What does See, Perceive mean in the Bible?


Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words - See, Perceive
A. Verb.
Râ'âh (רָאָה, Strong's #7200), “to see, observe, perceive, get acquainted with, gain understanding, examine, look after (see to), choose, discover.” This verb occurs only in Moabite and all periods of Hebrew. It appears in the Bible about 1,300 times.
Basically râ'âh connotes seeing with one’s eyes: Isaac’s “eyes were dim, so that he could not see” (Gen. 27:1). This is its meaning in Gen. 1:4, its first biblical appearance. The word can be used in the sense of seeing only what is obvious: “… For the Lord seeth not as man seeth …” (1 Sam. 16:7). This verb can also mean “to observe”: “… And there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport” (Judg. 16:27). The second primary meaning is “to perceive,” or to be consciously aware of—so idols “neither see, nor hear” (Deut. 4:28). Third, râ'âh can represent perception in the sense of hearing something—God brought the animals before Adam “to see what he would call them” (Gen. 2:19). In Isa. 44:16 the verb means “to enjoy”: “… I am warm, I have seen the fire.” It can also mean “to realize” or “to get acquainted with”: “When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth …” (Eccl. 8:16). The rebellious men of Jerusalem tell God they will not “see sword nor famine”; they will not experience it (Jer. 5:12).
This verb has several further extended meanings. For example, râ'âh can refer to “perceiving or ascertaining” something apart from seeing it with one’s eyes, as when Hagar saw that she had conceived (Gen. 16:4). It can represent mentally recognizing that something is true: “We saw certainly that the Lord was with thee …” (Gen. 26:28). Seeing and hearing together can mean “to gain understanding”: “… Kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider” (Isa. 52:15). In Mal. 3:18 the verb means “to distinguish”: “Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked.…” The word can mean to consider the fact that Israel is God’s people (Exod. 33:13).
In addition to these uses of râ'âh referring to intellectual seeing, there is seeing used in the sense of living. “To see the light” is to live life (Job 3:16; cf. 33:28). It can mean “experience” in the sense of what one is aware of as he lives: “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity … reap the same” (Job 4:8). In 2 Kings 25:19 the verb is used in the unique sense of “having trusted concourse with” when it speaks of the five advisors of the king.
A fourth idea of seeing is “to examine”: “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower …” (Gen. 11:5). This examining can have to do with more than looking something over; it can refer to looking after or supervising something (Gen. 39:23). Used in this sense râ'âh can imply looking upon with joy or pain. Hagar asked that she not be allowed to look on the death of Ishmael (Gen. 21:16). This verb may be used of attending to or visiting—so Jonadab said to Amnon: “… When thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him …” (2 Sam. 13:5). When Joseph advised Pharaoh “to look out a man discreet and wise,” he was telling him to choose or select such a man (Gen. 41:33). “To examine” may also be “to observe” someone in order to imitate what he does (Judg. 7:17), or “to discover” something (find it out; Judg. 16:5).
B. Nouns.
Rô'eh (רֹאֶה, Strong's #7203), “seer; vision.” Rô'eh, which occurs 11 times, refers to a “prophet” (emphasizing the means by which revelation was received; 1 Sam. 9:9) and to “vision” (Isa. 28:7).
Several other nouns are related to the verb ra’ah. Re’i appears once to mean “looking-glass” (Job 37:18). Re’ut, which occurs 4 times, means “looking, appearance” (1 Sam. 16:12, NASB). Re’ut occurs once, and it means “look” (Eccl. 5:11). Mar’ah means “visionary appearance” or "(prophetic) vision” (Gen. 46:2) and “looking glasses” (Exod. 38:8); this word appears 12 times. Of its 15 occurrences the noun to’ar means “form, shape” in 1 Sam. 28:14 and “stately appearance” in 1 Sam. 25:3. Mar’eh occurs 103 times; this word and to’ar are descriptive of blessing in Gen. 39:6: “Now Joseph was handsome in form [1] and appearance [1]” (NASB). Mar’eh refers more to external “appearance” (Gen. 2:9), and the word can also connote “sight” as in a range of vision (Lev. 13:3) and “sight” in the sense of a supernatural “sight” or manifestation (Exod. 3:3).

Sentence search

Perceive - have oida, "to know" (so RV), for eidon, "to See, Perceive" (AV)