Meek, Meekness

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Meek, Meekness

Post by notmartha » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:50 pm


ʿĀnāyw, Hebrew Strong's #6035, is a noun used 26 times in the OT, translated as meek (13), humble (5), poor (5), lowly (2), vr meek (1). It is translated as “meek” in the following verses:
Numbers 12:3 - (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
Psalm 22:26 - The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
Psalm 25:9 - The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
Psalm 37:11 - But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Psalm 76:9 - When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah.
Psalm 147:6 - The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.
Psalm 149:4 - For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.
Isaiah 11:4 - But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
Isaiah 29:19 - The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 61:1 - The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Amos 2:7 - That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:
Zephaniah 2:3 - Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger.

ʿAnwâ, Hebrew Strong's #6037, is a noun used 2 times in the OT, translated as gentleness (1), meekness (1). It is translated as “meekness” in the following verse:
Psalm 45:4 - And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
ʿAnāwâ, Hebrew Strong's #6038, is a noun used 5 times in the OT, translated as humility (3), gentleness (1), meekness (1). It is translated as “meekness” in the following verse:
Zephaniah 2:3 - Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger.
Praus, Greek Strong's #4239, is an adjective used 3 times in the NT, translated as meek in the following verses:
Matthew 5:5 - Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Matthew 21:5 - Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

1 Peter 3:4 - But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Praos, Greek Strong's #4235, is an adjective used 1 time in the NT, translated as “meek” in the following verse:
Matthew 11:29 - Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Praotēs, Greek Strong's #4236, is a noun used 9 times in the NT, translated as “meekness” in the following verses:
1 Corinthians 4:21 - What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?
2 Corinthians 10:1 - Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
Galatians 5:23 - Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Galatians 6:1 - Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Ephesians 4:2 – With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Colossians 3:12 - Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
1 Timothy 6:11 - But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
2 Timothy 2:25 - In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
Titus 3:2 - To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men

Prautēs, Greek Strong's #4240, is a noun used 3 times in the NT, translated as “meekness” in the following verses:
James 1:21 - Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
James 3:13 - Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
1 Peter 3:15 - But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Barnes' Notes on the New Testament, Albert Barnes, 1832
Verse 5. The meek. Meekness is patience in the reception of injuries. It is neither meanness, nor a surrender of our rights, nor cowardice; but it is the opposite of sudden anger, of malice, of long-harboured vengeance. Christ insisted on his right when he said,

"If I have done evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why smitest thou me?" John 18:23.

Paul asserted his right when he said,

"They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily; nay, verily, but let them come themselves, and fetch us out,"
Acts 16:37. And yet Christ was the very model of meekness. It was one of his characteristics, "I am meek," Matthew 11:29. So of Paul. No man endured more, and more patiently, than he. Yet they were not passionate. They bore it patiently. They did not harbour malice. They did not press their rights through thick and thin, and trample down the rights of others to secure their own.

Meekness is the reception of injuries with a belief that God will vindicate us. "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord," Romans 12:19. It little becomes us to take his place, and to do what he has a right to do, and what he has promised to do.

Meekness produces peace. It is proof of true greatness of soul. It comes from a heart too great to be moved by little insults. It looks upon those who offer them with pity. He that is constantly ruffled, that suffers every little insult or injury to throw him off his guard, and to raise a storm of passion within, is at the mercy of every mortal that chooses to disturb him. He is like the troubled sea that cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
Finney's Systematic Theology, Charles Finney, 1878
16. Another attribute of benevolence is Meekness.
Meekness, considered as a virtue, is a phenomenon of the will. This term also expresses a state of the sensibility. When used to designate a phenomenon of the sensibility, it is nearly synonymous with patience. It designates a sweet and forbearing temper under provocation. Meekness, a phenomenon of the will, and as an attribute of benevolence, is the opposite both of resistance to injury and retaliation. It is properly and strictly forbearance under injurious treatment. This certainly is an attribute of God, as our existence and our being out of hell plainly demonstrate. Christ said of himself that he was “meek and lowly in heart;” and this surely was no vain boast. How admirably, and how incessantly did this attribute of his love manifest itself! The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah is a prophecy exhibiting this attribute in a most affecting light. Indeed, scarcely any feature of the character of God and of Christ is more strikingly exhibited than this. It must evidently be an attribute of benevolence. Benevolence is good-will to all beings. We are naturally forbearing toward those whose good we honestly and diligently seek. If our hearts are set upon doing them good, we shall naturally exercise great forbearance toward them. God has greatly commended his forbearance to us, in that, while we were yet his enemies, he forbore to punish us, and gave his Son to die for us. Forbearance is a sweet and amiable attribute. How affectingly it displayed itself in the hall of Pilate, and on the cross. “He is led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.”

