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Boáō (994) from boé (995) means raise a cry, call or shout of joy, pain, etc, by using one’s voice with unusually high volume. In several of the NT contexts (and many more of the Septuagint = LXX uses) crying out was in the context of one seeking help or assistance. Some uses mean simply a loud cry but in some of these situations the cry reflects a state of agitation. Boáō is used 12 times in the NT (Mt. 3:3; Mk. 1:3; 15:34; Lk. 3:4; 38" class="scriptRef">9:38; 18:7, 38; Jn. 1:23; Acts 8:7; 17:6; 25:24; Gal. 4:27) and is translated NAS: called, 1; cried, 1; cry, 1; crying, 4; loudly declaring, 1; shout, 1; shouted, 1; shouting, 2. Boao is found 110.14" class="scriptRef">14 times in the Septuagint - Gen. 4:10; 29:11; 23" class="scriptRef">39:14f, 18; 12" class="scriptRef">Exod. 8:12; 5" class="scriptRef">14:15; 15:25; 17:4; 13" class="scriptRef">Num. 12:13; Deut. 15:9; 22:24, 27; 6.10" class="scriptRef">Jos. 6:10; 15:18; Jdg. 4:10; 6:6; 7:23f; 9:54; 10:10, 12, 14; 12:1f; 18:22f; 1 Sam. 5:10; 7:8f; 8:18; 11:7; 12:8, 10; 15:11; 24:8; 2 Sam. 15:2; 26" class="scriptRef">18:26, 28" class="scriptRef">28; 20.20" class="scriptRef">20.4-2Sam.20.26" class="scriptRef">20:4f, 16; 22:7, 42; 1 Ki. 17:10f; 18:24; 20:39; 2 Ki. 2:12; 4:1; 6:5, 26; 7:10f; 8:3, 5; 11:14; 18:18, 28; 20:11; 1 Chr. 5:20; 21:26; 2 Chr. 13:14f; 14:11; 18:31; 20:9, 20; 23:13; 32:18, 20; Neh. 9:4; Esther 1:1; 4:1; 10:3; Job 2:12; 30:7; 35:9; 36:13; 37:4; Isa. 5:29f; 12:4; 14:7; 15:4f; 22:2; 24:14; 27:5; 31:4; 34:14; 36:13; 40:3, 6; 42:11, 13; 44:5, 23; 46:7; 54:1; 58:9; Jer. 12:6; 22:20; 48:31; Lam. 2:18; 3:8; Dan. 3:4; 5:7; 6:20; Hos. 7:14; Joel 1:19; Jon. 2:2; Hab. 1:2; 2:11 The Greeks used boáō to describe the sound of certain things such as the wind and waves (to sound, resound, roar, howl). Thayer makes an interesting comparison between 3 Greek words that all convey the idea of to call out or cry out, noting that kaleo in classic usage meant “to cry out” for a purpose, boáo meant “to cry out” as a result of or manifestation of an inner feeling and krazo meant to cry out harshly, often with an inarticulate and brutish sound. In short, kaleo suggests intelligence, boáo suggests sensibilities and krazo suggests instincts. In sum, of these three words, boáo was the Greek word that especially conveys the idea of a cry for help. For example, boáō was used by Matthew quoting the prophecy in Isaiah prophecy ("Isa 40:3 "A voice is calling [Lxx =boáō], "Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness. Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.") where John the Baptist is described as "the voice of one crying (boáō) in the wilderness" (Mt 3:3, repeated in every gospel account - Mk1:3, Lu3:4, Jn1:23), here indicating that John spoke with a high, strong voice which reflected a solemn proclamation, especially a cry for the hearers to "Repent, (present imperative = not just once but make your lifestyle one of a "repenter"!) for (explains "Why be a repenter?") the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Mt 3:2) In the most famous cry in all eternity, the crucified Messiah in His ninth hour on the cross "cried out (boáō) with a loud voice, "ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" which is translated, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?" (Mk15:34) As Jesus came down from the mountain, the day after His Transfiguration, a man with demon possessed son "shouted out, saying, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only boy" (Luke9:38). As Jesus was telling parable to "show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart" He explained that if an unrighteous judge would answer the pleas of a widow, "now shall not God bring about justice for His elect, who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?" (Luke 18:7) As Jesus was approaching Jericho, a certain blind man sitting by the road "called out, (boáō - present tense = continually cried aloud and certainly from a context of personal need) saying, "Jesus, Son of David (in context this epithet is clearly another Name for the Messiah, e.g., see Matthew 12:23), have mercy on me!" (Luke 18:38) What a fascinating paradox -- the blind man unable to see, yet able to recognize Jesus as the "Son of David", the long awaited Messiah. God used this man's physical need to open the eyes of his heart to his spiritual need. Beloved, is God allowing some affliction in your life today, that he might create in the eyes of your heart a desire to see Jesus? Are you, like the blind man, willing to humble yourself and cry out to Him? Remember that "since He Himself was tempted (tested) in that which He has suffered, He is (continually) able to come to the aid (boetheo = come to the aid of someone upon hearing their cry for help!) of those who are tempted (tested - this verb is in the present