Cleave

CLEAVE. A. בָּקַע, H1324, cleave, break open or through; LXX σχίζω, G5387, split, divide, separate; Vul. concido cut up; Luther spalten, split. Abraham “cut [clave, KJV] the wood for the burnt offering” (Gen 22:3); the distressed Philistines “split up [clave, KJV] the wood of the cart” (1 Sam 6:14).

Usage of בָּקַע, H1324: the plowman “shatters” the earth (Ps 141:7); the owl “hatches out” her brood (Isa 34:15); Moses “divided” the sea (Exod 14:21); the Ammonites “ripped up” pregnant women (Amos 1:13); prisoners hurled from a precipice were “dashed to pieces” (2 Chron 25:12).

B. דָּבַק, H1815, cleave, cling, keep close; LXX προσκολλάω, G4681, to glue to; be faithfully devoted to; Vul. adhaero; Luther hangen. A man should “cleave” to his wife (Gen 2:24).

Usage of דָּבַק, H1815: Job complained, My bones “cleave” to my skin (Job 19:20); Eleazar’s hand “cleaved” to the sword (2 Sam 23:10); the psalmist mentions his tongue “cleaving” to the roof of his mouth (137:6); Ruth “clung” to Naomi (Ruth 1:14).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

klev: Is used in the Bible in two different senses:

(1) baqa` "to split," or "to rend." We are told that Abraham "clave the wood for the burnt-offering" (Ge 22:3), and that "they clave the wood of the cart" (1Sa 6:14). The Psalmist speaks of Yahweh cleaving fountain and flood (Ps 74:15), and the plowman cleaving the earth (Ps 141:7). For other examples see Jud 15:19; Ec 10:9; Ps 78:15; Hab 3:9.

(2) dabhaq; kollao, "to adhere to," or "to join one’s self to." This meaning is the reverse of the preceding. The Psalmist speaks of his tongue cleaving to the roof of his mouth (Ps 137:6). We are told that a man should cleave unto his wife (Ge 2:24; Mt 19:5). It is said that Ru clave unto her mother-in-law (Ru 1:14), and that certain men clave unto Paul (Ac 17:34; compare Ac 4:23; 11:23 margin).

"Cleave" is also used in this sense to describe one’s adherence to principles. Paul admonished the Romans to cleave to that which is good (Ro 12:9).