International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
To make lofty, to raise up. A very common word in English Versions of the Bible representing a great variety of Hebrew and Greek words, although in the Old Testament used chiefly as the translation of nasa'. Of none of these words, however, is "lift" used as a technical translation, and "lift" is interchanged freely with its synonyms, especially "exalt" (compare Psalm 75:5; Psalm 89:24) and "raise" (compare Ecclesiastes 4:10 2 Samuel 12:17). "Lift" is still perfectly good English, but not in all the senses in which it is used in English Versions of the Bible; e.g. such phrases as "men that lifted up axes upon a thicket" (Psalm 74:5), "lift up thy feet unto the perpetual ruins" (Psalm 74:3, etc.), and even the common "lift up the eyes" or "hands" are distinctly archaic. However, almost all the uses are perfectly clear, and only the following need be noted. "To lift up the head" (Genesis 40:13, 19, 20 2 Kings 25:27 Psalm 3:3; Sirach 11:13; Luke 21:28) means to raise from a low condition (but on Psalm 24:7, 9 see GATE). To "lift up the horn" (Psalm 75:5) is to assume a confident position, the figure being taken from fighting oxen (see HORN). "Lift up the face" may be meant literally (2 Kings 9:32), or it may denote the bestowal of favor (Psalm 4:6); it may mean the attitude of a righteous man toward God (Job 22:26), or simply the attitude of a suppliant (Ezra 9:6).