In the Bible Student's Concordance of Aaron Pick (1845) the author explained that there were two Hebrew verbs, one spelt as T-A-B and the other T-Ain-B. The former means to "long for," while the other means "to abhor." These two verbs have got mixed up, with the result that there has been some confusion. At Amos 6:8 most versions are wrong and begin with "I abhor the pride of Jacob." These versions are the Revised Standard, the Authorised, Rotherham, the Concordant (tentative) which has "Abominable to Me is the pride of Jacob," Darby is wrong here, also Young, Boothroyd (1836), Coverdale (1535) who has "I hate the pryde of Jacob." Leeser and Newcome have "I abhor," The New World has "I am detesting the pride of Jacob," Ferrar Fenton and Moffatt have "I loathe." Thomson's Septuagint has in the Greek "For the Lord hath sworn by Himself, As I abhor all this haughtiness of Jacob." When one looks up Amos 8:7 we find the opposite. Boothroyd has "Jehovah hath sworn by the high state of Jacob." Leeser has "Jehovah hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob." Young has much the same.
There are four statements in the Psalms: Psalm 47:4; Psalm 119:20, 40, and 174, which all show the word "excellency" or "longing" or "longed," Young's Concordance shows the last two.
"Solomon Yarchi explains Methoaiv, to long for, like Methoaiv, to abhor, and thus wrote David Kimchi; "in Amos 6:8, has the opposite meaning to 'I have longed for Thy salvation, 0 Lord,' Psalm 119." But God forbid that the Aleph should be converted into Ayin to the perversion of our perfect language. That Mthab is derived from TAB, to long for, is clear, for "the excellency of Jacob is said of the holy house; and according to the Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, 'The great holy house of Jacob;' and according to the Psalmist, 'The excellency of Jacob whom he loved.' Abar-benel thus comments, "God said there is not the least doubt that I long for, and earnestly desire, the excellency of Jacob, that is, the holy house, but what can I do, for the palaces of Jacob, their houses, and their temples, with all their delights I hate."
A.T. Last updated 4.4.2006