WFT- exorbitant

01 March 2009

The Merriam-Webster's word of the day for February 23rd was exorbitant.  M-W defined the word as follows:

1 : not coming within the scope of the law
2 : exceeding the customary or appropriate limits in intensity,  quality, amount, or size
While the second definition is the most common usage the first is what brings some Scripture to mind.

But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, "Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath." - Matthew 12:2

Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?" - Matthew 19:3
And Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to destroy it?" - Luke 6:9
The etymology provided was this:
The first use of "exorbitant" in English was "wandering or deviating from the  normal or ordinary course." That sense is now archaic, but it provides a hint as  to the origins of "exorbitant": the word derives from Late Latin "exorbitans,"  the present participle of the verb "exorbitare," meaning "to deviate."  "Exorbitare" in turn was formed by combining the prefix "ex-," meaning "out of,"  with the noun "orbita," meaning "track of a wheel" or "rut." ("Orbita" itself  traces back to "orbis," the Latin word for "disk" or "hoop.") In the 15th  century "exorbitant" came to refer to something which fell outside of the normal  or intended scope of the law. Eventually, it developed an extended sense as a  synonym of "excessive."
This also brings a passage of Scripture to mind:
But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,  - 1 Tim 1:8
If we use the law in an unlawful manner then our actions fit the definition of "exorbitant".

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