tense, passive voice and is more literally "those who are continually being tested"). (Hebrews 2:18-note) After the stoning of Stephen, "Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them, and the multitudes with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing.7 For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting (boáō) with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed." (Acts 8:5-7) Given the truth that usually reflects a cry of distress, how does that relate to the demons? Mark gives us a clue writing that when the Gadarenes (Gerasenes) "demoniac" saw Jesus from a distance, he began "crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What do I have to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment (torture, vex, bring trouble, distress or agitation upon) me!” For He had been saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" (Mark 5:7-8) In Thessalonica, the jealous Jews stirred up a mob to seize Paul and Silas, "and when they did not find them, they began dragging Jason and some brethren before the city authorities, shouting (boáō), “These men who have upset the world have come here also." (Acts 17:6). As Paul was being brought up for trial, Luke records Festus speaking to King Agrippa declaring "all you gentlemen here present with us, you behold this man about whom all the people of the Jews appealed to me, both at Jerusalem and here, loudly declaring (boáō) that he ought not to live any longer." (Acts 25:24) In these contexts, boáō means to cry aloud or exclaim (cry out, speak loudly or vehemently). In the last NT use Paul quotes Isa 54:1 (again virtually verbatim from the LXX, the Greek Septuagint) "Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear, break forth and shout, you who are not in labor; for more are the children of the desolate than of the one who has a husband.” The context of this loud cry was the joy over the prophecy that the children of the heavenly city will be more numerous than those of earthly Jerusalem (Gal 4:27) EXPLANATION OF THE NOTES THAT FOLLOW Since boáō is used only 12 times in the NT and 111 times in the Greek translation of the Hebrew OT (Septuagint abbreviated LXX), it follows logically that one can obtain a much more complete understanding of this small but vital and powerful verb from studying the OT Septuagint uses. Beloved, below you will find a brief survey of some of the occurrences and the practical, profound principles they teach that can be applied in your life. Allow yourself some time to read the passages in context and to meditate on the truths the Spirit will unfold. You will be "blessed". In the first use of boáō, Moses records God's question to Cain - "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying (boáō) to Me from the ground." (Genesis 4:10) In Exodus we read that "Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried (boáō) to the LORD concerning the frogs which He had inflicted upon Pharaoh." (Exodus 8:12) Preceding one of the greatest miracles in history, the deliverance of the Israelites from Pharaoh's pursuing army via the opening of the Red Sea, Moses records these words "But (when a sentence begins with a contrast word always pause and ask what or why the "change of direction?") Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by (stand still - firm, confident, undismayed) and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent. Then (this frequent time word/phrase marks sequence, so when you encounter it, ask "when is this?") the LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying (boáō) out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward." (Exodus 14:13-15) “Why do you keep calling out to me for help?” Sometimes when we cry out for Jehovah's help, we forget that He has already given us help in His precious and magnificent promises. Here we see that Jehovah answers Moses' cry for help with instructions to walk out in faith in His promise of deliverance. Cry out yes, but don't forget to walk out in faith beloved, laying hold of His steadfast promises. Later in the wilderness when the thirsting Israelites grumbled at Marah (bitterness) because they could not drink the bitter water, Moses records that "he cried out (boáō) to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested (means to subject to difficulty in order to prove the quality of someone or something) them." (Exodus 15:25) As Israel journeyed by stages on their way to Mt Sinai, there was no water, and becoming thirsty, they quarreled with Moses, grumbling against him and even questioning why he had brought them out of Egypt (bondage)! In this background we read "So (here used almost like a time phrase) Moses cried out (boáō) to the LORD, saying, "What shall I do to this people? A little more and they will stone me." (Exodus 17:4) When Aaron and Miriam spoke against Moses and opposed his