BEFO'RE, prep. [be and fore, that is by fore, near the fore part.]
Wherewithal shall I come before the Lord. Micah 6.
The world was all before them.
My land is before thee. Gen.20.
6. In front of any object; as before the house; before the fire.
Before I was afflicted, I went astray. Ps.119.
Here the preposition has a sentence following for an object.
And he set Ephraim before Manasseh. Gen.48.
Poverty is desirable before torments.
He that cometh after me is preferred before me, for he was before me. John l.
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.
BEFO'RE, adv. In time preceding.
You tell me what I knew before.
The battle was before and behind. 2 Chron.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.