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BEFO'RE, preposition [be and fore, that is by fore, near the fore part.]

1. In front; on the side with the face, at any distance; used of persons.

2. In presence of, with the idea of power, authority, respect.

Abraham bowed before the people of the land. Genesis 23:3.

Wherewithal shall I come before the Lord. Micah 6:1.

3. In sight of; as before the face.

4. In the presence of, noting cognizance of jurisdiction.

5. In the power of, noting the right or ability to choose or possess; free to the choice.

The world was all before them.

My land is before thee. Genesis 20:15.

6. In front of any object; as before the house; before the fire.

7. Preceding in time.

Before I was afflicted, I went astray. Psalms 119:30.

Before Abraham was, I am. John 8:58.

Here the preposition has a sentence following for an object.

8. In preference to.

And he set Ephraim before Manasseh. Gen 48.

Poverty is desirable before torments.

9. Superior; preceding in dignity.

He that cometh after me is preferred before me, for he was before me. John Latin

10. Prior to; having prior right; preceding in order; as, the eldest son is before the younger in succession.

11. Previous to; in previous order; in order to.

Before this treatise can become of use, two points are necessary.

12. before the wind, is to move in the direction of the wind by its impulse.

BEFO'RE, adverb In time preceding.

You tell me what I knew before

1. In time preceding, to the present, or to this time; hitherto; as, tumults then arose which before were unknown.

2. Further onward in place, in progress, or in front.

Reaching forth to those things which are before Philippians 3:13.

3. In front; on the fore part.

The battle was before and behind. 2 Chronicles 13:13.

In some of the examples of the use of before which Johnson places under the adverb, the word is a preposition governing a sentence; as, 'Before the hills appeared.' This is the real construction, however overlooked or misunderstood.