hUPOMONE* – Part 8 – εχηγεομαι (Strong’s #1834) Patience, endurance, perseverance

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Author: Bill Klein

Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from The Literal English Translation of the Bible produced by BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.

We are continuing our study of the noun ὑπομονὴ (Strong’s #5281), which means “patience, endurance, perseverance.” Its meaning is in reference to remaining under or endurance in circumstances. Our study continues from Hebrews Chapter 12, where the author presents the Christian life as the running of a race. In verses 1-3, we see three aspects of the race, two of which are being presented here as review (The Experience of the Race and The Example of Endurance) and the last of which (Encouragement for Endurance, found in verse 3) is the focus of this week’s study.

The Experience of the Race1)For indeed therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, having laid aside every weight and the sin easily entrapping us, through endurance (ὑπομονὴ) we should run the race being set before us,2)while looking away unto Jesus the author and completer of the faith, Who, over against the joy being set before Him, endured (ὑπομὲνω) the cross, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God.

In verses 1,2, the author presents the experience of the actual race that Christians should be running. He says that they should run a race course which is continually being placed in front of them and that their race must be run through endurance—by remaining under the discipline of the race. He then presents the conditions in which the race should be run: having the encouragement and testimony of the Old Testament saints (those mentioned in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews); putting aside every distraction that weighs them down and the sin that so easily entangles them (because it keeps them from running the race); and looking toward Jesus as their goal and finish line (Heb. 12:2a). So, Jesus is presented as the goal of the believer, and as the finish line of the believer.

The Example of Endurance

After describing how the race is to be run (Heb. 12:1-2a), the author holds Jesus forth as the example of One who has run the race as it should be run—through endurance (Hebrews 12:2b). In this presentation of Jesus as our example, joy is presented as the focal point or goal – “Who, over against the joy being set before Him (Heb. 12:2a).” The use of the present participle denotes that this joy was continuously being set before Him. The joy of the finished work of the cross was continually being set before Jesus as His goal and purpose for coming into this earthly life. The goal of joy was continually before Him as He “endured” the cross. In this scripture, the word endured is the verb form (ὑπομὲνω, Strong’s #5278) of our word of studyὑπομονὴ and its use here shows that Jesus remained under the suffering of the cross while continuously viewing the joy of its completed work. 

The Encouragement for Endurance: Part 13)For consider the One who had endured (ὑπομὲνω) such opposition by sinners toward Himself, in order that you should not become weary by fainting in your souls.

The writer of Hebrews begins this section by commanding believers to “consider” the Jesus who endured. The Greek word translated “considered” (found only here in the New Testament) is ἀναλογὶζομαι(Strong’s #357) and is a mathematical term denoting “careful assessment.” The root for this word isἀναλογὶα (Strong’s #356), the same source of the English word “analogy.” The command given here is for believers to make a close assessment or comparison between their own trials and those of Jesus, focusing on His endurance against opposition by sinners. The Greek word translated “had endured” is the perfect participle verb form of our word of study ὑπομονὴ. The perfect tense expresses the abiding effect of the Lord’s endurance of suffering. His example of endurance should encourage us to continue on in spite of the difficulties of our trials.

The purpose for the command to “consider” Jesus’ endurance of suffering is presented by the conjunctionἵνα (Strong’s #2443) used with the subjunctive mood: “…in order that you should not become weary…” To explain what he means by “become weary,” the author uses a modal participle, “by fainting in your souls.” The Greek word for soul is ψυχὴ (Strong’s #5594), which represents the seat of understanding, will, feelings, and passions. This gives the understanding that believers can become weary, even discouraged or depressed, when they do not have understanding.

The writer of Hebrews presents the race being set before us as a long distance one rather than a short sprint. And he anticipates a time when believers might become so weary that they decide to quit running the race. So Christians need to be ever mindful of the purpose for the race that is being set before them. It is not for building up of our physical strength. Running a spiritual race is for building up spiritual strength, and one of the purposes the Lord has for causing believers to remain under difficult circumstances is to drain their physical strength. It is erroneous to think that when I am weak, the Lord will infuse my physical body with His strength. The Bible actually teaches that a believer is made physically weak by circumstances so that we will depend on Christ, who is our strength. John the Baptist expressed this understanding when he said, “It is necessary that He should increase, and that I should decrease.”

