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FAIL - fal (kalah, karath; ekleipo): "Fail" is both intransitive, "to fall short," "be wanting," and trans, "to be wanting to."

Of the many words translated "fail" in the Old Testament, kalah is the most frequent, meaning "to be consumed," "ended" (Job 11:20; 17:5; Ps 69:3; 71:9, etc.; Prov 22:8; Isa 15:6, etc.; Jer 14:6; Lam 2:11; 3:22; 4:17); it is the translation of karath, "to be cut off" (2 Sam 3:29, of failure in succession; so 1 Ki 2:4, etc.); `adhar, "to marshal," "to be missed" or "lacking" (Isa 34:16 the King James Version; Isa 40:26 the King James Version; Isa 59:15 the King James Version; Zeph 3:5); of raphah, "to become faint" or "to make feeble" (Dt 31:6,8; "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee," Josh 1:5; 1 Ch 28:20); of '-abhadh, "to perish," "be lost" (Ps 142:4, "Refuge hath failed me"; Ezek 12:22, "Every vision faileth"). Many other Hebrew words are translated "fail," "faileth," for the most part in single instances.

In the New Testament, ekleipo, "to leave out" or "off," is thrice rendered "fail" (Lk 16:9 "when it shall fail"; 22:32, "that thy faith fail not"; Heb 1:12, "Thy years shall not fail"); ekpipto, "to fall off or away" (1 Cor 13:8, "Charity (the Revised Version (British and American) "love") never faileth"); katargeo, "to make useless" (1 Cor 13:8 the King James Version, "Whether prophecies, they shall fail"); hustereo, "to be behind," "to lack" (Heb 12:15 the King James Version); apopsucho, "to swoon away," "failing" (Lk 21:26 the King James Version).

The Revised Version (British and American) has "fail," in a new translation of Jer 18:14, for "fall" (Lam 1:14, margin "stumble"); "his hand fail" for "fallen in decay" (Lev 25:35); "I will in no wise fail thee" for "I will never leave thee" (Heb 13:5; compare Dt 31:6; Josh 1:5); "failed to enter" for "entered not" (Heb 4:6); "faileth" (American Standard Revised Version) for "ceaseth" (Ps 49:8), the English Revised Version "must be let alone for ever"; "failing" for "was darkened" (Lk 23:45); for "fail" (Ezr 4:22), "be slack," "be missing" (Isa 34:16); "falleth short of" (Heb 12:15, maqrgin, "falleth bacf from"); for "failed," "was all spent" (Gen 47:15); "wholly" (Josh 3:16); "fail (in looking)" (Lam 4:17); for "faileth," "is lacking" (Isa 40:26; 59:15); for "men's hearts failing them" (Lk 21:26), "men fainting," margin "expiring."

W. L. Walker

Also see definition of "Fail" in Word Study

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