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This is an archaic Middle English word. It is a past participle of the word “help.” Today, we say “helped,” instead of “holpen.”

In older times, the word “helpen” meant “to help,” and therefore the past tense was “holpen.”

Examples from the King James Bible

  • “Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen [helped] the children of Lot. Selah.” —Psalm 83:8 KJV
  • “Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, Lord, hast holpen [helped] me, and comforted me.” —Psalm 86:17 KJV
  • “Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen [helped] shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.” —Isaiah 31:3 KJV / compare Isa. 31:3 NKJV
  • “Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen [helped/aided] with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.” —Daniel 11:34 KJV / compare Dan. 11:34 NKJV
Article Version: July 13, 2019