Paul expressed this same understanding in 2 Corinthians 12:1-10. In describing himself as one who was caught up into paradise and “…heard unspeakable words which a man is not permitted to speak,” he says that he was given a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet him; so that he would not become arrogant as a result of the revelations he had been given. Paul asked the Lord to remove this thorn three times. In response, the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) This response changed Paul’s life forever. Indeed, his whole approach to life and its trials changed at that moment. He had been asking for relief in the flesh, but the Lord told him that God’s power is made complete in weakness, not in strengthening weakness. Paul then said, “Therefore, I will rather gladly boast in my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may overshadow me. On account of which I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, on behalf of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 12:9b-10) Paul’s approach to life thereafter was to take pleasure in the circumstances that weakened him, because he understood the secret to experiencing the fullness of Christ’s power. His summary statement is: “For whenever I should be weak, then I am powerful.” (2 Corinthians 12:10b)

Next week our study of ὑπομονὴ will be taken from Hebrews 12:4-8, as we continue our focus on the encouragement given for running the race through endurance.

*hUPOMONE is the English font spelling of the Greek word ὑπομονὴ.

hUPOMONE* – Part 7 – εχηγεομαι (Strong’s #1834) Patience, endurance, perseverance

Author: Bill Klein

Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from The Literal English Translation of the Bible produced by BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.

The Greek noun ὑπομονὴ (Strong’s #5281) means “patience, endurance, perseverance.” Its meaning expresses a remaining under or endurance in circumstances. Previous parts of our ὑπομονὴ study have focused onHebrews 12:1-2, where the author presents the Christian life as the running of a race. He also presents that Christians are running a race course which is continually being placed in front of them and that their race must be run through endurance or by remaining under the discipline of the race. Furthermore, as seen in Hebrews 12:1, Christians are to run this race while having the encouragement and testimony of the Old Testament saints, who are mentioned in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. The author also states a second condition of running the race, which is that the Christian put aside every distraction that weighs them down and the sin that so easily entangles them, because it keeps them from running the race. A third condition of running the race is presented in Hebrews 12:2a, Christians are to run the race while looking toward Jesus as their goal and finish line.

This week, we continue our study of ὑπομονὴ through the consideration of the example of patience, or remaining under, as presented in Hebrews 12:2b.

The Example of Endurance (Hebrews 12:1-2)1)For indeed therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, having laid aside every weight and the sin easily entrapping us, through endurance (ὑπομονὴ) we should run the race being set before us,2)while looking away unto Jesus the author and completer of the faith, Who, over against the joy being set before Him, endured (ὑπομὲνω) the cross, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God.

As previously stated, the last condition given in Hebrews 12 for running the race is “…looking away unto Jesus, the Author and Completer of the faith.” Jesus is then presented as the example of a runner who is running His race through endurance. So, He is first presented as the focus of the believer and then as the goal of the believer. Next, He is presented as the example of one running His race through endurance. The writer of Hebrews also gives the focus, or goal, of Jesus in verse 2: “Who, over against the joy being set before Him.” Joy is presented as the focal point or goal of Jesus and this joy is “being set before Him.” The phrase “being set” is a present participle which denotes a continuous action. It is the same word, in participial form, found in verse 1, describing the race as “being set before us.”

The joy of the finished work of the cross was continually being set before Jesus as His goal and purpose for coming into this earthly life. The use of the present participle denotes that this joy was continuously being set before Him even as He “endured” the cross. The word endured, in this scripture, is the verb form (ὑπομὲνω, Strong’s #5278) of our study word ὑπομονὴ and its use here shows that Jesus remained under the suffering of the cross while continuously viewing the joy of its completed work.

Another participle is found in the phrase, “having despised the shame.” The Greek word translated “having despised” is the aorist participial form of καταφρονὲω (Strong’s #2706). It means “to think down on.” This word carries both a positive and negative meaning in the New Testament. Its negative meaning expresses a frame of mind that is against someone. The positive expression of the word, which is the expression used here, means “to think nothing of it.” The “shame” referred to in this phrase is that of publicly dying the most humiliating death one could die at that time. It was the means of death used for criminals and the vilest offenders. Thus, the participial phrase, “having despised the shame” means that Jesus did not think of the shame of the cross as something that was going to hinder Him from enduring the cross.

