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Neesing

NEESING (עֲטִישָׁה, H6490). An archaic word for “sneezing,” the pl. of which is found in Job 41:18 KJV in the chapter about Leviathan, “By his neesings a light doth shine.” The RSV has “His sneezings flash forth light.” The word “snortings” would prob. be more descriptive. In early editions of the KJV it is said of the child whom Elisha raised to life that he “neesed seven times” (2 Kings 4:35). Later editions, the ASV and the RSV have “sneezed.”

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

"Neese" in Elizabethan English (through two distinct derivations) could mean either "sneeze" or "snort," and it is impossible to say which force was intended by the King James Version editors. The Hebrew is `aTishah, a word found only here, but connected with a Semitic root meaning "sneeze," or, perhaps, "snort." Job 41:18 is part of the description of the "leviathan" or crocodile. This animal has a habit of inflating himself, and after this he discharges through his nostrils the moist, heated vapor, which sparkles in the sunlight. The act is neither a "sneeze" nor a "snort," but the latter word is sufficiently descriptive. There is no allusion to legendary "fire-spouting" monsters. Compare Job 39:20; Jer 8:16.

In the older editions of the King James Version "neesed" is found in 2Ki 4:35: "and the child neesed seven times" (later editions and the Revised Version (British and American) "sneezed").

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