Updated: Aug 31, 2021
Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness, Job 36:13.
Perhaps no verse in our King James Bible self-defines the word strait as well as our opening verse. The opposite of Job's strait is a broad place. To be in a strait place is to be in a narrow place. We still use the word today but usually as part of a proper name when naming geographical features. We have the Straits of Gibraltar, the Florida Straits, the Straits of Hormuz or the Magellan Strait. Each of them signifies a place wherein the broad ocean is suddenly narrowed by a peninsula, set of islands, or rocks which often render the passage to be dangerous.
When Jacob's sons defended themselves to their father after he accused them of volunteering too much information, they replied, The man asked us straitly of our state, Genesis 43:7. He gave them no wiggle room in which to answer. He asked them, Is your father yet alive? have ye another brother?. These are not questions from a man of great power in which there was room to dissemble. Do you, or don't you?, it was asked straitly. Jacob's sons were given no choice in how to answer. There was no way to give misleading answers that meandered away from the simple truth. He asked them straitly.
The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians, Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels, 2nd Corinthians 6:12. What is he saying? He's telling them that it is not the apostles limiting the Corinthians in their actions and thoughts. It is not the apostles who offered them some narrow constricted life. It was their bowels that did so, their inner emotions.
Another verse which self-defines the word strait is Matthew 7:13; Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Strait is a good bible word and children who grow up knowing it have a richer fuller vocabulary. Those who grow up under the silly guise of protecting them from hard words have their intellects straitened. We are seeing more and more evidence of that as Christian educators dumb down their bibles to match their students' narrow intellects.
To quote my book Further Thoughts on the Word of God: Revised Edition:
When we read the writings of George Washington or Patrick Henry, we do not read King James Bible English. Their everyday language was much closer to ours. The books of Edgar Allen Poe or James Fennimore Cooper are not written in the English of 1611. Abraham Lincoln or Robert E. Lee did not grow up speaking English as it was spoken in the 17th century yet none of them had trouble reading the King James Bible. The educators of their day believed in making their students smarter to match their bible. Today’s educators believe in making their bibles stupider to match their students. By all accounts, both achieved their objective. From Chapter 15, Page 241.