After having endured the cross, Jesus “sat down at the right of the throne of God.” Once He ascended into heaven and took His place at the right of the throne of God, the finished work of Christ for the sins of the world had been accomplished. It was at this time that Jesus realized the joy of providing salvation for all mankind.

The example of Jesus is clearly presented in these scriptures as the way believers are to follow. Peter writes, in 1 Peter 2:21, “For unto this you were called, because Christ also suffered on behalf of us, leaving behind an example for us, in order that you should follow His steps.” Jesus remained under the suffering of the cross for the end result of the joy that was continually being set before Him and did not take the shame of the cross into account in His decision making. When He sat down at the right of the throne of God, His joy was realized. James, in treating the same concepts as found in Hebrews 12:1-2 writes, “My brothers, count it all joy whenever you should fall into various trials knowing that the testing of your faith is working out endurance (ὑπομονὴ).” In addition, believers are told to let joy be the leading thought of their minds whenever they fall into trials, because of knowing what those trials are for—the testing of their faith which is working out endurance (ὑπομονὴ).

Next week we will continue our study of ὑπομονὴ from Hebrews 12:3-8, as we focus on the encouragement given for running the race through endurance.

*hUPOMONE is the English font spelling of the Greek word ὑπομονὴ.

Source: https://www.studylight.org/language-studies

hUPOMONE* – Part 6 – εχηγεομαι (Strong’s #1834) Patience, endurance, perseverance

Author: Bill Klein

Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from The Literal English Translation of the Bible produced by BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.

This week we return to our study of the Greek noun ὑπομονὴ (Strong’s #5281), which means “patience, endurance, perseverance.” Its meaning expresses a remaining under or endurance in circumstances. Our main text remains the same as that of the previous studies on this word, Hebrews 12:1-2, where we find the Christian life likened to the running of a race.

The Coach’s Corner – Hebrews 12:1-21)For indeed therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, having laid aside every weight and the sin easily entrapping us, through endurance (ὑπομονὴ) we should run the race being set before us,2)while looking away unto Jesus the author and completer of the faith, Who, over against the joy being set before Him, endured the cross, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God.

When we first considered the use of ὑπομονὴ from these verses (Part Three of this study), we saw that the author presented it in the context of an athletic event. Our focus was on the main clause found in these two verses, “…through endurance (ὑπομονὴ) we should run the race being set before us…” From it we gained the understanding that Christians are not engaged in a short-term endeavor, but rather are engaged in one requiring a long term trust and reliance on the Lord—an endeavor requiring discipline.

We gained insight into this discipline from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 where Paul describes the approach required of each competitor for the running of the race by using the phrase “…controls himself in all things.” The word translated “controls” is ἐγκρατεὺομαι (strong’s #1467). It applies to athletes who abstain from unwholesome foods, wine, and sexual indulgence while preparing for an athletic contest. Anyone who has ever been involved with sports knows that an athlete who does not impose discipline upon him/herself is not going to perform well, because what an athlete does or does not do can hinder his/her performance.

In this same text, we saw Paul referring to shadow boxing, an exercise wherein a boxer beats at the air using his own shadow as his opponent. He says that he does not fight uncertainly—he is not shadowboxing, he is not beating the air when he fights— to the contrary, he knows who his opponent is. He states that his enemy is his flesh. Paul then describes how he deals with his flesh by saying, “…I beat my body.” The word “beat” is ὑποπιὰζω (Strong’s #5229), which means “to beat black and blue, to cause bruising.” He also says in this verse that he can preach, but he could become disqualified if his flesh is not disciplined and under control. So, Paul is teaching, with very emphatic speech, that effective living for Christ— to have words and a life that influences others—requires that the flesh be harshly disciplined.

This week we turn our attention back to Hebrews 12:1-2 and focus on four participial phrases presented there. A participle expresses an activity, habit of life or lifestyle. When a participle is used in relationship to a leading verb, its form tells when the action represented took place in relationship to the verb. For instance, an aorist participle represents action taking place prior to the time of the leading verb, while a present participle represents action taking place at the same time as the leading verb. In Hebrews 12:1-2, all of the four participial phrases (one aorist participle and three present participles), represent action in relation to the leading verb “we should run” which is found in the leading clause, “…through endurance (ὑπομονὴ) we should run the race…” Each of these participles describes one of four conditions of running the race.
The first condition in which believers are to run the race is found in Hebrews 12:1, “We also having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us…” The word “having” (the present participle of ἔχω, Strong’s #2192) expresses a condition that exists while the race is being run. The writer of Hebrews is giving encouragement for believers to continually remember those who have run the race before them, those who have left their testimony for others to follow, as presented in Hebrews Chapter Eleven: Some, by faith, obeyed the Lord when His instructions went against the popular belief and philosophy of their day. Some, by faith, believed the promises given to them by God even though they did not see their fulfillment before they died. Others, by faith, lived their lives facing death for their service and faith in the Lord. These testimonies listed in Hebrews 11 are to be our continual example and encouragement even as we are running our race.

