Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
The verb בחר (bahar) means to choose, or rather to prefer, or select by preference. This verb and its derivations occur 198 times and HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament reports that this root is predominantly used with theological overtones, expressing 'that choosing which has ultimate and eternal significance' (Deuteronomy 12:5, Psalm 135:4, 1 Kings 8:16).
This verb's derivatives are:
- The masculine noun בחור (bahur), meaning young man, usually in a military context; choice soldier. It may also mean chosen one in a religious sense (Psalm 78:31), and some scholars insist that in cases like these two separate roots are at work. It's doubtful, however, that any member of a Hebrew audience saw more difference than similarity in these two usages of this noun.
- The feminine or masculine plural noun בחורים (behurim), meaning youth (Numbers 11:28, Ecclesiastes 11:9 and 12:1 only).
- The masculine noun בחיר (bahir), meaning chosen or chosen one. This word always occurs in the sense of the chosen one(s) of YHWH (2 Samuel 21:6, Psalm 89:3, Isaiah 42:1).
- The masculine noun מבחר (mibhar), meaning best or choicest (Genesis 23:6, Isaiah 37:24).
- The masculine noun מבחר (mibhor), meaning choice in the sense of quality. This variant occurs only twice (2 Kings 3:19 and 19:23) and BDB Theological Dictionary assumed these spellings are scribal errors for מבחר (mibhar).