I love words, especially unusual words that we don’t use in our everyday speech. Recently in my Bible class, we came across a word used in the King James Version that intrigued me. Since then this word has been a sort of inside joke as to what all the tenses of the word might be. Since I love to research and I’ve been really curious about this, I decided it was time to find out once and for all.
We first encounter it in Genesis 8:21 just after the flood:
“And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.”
Smite is a strong word. It means to beat, break, plague, hit, or strike. The one who smites is powerful. The documentation of the word originates in Middle English from sometime in the 12th century.
Analyzing verb tenses can get complicated, and I’m certainly not a grammar guru, but the basics are:
Present – I smite.
Past – I smote.
Future – I will smite.
Perfect – I have smitten.
Future Perfect – I will have smitten.
Help me keep this great word alive by using it!