This attribute has in this world abundant opportunity to develop and display itself in the saints. There are daily occasions for the exercise of this form of virtue. Indeed, all the attributes of benevolence are called into frequent exercise in this school of discipline. This is indeed a suitable world in which to train God’s children, to develop and strengthen every modification of holiness. This attribute must always appear where benevolence exists, and wherever there is an occasion for its exercise.

It is delightful to contemplate the perfection and glory of that love which constitutes obedience to the law of God. As occasions arise, we behold it developing one attribute after another, and there may be many of its attributes and modifications of which we have as yet no idea whatever. Circumstances will call them into exercise. It is probable, if not certain, that the attributes of benevolence were very imperfectly known in heaven previous to the existence of sin in the universe, and that but for sin many of these attributes would never have been manifested in exercise. But the existence of sin, great as the evil is, has afforded an opportunity for benevolence to manifest its beautiful phases, and to develop its sweet attributes in a most enchanting manner. Thus the divine economy of benevolence brings good out of so great an evil.

A hasty and unforbearing spirit is always demonstrative evidence of a want of benevolence, or of true religion. Meekness is, and must be, a peculiar characteristic of the saints in this world, where there is so much provocation. Christ frequently and strongly enforced the obligation to forbearance. “But I say unto you that ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” How beautiful!
Smith’s Bible Dictionary, William Smith, 1884
The word "meek" is hardly an adequate reading of the Hebrew term, which should be rather "much enduring."
Word Studies in the New Testament, Marvin Vincent, 1886
The meek (οἱ πραεῖς)

Another word which, though never used in a bad sense, Christianity has lifted to a higher plane, and made the symbol of a higher good. Its primary meaning is mild, gentle. It was applied to inanimate things, as light, wind, sound, sickness. It was used of a horse; gentle.

As a human attribute, Aristotle defines it as the mean between stubborn anger and that negativeness of character which is inescapable of even righteous indignation: according to which it is tantamount to equanimity. Plato opposes it to fierceness or cruelty, and uses it of humanity to the condemned; but also of the conciliatory demeanor of a demagogue seeking popularity and power. Pindar applies it to a king, mild or kind to the citizens, and Herodotus uses it as opposed to anger.