The second condition that must exist while believers are running the race is also mentioned in Hebrews 12:1:”…having laid aside every weight and the sin easily entrapping us.” Here the aorist participle is used and indicates action that is to take place before the running of the race. The word expressing the action isἀποτὶθημι (Strong’s #659), which means “to put off” or “to put aside.” The use here of the aorist participial form expresses that the one running the race must first put off or put aside “every weight and the sin easily entrapping …” Just as the athlete preparing to run a race sheds all of the clothing that would burden him/her, so must it be in the spiritual race each believer is running.

In today’s world, we are all aware of professional athletes who are destroying their lives through the use of drugs and alcohol, even to the point of not being able to participate in their sport any longer. Although they could possibly be some of the world’s greatest athletes, the indulgence of their flesh destroys their abilities and robs their opportunities.

The writer of this text in Hebrews presents an interesting play on words by saying that if you are weighted down, if you are slowed down or if you stop in your run in this life with Christ, sin will be right there to surround and easily entrap you. So, the author is basically exhorting believers to keep moving. But believers cannot run the race to win until they have set aside the sin and distracting things of life that weight them down. Any “baggage” will impede the way we run and hinder our performance.

The participle expressing the third condition of running the race in found in the phrase, “we should run the race being set before us.” The word translated, “being set before us” is πρὸκειμαι (Strong’s #4295), which means “to set before” or “to set in front of.” The present participial form used here expresses that the race is continually being set in front of us as we run. We cannot measure the length of track we are running on, nor do we know its shape, because the racecourse is being set in front of us step-by-step as we go. This participial phrase also represents the concept that running this race will be continuous for the entire duration of earthly life.

The fourth condition of running the race is presented in Hebrews 12:2, “while looking away unto Jesus the author and completer of the faith.” The term “while looking away” is the present participial form of the Greek word ἀφορὰω (strong’s #872). The finish line for a race is created, not only to help determine who wins, but also to give the athletes a goal to focus on while running the race. Here believers are told to focus on Jesus while they are running the race, just as athletes focus on the finish line. Believers are not to be distracted by others, be they athletes or spectators, but are to focus instead on the finish line, Jesus Christ. To aim for Christ seems an impossible reach, but the following illustration may bring some understanding. When I played baseball, my coaches told us players not to aim for first base when we were running to first base, but rather to aim for the right field flagpole. It is a fact that a player who focuses on first base when running to that base has a tendency to slow down before actually getting to the bag; but if that same player aims for the right field flag pole while running to first base, he/she will be in full stride when crossing the base. Believers will finish the race in full stride if we run while focusing on Jesus.

Although the main encouragement in Hebrews 12:1-2 is to run the race, how we believers implement the four conditions for running the race will determine how we run. Before we can even begin the race, we must set aside every sin and distraction that would impede or entangle us, thereby hindering our running of the race. We are also to run with the encouragement of those who have run the race before us, and we are to run it with the knowledge that the race is continuous. At the same time, we must continually look unto Jesus, not only as a guide for the direction of our run, but also as the focal point of our destination.

Next week we will continue our study of ὑπομονὴ from Hebrews 12:2-8 as we focus on the example and exhortation necessary for running the race through endurance.

*hUPOMONE is the English font spelling of the Greek word ὑπομονὴ.


Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2020© Bill Klein. ‘Greek Thoughts‘ articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions:1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each article, along with a link to https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.

hUPOMONE* – Part 5 – εχηγεομαι (Strong’s #1834) Patience, endurance, perseverance

Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from The Literal English Translation of the Bible produced by BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.

This week we continue with our study of the Greek noun ὑπομονὴ (Strong’s #5281), which means “patience, endurance, perseverance.” Its meaning expresses a remaining under or endurance in circumstances. Our main text remains the same as that of the previous two weeks, Hebrews 12:1-2, where we find the Christian life likened to the running of a race.

