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BE, verb intransitive substantive, participle present tense being; participle passive been.[The sense is to stand, remain or be fixed; hence to continue. This verb is defective, and its defects are supplied by verbs from other roots, as, is, was, were, which have no radical connection with be The case is the same with the substantive verb in most languages.]

1. To be fixed; to exist; to have a real state or existence, for a longer or shorter time.

Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:1.

To be contents his natural desire.

2. To be made to be; to become.

And they twain shall be one flesh. Math.19. Jeremiah 32:4.

3. To remain. Let the garment be as it was made.

4. To be present in a place. Where was I at the time? When will you be at my house?

5. To have a particular manner of being or happening; as, how is this affair? how was it? what were the circumstances?

This verb is used as an auxiliary in forming the tenses of other verbs, and particularly in giving them the passive form; as, he has been disturbed. It forms, with the infinitive, a particular future tense, which often expresses duty, necessity or purpose; as, government is to be supported; we are to pay our just debts.

Let be is to omit, or leave untouched; to let alone.

Let be said he, my prey.

BE, a prefix, as in because, before, beset, bedeck, is the same word as by. It is common to the English, Saxon, Gothic, German, Dutch, Danish and Swedish languages. It occurs probably in the Russian, but is written po, as it is in possideo and a few other words in the Latin. It denotes nearness, closeness, about, or, at, from some root signifying to pass or to press. [See By.]

That this word is the Shemitic, used as a prefix, is certain, not only from its general applications, which may be seen by comparing the uses of the word, in the Heb. for instance, with those in the Saxon; but from its use in particular phrases, particularly in its use before the name of the Supreme being in swearing.