English - Gaze

= to look long and fixedly, stare

Hebrew - חָזָה -  Khaza

= look, see, behold, vision,

Middle English gasen; compare Norwegian, Swedish gasa: look
Family/Language Indo-European Reflex(es) Gloss
Old English:  gīnan to gape, yawn
  ginian/geonian/gynian to yawn
  gi(o)wian/giwan to desire, demand
Middle English: gap gap
  gapen to gape
  gaspen to gasp
  yanen to yawn
 English: gap break in wall/hedge/line of military defense
  gape to open mouth wide
  gasp to catch breath with shock/other emotion
  yawn to gape, open wide
Scots English: ghyll gill
Old Frisian: gēie penance
Old High German: gīēn to yawn
  ginēn/g(e)inōn to yawn
German: gaffen to gape, yawn
  ghnen to yawn
Old Norse: gap gap, hole, chasm
  gapa to gape, yawn
  geispa to yawn
Old Icelandic:  gīna to gape
  gjā ravine, cleft in earth
Icelandic: gīna to yawn
Latin: dehisco, dehiscere to split open
  hio, hiāre, hiavi, hiatus to gape, yawn, crack open
  hisco, hiscere to gape, open
New Latin: achaenium achene
Lithuanian: iju to yawn
Old Church Slavonic: zěją to yawn
Greek: χαzνω to yawn, gape, (crack) open
Sanskrit: jhamānas gaping, yawning


Like the word "behold" in English, this word is employed almost exclusively in poetry or exalted prose. It is used exclusively in Qal, but appears in all parts of that stem: This word, appearing about fifty times, is apparently an exalted term, in rather frequent use.

Khaza in the Aramaic portions of Dan and Ezr (about thirty times) are entirely parallel to the Hebrew.

The word ra'a used approximately fourteen hundred times in the OT, presents a similar range of literal, metaphorical, and extended usages as is true also of the English words "look," "see" and "behold."

Any word meaning to see with the eyes, the most vivid form of sensation, seems bound to be employed for almost any sensation (by eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin) as well as any mental or spiritual perception. Notice how at least two different senses are attributed to eyes in the prize mixed metaphor of all literature: The children of Israel complain to Moses and Aaron, "You have made our savor to stink in the eyes of Pharaoh" (Ex 5:21). In the case of khaza the bare literal sense is rare. Metaphorical and special senses are more common, as follows:

1. The literal sense, perception with physical organs of sight (Job 27:12; Prov 22:29; 29:18).

2. The special way in which a lover gazes at his (her?) beloved (Song 6:13 .

3. To "see to something, i.e. provide (from Lat ‎pro-video"see to"). The idea is to secure needful things against a foreseen need or occasion (Ex 18:21; ASV margin of Isa 57:8 refers to Israel's providing objects for idolatrous worship).

4. This word is carried to the realm of pure spiritual understanding in two outstanding passages (Job 36:25 and Ps 63:2.

5. Metaphorically of God's awareness of either evil or good actions among men (Ps 11:4; 17:2).

6. Immediate vision of God by select persons specially chosen (Ex 24:9-11).

7. The revelatory vision granted by God to chosen messengers, i.e. prophets. Such apparently was the experience of Balaam the son of Beor (Num 24:4,16). This vision of the prophets took place sometimes in the waking state, but also in "the spirit" (see Num 24:2). Sometimes the experience of "seeing" a revelatory dream is designated by khaza (Aram). See Dan 2:26; 4:5,9 etc.

8. The vision of God which every saint shall have after death, without reference to any bodily organ of sight is designated by khaza in two very important passages (Ps 17:15; Job 19:26-27, possibly also Ps 11:7; Isa 33:17).

9. Because of the importance of the revelatory vision as means of the prophets' special knowledge of divine things, the word sometimes means to speak as a prophet (Isa 30:10, "Prophesy not unto us right things"). It might be that this active sense (prophesying, to speak as a prophet), rather than the passive one of receiving prophetic revelation, may be the sense of Isa 1:1 ("which he saw," etc.) and other similar passages (Isa 2:1; 13:1; Lam 2:14; Ezek 13:8; Amos 1:1; etc.). To speak even as a false prophet may be designated by khaza Zech 10:2). The active sense is close to certain in this last case. The close association of khaza and derived forms khozeh, khazon etc. with prophecy is shown by the way the "seer" is on occasion defined,(2 Sam 24:11). See especially Ezek 12:27.

Khozeh: Seer, derived from khaza. Of the twenty-two occurrences eleven are connected with the name of a particular person, indicating his office as prophet (Gad, 2 Sam 24:11; 1 Chron 21:9; 29:29; 2 Chron 29:25; Heman, 1 Chron 25:5; Iddo, 2 Chron 9:29; 12:15; Hanai, 2 Chron 19:2; Asaph, 2 Chron 29:25; Jeduthun, 2 Chron 35:15; Amos is addressed as a hozeh).

Whatever the derivation of these three words, Scripture specifies that nabi means spokesman for God (Ex 7:1-2; cf. Ex 4:16; Jer 23:16; Isa 1:20; Zech 7:12; Amos 3:8; 7:16). Ro'eh and khozeh preserve awareness that God sometimes made revelation to the prophets by visions, i.e. "seeing."


1. Gaze, stare, gape  suggest looking fixedly at something. To gaze  is to look steadily and intently at something, especially at that which excites admiration, curiosity, or interest: to gaze at scenery, at a scientific experiment. To stare  is to gaze with eyes wide open, as from surprise, wonder, alarm, stupidity, or impertinence: to stare unbelievingly or rudely. Gape  is a word with uncomplimentary connotations; it suggests open-mouthed, often ignorant or rustic wonderment or curiosity: to gape at a tall building or a circus parade.