The Coach’s Corner

Hebrews 12:1-21)For indeed therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, having laid aside every weight and the sin easily entrapping us, through endurance (ὑπομονὴ) we should run the race being set before us,2)while looking away unto Jesus the author and completer of the faith, Who over against the joy being set before Him, endured the cross, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God.

When we first considered the use of ὑπομονὴ from Hebrews 12:1-2 (Part Three of this study), we saw that the author presented it in the context of an athletic event. Our focus was on the main clause found in these two verses, “…through endurance (ὑπομονὴ) we should run the race being set before us…” We gained the understanding that we are not engaged in a short-term endeavor, but rather in one requiring a long term trust and reliance on the Lord—an endeavor requiring discipline.

Last week we also focused our study on the element of discipline as emphasized by Paul in Galatians 5:7-9. Although he does not use the word ὑπομονὴ, Paul’s writing emphasizes the discipline needed by race participants. He writes to believers in Galatia who had previously been running well and asks them, “Who hindered you that you should not be persuaded by the truth?” (Galatians 5:7). The Greek word translated “hindered” is ἐγκὸπτω (Strong’s #1465), which means “to cut in on someone” or “to hinder.” He indicates that false teachers had cut in on the running of the Galatian believers’ race causing some of them to detour, to run in a direction other than the one being set down before them by the Lord.

This week we continue to focus on the importance of discipline as seen in teachings from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 and 2 Timothy 4:7.

1 Corinthians 9:24-2724)Do you not know that the ones running in a race course indeed all are running, but one receives the prize? Run in this way, in order that you might obtain.25)But everyone competing, controls himself in all things; those indeed therefore in order that they might receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable.

In this text, Paul says that each competitor in a race “…controls himself in all things.” The word translated “controls” is ἐγκρατεὺομαι (strong’s #1467). It applies to athletes who abstain from unwholesome foods, wine, and sexual indulgence while preparing for an athletic contest. Paul is again using the analogy of the foot race to teach that every Christian is involved in a contest and must control or discipline himself in all things.

Anyone who has ever been involved with sports knows that an athlete who does not impose discipline upon him/herself is not going to perform well, because what an athlete does or does not do can hinder his/her performance. I learned this first hand as a younger man, (much younger, actually). While my coaches were the ones to lay down the rules, I was the one who had to discipline myself to follow them. So I got myself into bed at the required time. I ate foods to build up my strength and stayed away from things that would hinder my performance.26)I therefore run in this way, as not uncertainly; I fight in this way, as not beating air;

Paul changes the picture here somewhat – from track and field to the boxing ring – but still keeps the concept of the athlete for making his point about disciplining the flesh in the Christian struggle. In this analogy, Paul refers to shadow boxing, an exercise wherein a boxer beats at the air using his own shadow as his opponent. Paul says that he does not fight uncertainly – he is not shadowboxing, he is not beating the air when he fights – to the contrary, he knows who his opponent is. He states that his enemy is his flesh. If a person has the physical ability to participate in the sport, the only thing that can hinder him/her is a lack of discipline of the flesh.27)But I beat my body, and lead it into servitude, that not somehow after having preached to others I myself should become disqualified.

Paul says “…I beat my body.” The word “beat” is ὑποπιὰζω (Strong’s #5229), which means “to beat black and blue, to cause bruising.” He also says that he can preach, but he could become disqualified if his flesh is not disciplined and under control. Paul is teaching, with very emphatic speech, that effective living for Christ—to have words and a life that influences others—requires that the flesh be harshly disciplined.

2 Timothy 4:7-87)I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.

In verse 7, Paul uses three words to describe three essential aspects of the Christian life. While maintaining the context of athletic participation, he chooses the perfect tense verbs (which express a present condition that has developed over the past) “have fought,” “have finished,” and “have kept” to describe the concluding condition of his journey through this life. The word for fight is ἀγὼν (Strong’s #73), which means to be involved in the contest or the conflict—we get our English word agony from this word. The word for course isδρὸμος (Strong’s #1408), which originally meant to track the course of a star but is used here to represent the racecourse.8)In summary, the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me in that day; and not only to me but also to all the ones loving His appearance.