These pre-Christian meanings of the word exhibit two general characteristics. 1. They express outward conduct merely. 2. They contemplate relations to men only. The Christian word, on the contrary, describes an inward quality, and that as related primarily to God. The equanimity, mildness, kindness, represented by the classical word, are founded in self-control or in natural disposition. The Christian meekness is based on humility, which is not a natural quality but an outgrowth of a renewed nature. To the pagan the word often implied condescension, to the Christian it implies submission. The Christian quality, in its manifestation, reveals all that was best in the heathen virtue—mildness, gentleness, equanimity—but these manifestations toward men are emphasized as outgrowths of a spiritual relation to God. The mildness or kindness of Plato or Pindar imply no sense of inferiority in those who exhibit them; sometimes the contrary. Plato's demagogue is kindly from self-interest and as a means to tyranny. Pindar's king is condescendingly kind. The meekness of the Christian springs from a sense of the inferiority of the creature to the Creator, and especially of the sinful creature to the holy God. While, therefore, the pagan quality is redolent of self-assertion, the Christian quality carries the flavor of self-abasement. As toward God, therefore, meekness accepts his dealings without murmur or resistance as absolutely good and wise. As toward man, it accepts opposition, insult, and provocation, as God's permitted ministers of a chastening demanded by the infirmity and corruption of sin; while, under this sense of his own sinfulness, the meek bears patiently "the contradiction of sinners against himself," forgiving and restoring the erring in a spirit of meekness, considering himself, lest he also be tempted (see Galatians 6:1-5). The ideas of forgiveness and restoration nowhere attach to the classical word. They belong exclusively to Christian meekness, which thus shows itself allied to love. As ascribed by our Lord to himself, see Matthew 11:29. Wyc. renders "Blessed be mild men."
Easton's Bible Dictionary, Matthew George Easton, 1897
A calm temper of mind, not easily provoked (Jas 3:13). Peculiar promises are made to the meek (Mat 5:5; Isa 66:2). The cultivation of this spirit is enjoined (Col 3:12; 1Ti 6:11; Zep 2:3), and is exemplified in Christ (Mat 11:29), Abraham (Gen 13; Gen 16:5, 6) Moses (Num 12:3), David (Zec 12:8; 2Sa 16:10, 12), and Paul (1Co 9:19).
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W. E. Vine, 1940
"PRAUS or PRAOS denotes gentle, mild, meek; for its significance see the corresponding noun, below, B. Christ uses it of His own disposition, Matt. 11:29; He gives it in the third of His Beatitudes, 5:5; it is said of Him as the King Messiah, 21:5, from Zech. 9:9; it is an adornment of the Christian profession, 1 Pet. 3:4; Cp. epios, gentle, of a soothing disposition, 1 Thess. 2:7; 2 Tim. 2:24."

"PRAUTES or PRAOTES, an earlier form, denotes meekness. In its use in Scripture, in which it has a fuller, deeper significance than in non-scriptural Greek writings, it consists not in a person's 'outward behaviour only; nor yet in his relations to his fellow-men; as little in his mere natural disposition. Rather it is an inwrought grace of the soul; and the exercises of it are first and chiefly towards God. It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting; it is closely linked with the word tapeinophrosune [humility], and follows directly upon it, Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12; cp. The adjectives in the Sept. Of Zeph. 3:12, 'meek and lowly;' it is only the humble heart which is also the meek, and which, as such, does not fight against God and more or less struggle and contend with Him. This meekness, however, being first of all a meekness before God, is also such in the face of men, even of evil men, out of a sense that these, with the insults and injuries which they may inflict, are permitted and employed by Him for the chastening and purifying of His elect' (Trench, Syn. §xiii). In Gal. 5:23 it is associated with enkrateia, self-control.

"The meaning of prautes 'is not readily expressed in English, for the terms meekness, mildness, commonly used, suggest weakness and pusillanimity to a greater or less extent, whereas prautes does nothing of the kind. Never the less, it is difficult to find a rendering less open to the objection than 'meekness;' 'gentleness' has been suggested, but as prautes describes a condition of mind and heart, and as 'gentleness' is appropriate rather to actions, this word is no better than that used in both English Versions. It must be clearly understood, therefore, that the meekness manifested by the Lord and commended to the believer is the fruit of power. The common assumption is that when a man is meek it is because he cannot help himself; but the Lord was 'meek' because He had the infinite resources of God at His command. Described negatively, meekness is the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest; it is equanimity of spirit that is neither elated nor cast down, simply because it is not occupied with self at all."
The Complete Word Study New Testament, King James Version (1994), p. 932.
4239. PRAUS; meek (Matt. 5:5; 21:5; 1 Pet. 3:4) or, praos (4235), meek, lowly (Matt. 11:29). See prautes (4240), meekness.

4240. PRAUTES; meekness, expressed not in man's outward behavior only nor in his relations to his fellow man or his mere natural disposition, but expressed rather as an inwrought grace of the soul, first and chiefly directed toward God (James 1:21). That attitude of spirit in which we accept God's dealings with us as good and do not dispute or resist. Prautes, according to Aristotle, is the middle course in being angry, standing between two extremes, getting angry without reason (orgulotes), and not getting angry at all (aorgesia). Therefore, prautes is getting angry at the right time, in the right measure, and for the right reason. Prautes is not readily expressed in Eng. since the term 'meekness' suggests weakness, but prautes is a condition of mind and heart which demonstrates gentleness not in weakness but power. It is a virtue born in strength of character.

Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language, 1828
MEEK, adjective [Latin mucus; Eng. mucilage; Heb. to melt.]

1. Mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding; given to forbearance under injuries.
Now the man Moses was very meek above all men. Numbers 12:3.

2. Appropriately, humble, in an evangelical sense; submissive to the divine will; not proud, self-sufficient or refractory; not peevish and apt to complain of divine dispensations. Christ says, 'Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls.' Matthew 11:29.
Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5.
English Latin Lexicon (1849), p. 459.
Demissus (Cic.); submissus (Caes. humble): modestus, verecundus (in outward behavior; opposed to immodestus, superbus, ferox).

The Century Dictionary, an Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language, 1895
meek (mek), a

1. Gentle or mild of temper; self-controlled and gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; forbearing under injury or annoyance.
2. Pliant; yielding; submissive.
3. Humble; unpretentious.
meekness (mek'nes), n.

The quality of being meek; softness of temper; mildness; gentleness; forbearance under injuries and provocations; unrepining submission. = Syn. Lowliness, humility, self-abasement. .
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, 1919
Meek, a.

Piously humble & submissive; submitting tamely to injury &c; (provv..) as meek as a lamb, as meek as Moses. Hence meekly, adv., meekness, n.
Webster’s New Practical Dictionary, 1957

1. Mild of temper; patient; long suffering.
2. In an unfavorable sense, spiritless.
Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology (1966), p. 567

Gentle, kind; free from pride and self-will XII (Orm); submissive [to God] XIV. Early ME. Meoc, mec — ON. Miukr, mjukr soft, pliant, gentle, rel. to Goth. muks in mukamodei meekness, and (M)LG. Muke, MHG. Muche (G. Dial mauche) malanders; further congns. Are Oir. mocht(:—mukto) gentle, soft, W. Mwytho soften.
Funk and Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary, 1977

1. Having a patient, gentle disposition; mild.
2. Lacking spirit or backbone; submissive; compliant.
3. Compassionate; kind.

J. Paul Getty:
The meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights.
George Hansen:
The IRS is an extraordinary example of the end justifying the means. The means of this agency is growth. It is interesting that the revenue officers within the IRS refer to taxpayers as 'inventory'. The IRS embodies the political realities of the selfish human desire to dominate others. Thus the end of this gigantic pretense of officialdom is power, pure and simple. The meek may inherit the earth, but they will never receive a promotion in an agency where efficiency is measured by the number of seizures of taxpayers' property and by the number of citizens and businesses driven into bankruptcy.
John Wesley:
A meek spirit gives no trouble willingly to any: a quiet spirit bears all wrongs without being troubled.
The person who bears and suffers evils with meekness and silence, is the sum of a Christian man.
John Hagee
"Meekness enables us to be led by the Spirit of God."
Andrew Murray
"Christ is the humility of God embodied in human nature; the Eternal Love humbling itself, clothing itself in the garb of meekness and gentleness, to win and serve and save us."
Henry Drummond
"The man who has no opinion of himself at all can never be hurt if others do not acknowledge him. Hence, be meek. He who is without expectation cannot fret if nothing comes to him. It is self-evident that these things are so. The lowly man and the meek man are really above all other men, above all other things."
Dwight L. Moody
"Joy is love exalted; peace is love in repose; long-suffering is love enduring; gentleness is love in society; goodness is love in action; faith is love on the battlefield; meekness is love in school; and temperance is love in training."
Matthew Henry
"The anger of a meek man is like fire struck out of steel, hard to be got out, and when got out, soon gone. The meek enjoy almost a perpetual Sabbath."
Charles Wesley
"The person who bears and suffers evils with meekness and silence is the sum of a Christian man."
Assorted Authors
"The meek are not those who are never at all angry, for such are insensible; but those who, feeling anger, control it, and are angry only when they ought to be. Meekness excludes revenge, irritability, morbid sensitiveness, but not self-defense, or a quiet and steady maintenance of right."
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