 8:4 Gideon came to the Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men who were with him, faint, yet pursuing. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS RSV)
Judges 8:5 He said to the men of Succoth, "Please give loaves of bread to the people who follow me; for they are faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS RSV)
Judges 8:15 And he came to the men of Succoth, and said, "Behold Zebah and Zalmun'na, about whom you taunted me, saying, 'Are Zebah and Zalmun'na already in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are faint?'" (DBY RSV)
1 Samuel 14:28 Then one of the people answered, and said, "Your father directly commanded the people with an oath, saying,'Cursed is the man who eats food this day.'" The people were faint. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS RSV NIV)
1 Samuel 14:31 They struck of the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. The people were very faint; (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS RSV)
1 Samuel 30:10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so faint that they couldn't go over the brook Besor. (WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS YLT)
1 Samuel 30:21 David came to the two hundred men, who were so faint that they could not follow David, whom also they had made to stay at the brook Besor; and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people who were with him. When David came near to the people, he greeted them. (WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS YLT)
2 Samuel 16:2 The king said to Ziba, What do you mean by these? Ziba said, The donkeys are for the king's household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as are faint in the wilderness may drink. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)
2 Samuel 17:29 and honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of the herd, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people are hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness. (See JPS)
2 Samuel 21:15 The Philistines had war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines. David grew faint; (WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS)
Job 4:5 But now it is come to you, and you faint. It touches you, and you are troubled. (WEB KJV ASV WBS)
Job 6:14 "To him who is ready to faint, kindness should be shown from his friend; even to him who forsakes the fear of the Almighty. (WEB JPS ASV DBY)
Job 23:16 For God has made my heart faint. The Almighty has terrified me. (WEB JPS ASV NAS RSV NIV)
Job 26:14 Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways. How small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?" (See NAS NIV)
Psalms 6:2 Have mercy on me, Yahweh, for I am faint. Yahweh, heal me, for my bones are troubled. (WEB NIV)
Psalms 38:8 I am faint and severely bruised. I have groaned by reason of the anguish of my heart. (WEB ASV DBY)
Psalms 61:2 From the end of the earth will I call unto Thee, when my heart fainteth; lead me to a rock that is too high for me. (Root in JPS NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 77:3 When I think thereon, O God, I must moan; when I muse thereon, my spirit fainteth. Selah (Root in JPS NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 102:1 A Prayer of the afflicted, when he fainteth, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD. (102:2) (Root in JPS RSV NIV)
Psalms 142:3 When my spirit fainteth within me--Thou knowest my path--in the way wherein I walk have they hidden a snare for me. (Root in JPS RSV NIV)
Psalms 143:4 And my spirit fainteth within me; my heart within me is appalled. (Root in JPS RSV NIV)
Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. (KJV JPS ASV WBS RSV)
Proverbs 25:25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, So is good news from a far country. (See JPS)
Ecclesiastes 12:4 When the doors are shut in the street, and the sound of the crushing is low, and the voice of the bird is soft, and the daughters of music will be made low; (See NIV)
Song of Songs 2:5 Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples; For I am faint with love. (WEB NIV)
Song of Songs 5:8 I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, If you find my beloved, that you tell him that I am faint with love. (WEB NIV)
Isaiah 1:5 Why should you be beaten more, that you revolt more and more? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)
Isaiah 7:4 Tell him,'Be careful, and keep calm. Don't be afraid, neither let your heart be faint because of these two tails of smoking torches, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and of the son of Remaliah. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)
Isaiah 13:7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: (KJV WBS)
Isaiah 15:4 And Heshbon crieth out, and Elealeh; their voice is heard even unto Jahaz: therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud; his soul trembleth within him. (See JPS NIV)
Isaiah 29:8 It will be like when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he eats; but he awakes, and his hunger isn't satisfied; or like when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he drinks; but he awakes, and behold, he is faint, and he is still thirsty. The multitude of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion will be like that. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 40:28 Haven't you known? Haven't you heard? The everlasting God, Yahweh, The Creator of the ends of the earth, doesn't faint. He isn't weary. His understanding is unsearchable. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS RSV)
Isaiah 40:29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS RSV)
Isaiah 40:30 Even the youths faint and get weary, and the young men utterly fall; (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS RSV)
Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait for Yahweh will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run, and not be weary. They will walk, and not faint. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV NIV)
Isaiah 42:4 He shall not faint nor be in haste, till he have set justice in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. (DBY)
Isaiah 44:12 The blacksmith takes an axe, works in the coals, fashions it with hammers, and works it with his strong arm. He is hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water, and is faint. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 57:10 You were wearied with the length of your way; yet you didn't say,'It is in vain.' You found a reviving of your strength; therefore you weren't faint. (WEB ASV NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 57:16 For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always angry; for the spirit would faint before me, and the souls who I have made. (WEB ASV NAS NIV)
Isaiah 61:3 To give them a fair head-dress in place of dust, the oil of joy in place of the clothing of grief, praise in place of sorrow; so that they may be named trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, and so that he may have glory. (See NAS RSV)
Jeremiah 4:31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, the anguish as of her who brings forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, who gasps for breath, who spreads her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul faints before the murderers. (Root in WEB JPS ASV NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 8:18 Oh that I could comfort myself against sorrow! My heart is faint within me. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS NIV)
Jeremiah 15:9 She who has borne seven languishes; she has given up the spirit; her sun is gone down while it was yet day; she has been disappointed and confounded: and the residue of them will I deliver to the sword before their enemies, says Yahweh. (See NIV)
Jeremiah 31:25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and every sorrowful soul have I replenished. (See NIV)
Jeremiah 51:46 Don't let your heart faint, neither fear for the news that shall be heard in the land; for news shall come one year, and after that in another year shall come news, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)
Lamentations 1:13 From on high has he sent fire into my bones, and it prevails against them; He has spread a net for my feet, he has turned me back: He has made me desolate and faint all the day. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Lamentations 1:22 Let all their wickedness come before you; Do to them, as you have done to me for all my transgressions: For my sighs are many, and my heart is faint. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Lamentations 2:11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, mine inwards burn, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the breach of the daughter of my people; because the young children and the sucklings swoon in the broad places of the city. (See NAS RSV NIV)
Lamentations 2:12 They tell their mothers, Where is grain and wine? When they swoon as the wounded in the streets of the city, When their soul is poured out into their mothers' bosom. (See NAS RSV NIV)
Lamentations 2:19 Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord: Lift up your hands toward him for the life of your young children, that faint for hunger at the head of every street. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Lamentations 5:17 For this our heart is faint; For these things our eyes are dim; (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS NIV)
Ezekiel 21:7 It shall be, when they tell you, Why do you sigh? that you shall say, Because of the news, for it comes; and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it comes, and it shall be done, says the Lord Yahweh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 21:15 I have set the point of the sword against all their gates, that their heart may faint, and their ruins be multiplied: ah! it is made bright, it is wrapped up for the slaughter. (KJV WBS)
Ezekiel 31:15 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In the day when he went down to Sheol I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained its rivers; and the great waters were stayed; and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS RSV)
Amos 8:13 In that day the beautiful virgins and the young men will faint for thirst. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jonah 4:8 It happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a sultry east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah's head, so that he fainted, and requested for himself that he might die, and said, "It is better for me to die than to live." (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Nahum 2:10 She is empty, void, and waste. The heart melts, the knees knock together, their bodies and faces have grown pale. (See RSV)