Paul says the crown of righteousness is waiting for him and that the Lord will
give it to him “in that day.” The Greek word translated “crown” is στὲφανος (Strong’s #4735), which represents the wreath given to victors in the public games. Paul’s focus is ever on the finish line and the crown of righteousness that is waiting for him.
Every Christian has a short-term and a long-term function in life. We tend to develop a strong short-term function in order to handle whatever our issues might be for that day or week, but have trouble with our long-term function. When a difficult situation drags on for days, weeks, months, or even years, we try to find a way out, to find a different track to run. Job is a perfect example of this. In the short run he did just fine; but as his health continued to deteriorate, his attitude began to change. The duration of his illness began to wear him down. We too have a tendency to wear down over the long-term trial.

We would do well to keep in mind the teaching of Ephesians 6:11 where Paul states that Satan employs a methodical attack on the believer. And, in order to do well, we must follow his command to “Put on the whole armor of God, to be able to stand against the methods of the devil.” The word translated “methods” is the plural of the Greek word μεθοδεὶα (Strong’s #3180), which means a system or method. Its use here reveals that Satan plans a series of attacks in an attempt to wear a believer down. Additional information on the enemy’s tactics is revealed from the Greek word translated “persecution” throughout the Bible. It isδιὼκω (Strong’s #1377) and means, “to chase or pursue.” Satan chases believers in an attempt to make us weary and discouraged, so that we will decide to quit running the race.

For this reason, Paul says in Galatians 6:9, “… we should not be weary while doing good, for in its own time we will reap, by not fainting.” Furthermore, the writer of Hebrews, in teaching the importance of long-term faith, says in 12:9-11 “… we have had fathers as correctors of our flesh, and we respected them; shall we not much more be submitted to the father of spirits, and we shall live? For they indeed disciplined us for a few days according to that which seemed good to them; but He disciplines us based upon that which is beneficial, for us to partake of His holiness. And all discipline indeed does not seem to be of joy for the present, but of grief; but afterward it gives back the peaceable fruit of righteousness to the ones having been exercised through it. On account of which, straighten up the hands hanging down and the knees which have become enfeebled; and make straight tracks for your feet, in order that the lame should not be turned out of the way, but rather healed.” The writer of Hebrews encourages believers to not buckle under when they are going through the disciplinary process, but to “lift up the hands hanging down and the knees that have become enfeebled, and make straight tracks for your feet.” He states that the purpose for this admonition is that “the lame should not be turned out of the way,” that is – out of the way of the course, but rather they should be healed through the discipline process. 

Next week we will continue our study of ὑπομονὴ from Hebrews 12:1-2 as we focus on the three conditions necessary for running the race through endurance.

*hUPOMONE is the English font spelling of the Greek word ὑπομονὴ.


Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2020© Bill Klein. ‘Greek Thoughts‘ articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions:1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each article, along with a link to https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.

hUPOMONE* – Part 4 – εχηγεομαι (Strong’s #1834)
Patience, endurance, perseverance

Author: Bill Klein

Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from The Literal English Translation of the Bible produced by BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.


This week we continue our study of the Greek noun ὑπομονὴ (Strong’s #5281), which means “patience, endurance, perseverance.” Its meaning expresses a remaining under or endurance in circumstances. Our main text is the same as last week’s, Hebrews 12:1-2, where we find the Christian life described as the running of a race; but we will also consider Galatians 5:7-9, Paul’s description of the disciplines needed for the running of that race.

We first studied the use of ὑπομονὴ in the believer’s growth process fromJames 1:1-4 and saw, through James’ presentation, that the testing of a believer’s faith is working out or producing in him/her the ability to remain under (ὑπομονὴ) circumstances. From this we learned that James’ command to believers is to let “remaining under” produce its complete work, in order that spiritual maturity— trust in the Lord through any circumstance of life, in any area of life—can develop.

Last week we saw the same principle presented in Hebrews 12:1-2. In these verses, this concept of remaining under circumstances is demonstrated once again as being necessary for the Christian growth process and is presented in the context of an athletic event. Our focus last week was on the main clause found in these two verses, “…through endurance (ὑπομονὴ) we should run the race being set before us…” The analogy used in this text makes it clear that we are not engaged in a short-term endeavor, but rather in one requiring a long term trust and reliance on the Lord. And it is a race that requires discipline.

The Coach’s Corner

Hebrews 12:1-21)For indeed therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, having laid aside every weight and the sin easily entrapping us, through endurance (ὑπομονὴ) we should run the race being set before us,
2)while looking away unto Jesus the author and completer of the faith, Who over against the joy being set before Him, endured the cross, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God.