leadership, God struck Miriam with leprosy. In this context we see this humble man intercede: "And Moses cried out (boáō) to the LORD, saying, "O God, heal her, I pray!" (Nu12:13) In the days of the Judges (a some 300+ year long period, almost 25% of Israel's OT history!) we read "So (here "so" is not used as time phrase with the meaning of then or subsequently as in Ex 17:4 above, but as a "term of conclusion". Whenever you encounter a "so" determine by checking the preceding context how it is being used and what question it answers, such as when? or why?) Israel was brought very low because of Midian (who conducted raids on Israel's crops, stripping them like locusts and stealing their livestock), and the sons of Israel cried (boáō) to the LORD." (Judges 6:6) God did not send immediate deliverance on this occasion. Read the rest of Judges 6 to see how He answered this cry for help. During a time in which Israel was experiencing oppression from the Philistines, God raised up the prophet Samuel. Scripture records that "Then (time phrase marks sequence, always ask "when is this?" Read the fascinating context in 1Samuel 7) the sons of Israel said to Samuel, "Do not cease to cry (boáō) to the LORD our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines. And Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it for a whole burnt offering to the LORD; and Samuel cried (boáō) to the LORD for Israel and the LORD answered him.." (1Samuel 7:8-9) If you have read through the passages above, you are beginning to get a powerful picture of the meaning of this word little verb boáō. Below are a selected portion of the 111 uses of boáō in the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. Study these uses in context (by clicking on each of the references) and you will surely attain an increased understanding of boáō. Remember to interrogate the text...who was crying out? when? to whom? why were they crying out? what was result of crying out? This simple exercise will give you a good sense of the meaning of boáō in these passages. 1Sa12:8 "When Jacob went into Egypt and your fathers cried out (LXX = boáō) to the LORD (for the context see Ex 2:23-24), then (time phrase) the LORD sent Moses and Aaron who brought your fathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place. 9 But they forgot the LORD their God, so He sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 10 And they cried out (LXX = boáō) to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned because we have forsaken the LORD and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth; but now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve Thee.' 1Sa15:11 "I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not carried out My commands." And Samuel was distressed (LXX uses the Greek verb athumeo = disheartened to the extent of losing motivation, losing heart, or becoming discouraged - we've all been here haven't we?) and cried out (LXX = boáō) to the LORD all night." Note the text does not say Samuel complained to the LORD all night, but that he cried out. 2Sa22:7 "In my distress (Hebrew = tsar = speaks of a "tight space" and figuratively of a person's pain, distress, oppression, and the felling of being hemmed in - have you ever felt that way? Then read on to see what David's response to the affliction, a good pattern for us in similar circumstances. The LXX uses the word thlibo which means to cause something to be constricted, pressed together or upon, crowded or pressed against. This situation is bad enough when it's physical crowding as in an elevator but is far more difficult to bear when it is that deep inner oppression we've all felt!) I called upon the LORD, Yes, I cried (David could have just said "I called upon Jehovah" but he adds this verb, which in the LXX is boáō) to my God; and from His temple He heard my voice, and my cry for help came into His ears." Beloved, we all need to remember this verse the next time we feel "hemmed in" so that we might respond as David did in his distress. 2Ki20:11 And Isaiah the prophet cried to the LORD, and He brought the shadow on the stairway back ten steps by which it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz. 1Chr 5:20 "And they (valiant men from tribes of Reuben, Gad, Manasseh, during the reign of King Saul) were helped (azar) against them, and the Hagrites (a Bedouin-like migrating tribe descended from Ishmael, son of Hagar) and all who were with them were given into their hand; for (term of conclusion - when you see "for" pause an ask what is it there for? It can usually be translated also as "because" and serves to explain the preceding event) they cried out (LXX = boáō) to God in the battle, and He was entreated for them, because they trusted (LXX translates with the Greek verb elipizo = to hope, to look forward to something with implication of confidence that it will come to pass) in Him." Why were the Israelites victorious? What does crying out to God have to do with trusting in Him? 1Chr 21:26 Then (time phrase when is "then"? check the context by clicking on 1Chr 21:26 for the chapter) David built an altar to the LORD there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And he called (LXX = boáō) to the LORD and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering." Talk about an answer to prayer! 