Easton’s Bible Dictionary

Eye : (Heb. 'ain, meaning "flowing"), applied

  1. to a fountain, frequently;
  2. to colour (Numbers 11:7; R.V., "appearance," marg. "eye");
  3. the face (Exodus 10:5,15; Numbers 22:5,11), in 14:14, "face to face" (R.V. marg., "eye to eye"). "Between the eyes", i.e., the forehead (Exodus 13:9,16).

The expression (Proverbs 23:31), "when it giveth his colour in the cup," is literally, "when it giveth out [or showeth] its eye." The beads or bubbles of wine are thus spoken of. "To set the eyes" on any one is to view him with favour (Genesis 44:21; Job 24:23; Jeremiah 39:12). This word is used figuratively in the expressions an "evil eye" (Matthew 20:15), a "bountiful eye" (Proverbs 22:9), "haughty eyes" (Proverbs 6:17 marg.), "wanton eyes" (Isaiah 3:16), "eyes full of adultery" (2 Peter 2:14), "the lust of the eyes" (1 John 2:16). Christians are warned against "eye-service" (Ephesians 6:6; Colossians 3:22). Men were sometimes punished by having their eyes put out (1 Samuel 11:2; Samson, Judges 16:21; Zedekiah, 2 Kings 25:7).

The custom of painting the eyes is alluded to in 2 Kings 9:30, R.V.; Jeremiah 4:30; Ezekiel 23:40, a custom which still prevails extensively among Eastern women.

Related Resources
  • Smith’s Bible Dictionary