Our focus has been on the main clause for the purpose of understanding the two aspects of running the race which are shown here. The first aspect has to do with the kind of race we are to run – the race being set before us. The phrase “being set before us” is a present participle which denotes a continuous action or lifestyle. The author, through use of the present participle, is describing the race as one that is continuously being set before us. The Greek text indicates that this is being set in front of us all the time, step by step.

The second aspect about the race involves our word of study, ὑπομονὴ. It is used to describe the way the race should be run—through endurance (remaining under). This is a disciplinary term. To understand it, think about how an athlete prepares for a race. He/she remains under the disciplines required for running the race. The writer of Hebrews is presenting that running the race is through endurance, through the discipline of remaining under.

The Apostle Paul joins the writer of Hebrews in depicting the Christian life as the running of a race. Although he does not use the word ὑπομονὴ, Paul’s writing emphasizes the disciplines needed by race participants. Both this week and next we will explore three places where Paul teaches the importance of discipline. Our text for this week is Galatians 5:7-9.

Galatians 5:7-97)You were running well; who hindered you that you should not be persuadedF1by the truth?
8)The persuasion is not from the One calling you.
9)A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 

False teachers had come into the area of Galatia and were telling believers that they had to live under the law. Paul addresses this problem in Galatians 5:7-9. He uses the imperfect tense, which expresses continuous action in past time, to express the fact that the Galatian believers had previously been running well. Paul then asks, “who hindered you that you should not be persuaded by the truth?” The Greek word translated “hindered” is ἐγκὸπτω (Strong’s #1465), which means “to cut in on someone” or “to hinder.” He is saying that false teachers had cut in on the running of the Galatians’ believers race causing some of them to detour, to run in a direction other than the one being set down before them by the Lord. Paul describes this influence as “persuasion” and writes that it is hindering their entire race, because “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”

Paul’s writing conveys the understanding that the persuasion of false teaching can hinder and even divert believers from running the race that the Lord has set before them. Since every believer can be persuaded by many things, it is important to heed only that persuasion which is coming from “the One calling you.” The word “calling” is a present participle used to describe the Lord as the One who is continually calling us to run the race.

*hUPOMONE is the English font spelling of the Greek word ὑπομονὴ.

F1: The negative particle with the infinitive of purpose μὴ͂πεὶθεσθαι, “not to be persuaded,” is translatedνὰ͂μὴ͂πεὶθησθε, “that you should not be persuaded.”


Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2019© Bill Klein. ‘Greek Thoughts‘ articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions:1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each article, along with a link to https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.

hUPOMONE* – Part 3 – εχηγεομαι (Strong’s #1834) Patience, endurance, perseverance

Author: Bill Klein

Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from The Literal English Translation of the Bible produced by BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.

As our title indicates, this is the third part in our study of the Greek noun u¿pomonh/ (Strong’s #5281), which means “patience, endurance, perseverance.” Its meaning expresses a remaining under or endurance in circumstances.

Last week, we studied the use of u¿pomonh/ in the believer’s growth process (James 1:1-4) and saw through James’ presentation that the testing of a believer’s faith is working out or producing in him/her the ability to remain under (u¿pomonh/) circumstances. From this we learned that James’ command to believers is to let “remaining under” produce its complete work, in order that spiritual maturity— trust in the Lord through any circumstance of life, in any area of life – can develop.

This week our study is taken from Hebrews 12:1-2 where the same principle of remaining under circumstances is demonstrated as being necessary for the Christian growth process. The writer of Hebrews presents this application of u¿pomonh/ in the context of an athletic event.

The Coach’s Corner

Hebrews 12:1-21)For indeed therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, having laid aside every weight and the sin easily entrapping us, through endurance (u¿pomonh/) we should run the race being set before us,2)while looking away unto Jesus the author and completer of the faith, Who over against the joy being set before Him, endured the cross, having despised theshame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God.

