- wit used 21 times.
- witness used 135 times.
- witnesses used 49 times.
- witnesseth used twice.
- wit's used once.
- Included in Eastons: Yes
- Included in Hitchcocks: No
- Included in Naves: No
- Included in Smiths: Yes
- Included in Websters: Yes
- Included in Strongs: Yes
- Included in Thayers: Yes
- Included in BDB: Yes
More than one witness was required in criminal cases (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15). They were the first to execute the sentence on the condemned (Deuteronomy 13:9; 17:7; 1 Kings 21:13; Matthew 27:1; Acts 7:57, 58). False witnesses were liable to punishment (Deuteronomy 19:16-21). It was also an offence to refuse to bear witness (Leviticus 5:1).
Qualified by laying hands on the accused
Among people with whom writing is not common the evidence of a transaction is given by some tangible memorial or significant ceremony- Abraham gave seven ewe-lambs to Abimelech as an evidence of his property in the well of Beersheba. Jacob raised a heap of stones, "the heap of witness." as a boundary-mark between himself and Laban. (Genesis 21:30; 31:47,52) The tribes of Reuben and Gad raised an "altar" as a witness to the covenant between themselves and the rest of the nation. Joshua set up a stone as an evidence of the allegiance promised by Isr'l to God. (Joshua 22:10,26,34; 24:26,27) But written evidence was by no means unknown to the Jews. Divorce was to be proved by a written document. (24:1,3) In civil contracts, at least in later times documentary evidence was required and carefully preserved. (Isaiah 8:16; Jeremiah 32:10-16) On the whole the law was very careful to provide and enforce evidence for all its infractions and all transactions bearing on them. Among special provisions with respect to evidence are the following-
- Two witnesses at least are required to establish any charge. (Numbers 35:30; 17:6; John 8:17; 2 Corinthians 13:1) comp. 1 Timothy 5:19
- In the case of the suspected wife, evidence besides the husband's was desired. (Numbers 5:13)
- The witness who withheld the truth was censured. (Leviticus 5:1)
- False witness was punished with the penalty due to the offence which it sought to establish.
- Slanderous reports and officious witness are discouraged. (Exodus 20:16; 23:1; Leviticus 18:16,18) etc.
- The witnesses were the first executioners. (15:9; 17:7; Acts 7:58)
- In case of an animal left in charge and torn by wild beasts, the keeper was to bring the carcass in proof of the fact and disproof of his own criminality. (Exodus 22:13)
- According to Josephus, women and slaves were not admitted to bear testimony. In the New Testament the original notion of a witness is exhibited in the special form of one who attests his belief in the gospel by personal suffering. Hence it is that the use of the ecclesiastical term ("martyr." the Greek word for "witness," has arisen.
1. Testimony; attestation of a fact or event.
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. John 5:31.
2. That which furnishes evidence or proof.
Laban said, this heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Genesis 31:44.
3. A person who knows or sees any thing; one personally present; as, he was witness; he was an eye-witness. 1 Peter 5:1.
4. One who sees the execution of an instrument, and subscribes it for the purpose of confirming its authenticity b his testimony.
5. One who gives testimony; as, the witnesses in court agreed in all essential facts.
With a witness effectually; to a great degree; with great force, so as to leave some mark as a testimony behind. He struck with a witness [Not elegant.]
WITNESS, verb transitive
1. To see or know by personal presence. I witnessed the ceremonies in New York, with which the ratification of the constitution was celebrated, in 1788.
2. To attest; to give testimony to; to testify to something.
Behold, how many things they witness against thee. Mark 15:4.
3. To see the execution of an instrument, and subscribe it for the purpose of establishing its authenticity; as, to witness a bond or a deed.
WITNESS, verb intransitive
1. To bear testimony.
The men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth. 1 Kings 21:10.
2. To give evidence.
The shew of their countenance doth witness against them. Isaiah 3:9.
(Romans 8:16), the consciousness of the gracious operation of the Spirit on the mind, "a certitude of the Spirit's presence and work continually asserted within us", manifested "in his comforting us, his stirring us up to prayer, his reproof of our sins, his drawing us to works of love, to bear testimony before the world," etc.
WITNESSED, participle passive Seen in person; testified; subscribed by persons present; as a deed witnessed by two persons.
WITNESSING, participle present tense Seeing in persons; bearing testimony; giving evidence.