meek

meek

A quality with different meaning in Jewish and Greek contexts. In the Hebrew tradition, “the meek” are virtually synonymous with “the oppressed”; the term is descriptive of a social condition (lack of power) rather than a virtue. In Greco-Roman literature, however, “meekness” is comparable to humility and is often listed as a virtue of slaves and others who do not try to rise above their station. Most OT references to “the meek” should be understood in the former sense (Ps 37:11; cf. Zeph 3:12), where the NRSV translates the term “humble” even though the people so described are paired with the “lowly”). In the NT, (1Pet 3:4) uses the word in the Greco-Roman sense, but the intended meaning in other passages (Matt 5:5; Matt 11:29; Matt 21:5) is disputable.

Ps 37:11

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Zeph 3:12

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1Pet 3:4

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Matt 5:5

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Matt 11:29

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Matt 21:5

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