2Chr 13:14 When (time phrase = "When" is at the time of the first confrontation between the divided Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah) Judah (composed of 2 tribes = Judah and Benjamin) turned around, behold, they were attacked both front and rear (by huge military forces from the northern 10 tribes that broke off and now composed "Israel"); so they cried (LXX = boáō) to the LORD, and the priests blew the trumpets.15 Then the men of Judah raised a war cry, and when the men of Judah raised the war cry, then it was that God routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah." Five hundred thousand choice men of Israel fell —a staggering price to pay for turning away from God! In stark contrast, little Judah was sustained because she cried out to Jehovah. What an important lesson for believers to take to heart. The odds against us may seem insurmountable, but with God any number is a "majority"! 2Chr 14:11 Then (time phrase when is "then"? From the immediately preceding context we learn that the Ethiopians were coming against Judah with "a million men and 300 chariots", which is what prompted godly King Asa to cry out for help) Asa called (LXX = boáo) to the LORD his God, and said, "LORD, there is no one besides Thee to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in Thee, and in Thy name have come against this multitude. O LORD, Thou art our God; let not man prevail against Thee." 2Chr 18:31 So it came about when the captains of the chariots (from the enemy Syrians) saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, "It is the king of Israel," and they turned aside to fight against him. But Jehoshaphat cried out (Hebrew = za'aq = primary activity implied is that of crying out in pain or by reason of affliction; Greek = boáō) and the LORD helped (Lxx = sozo = rescued him from danger) him, and God diverted them from him. 2Chr 20:9 (Godly king Jehoshaphat standing before the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem in the Temple declares) "Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, (note how this godly king tells the nation it is to respond when enemies are encountered) we will stand before this house (the Temple of the LORD which at that time still possessed the Shekinah glory cloud indicating Jehovah's presence) and before Thee (for Thy name is in this house [His Name = His character, attributes, etc see God's Name - A Strong Tower]) and cry (LXX = boáo) to Thee in our distress, and Thou wilt hear and deliver us.'...20 And they rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said (Hebrew word simply means to say or to communicate but the LXX uses boáo = cried out), "Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust (Hebrew = 'aman = means to be firm thus providing confidence like a baby would in the arms of their parents) in the LORD your God, and you will be established (Hebrew also = 'aman = firmly founded!). Put your trust in His prophets and succeed." 2Chr 32:20 But (faced with Assyrian taunts against God's powerlessness to deliver and the threat of a siege by Sennacherib) King Hezekiah and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed about this and cried out (Hebrew = za'aq = primary activity implied is that of crying out in pain or by reason of affliction; Greek = boáō) to heaven. Neh 9:4 Now (note that "now" is a time phrase > after hearing the Word of God the effect on the hearers was to began a long prayer of confession of sin) on the Levites' platform stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and they cried (Hebrew = za'aq = primary activity implied is that of crying out in pain or by reason of affliction, in the present context the affliction of one's soul smitten with the realization that they had sinned against the living God; Greek = boáō) with a loud voice to the LORD their God. Jonah 2:2 "I called out (Hebrew = qara = call, summon; Greek = boáō) of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; Thou didst hear my voice. Hab 1:2 "How long, O LORD, will I call for help, and Thou wilt not hear? I cry out (Hebrew = za'aq = primary activity implied is that of crying out in pain or by reason of affliction; Greek = boáō) to Thee, "Violence!" Yet Thou dost not save." The uses of boáō by both Jonah and Habakkuk emphasize that the calling out or crying out is in the context of distress or affliction.

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