Our focus today is the main clause found in these two verses, “…through endurance (u¿pomonh/) we should run the race being set before us…” (We will consider the conditional clauses in a later study.) The main verb tre/xw (Strong’s #5143) is found in verse one and means “to run.” (It is from this word that we get our English word “track.”) Tre/xw is presented in the present subjunctive form and so is translated “we should run.” ¾Agw/n (Strong’s #73), the noun used in this clause, is translated “race” and is the source of our English word “agony.” The phrase “being set before us” is in the attributive position in the Greek text and therefore is being used to describe the attributes or character of the race. The actual word for “being set before” is the present participial form of pro/keimai (Strong’s #4295), “to set or place before.” Since use of the present participle expresses a continuous action of placing before, the writer of Hebrews is saying that this race is to be run “through endurance” – through remaining under (u¿pomonh/).

We focus on this main clause for the purpose of understanding the two aspects of running the race which are shown here. The first aspect has to do with the kind of race we are to run—the race being set before us. As mentioned above, the phrase “being set before us” is a present participle describing the race as one that is continuously being set before us. The Greek text indicates that this is being set in front of us all the time, step by step. Here is the concept: The race is not set around a circular track; instead, it is a marathon with no measured distance. The course is being laid out before us step by step. We run the race as we are given direction, as we are shown what direction to take. It is much like driving a car through the fog, when the only visible thing is a short line painted on the roadway, pointing the way forward. That line is the only indicator of the roadway’s direction. We pay close attention to that line, because we can not see any farther ahead. We do not know the direction of the road, and can only find it by following that short span of painted line. Of course, God knows every twist and turn of the road we are to take, of the race we are to run; but this scripture teaches that He does not show it to us in its entirety. Instead, He unveils it only step by step, wanting us to learn to trust Him even as we are unknowing of the overall direction of the race’s course.

The second aspect shown here about the race involves our word of study, u¿pomonh/. It describes the way the race should be run—through endurance (remaining under). This is a disciplinary term. To understand it, think about how an athlete prepares for a race. He/she remains under the disciplines required for running the race. The writer of Hebrews is presenting that running the race is through endurance, through the discipline of remaining under. It is not accomplished by running away from issues; it is not accomplished by running away from circumstances. Running the race is only accomplished by remaining under circumstances. Just like that athlete, we must remain under—whether we feel like it or not—and run.

The main clause in Hebrews 12:1-2 teaches that we should run through endurance (remaining under) the race that is constantly being set in front of us. In other words, as we are running the race, the Lord places in front of us the path we are to take. This is a continuous, long term process and for it, we need to remain under. Otherwise, if we are sprinting along, we might be fine for a short time; but a week from now we could find ourselves dehydrated with painful muscles calling out to the Lord, “How long is this going to last?” The Lord is making it clear to us through scripture that we are not engaged in a short-term endeavor, but rather in one requiring a long term trust and reliance on Him. And it is one, as we will see in future parts of this study that is agony to the flesh.

Next week we will continue our study of u¿pomonh/ from Hebrews 12:1-2.

*hUPOMONE is the English font spelling of the Greek word u¿pomonh/.

hUPOMONE* – Part 2 – εχηγεομαι (Strong’s #1834) Patience, endurance, perseverance

Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from The Literal English Translation of the Bible produced by BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.

This week we continue our study of the Greek noun ὑπομονὴ (Strong’s #5281), which means “patience, endurance, perseverance.” Its meaning expresses a remaining under or endurance in circumstances. It is helpful for the understanding of ὑπομονὴ to consider it in contrast to μακροθυμὶα(Strong’s #3115), which means patience or longsuffering toward people.

Last week we studied ὑπομονὴ as it appears in two texts from Luke. The meanings found there – the endurance of circumstances for growth and a virtue characteristic of the believer – are also found in teachings throughout the rest of the New Testament. This week our study is taken from James 1:1-4.

Verse 1: Introduction1)James, slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. To the twelve tribes of the Dispersion, greeting.

James, the Lord’s half-brother and first leader of the Church in Jerusalem, writes this letter about faith to the Jews who have been scattered from their homeland. The key verse that expresses this theme is found inJames 2:20: “But are you willing to know, O vain man, that the faith apart from works is dead?” The word used here for “works” (ἔργον, Strong’s #2041) means “activity.” James is teaching the dispersed, believing Jews about the contrast between living religiously and living by a faith which itself produces activity – a living faith.

Verses 2-4: The Development of Faith

Verses 2-3: The Process of Faith2)My brothers, count it all joy whenever you should fall into various trials;

James begins his letter with a command. With it, he tells believers what they are to do and when they are to do it. First, they are to “count it all joy.” The Greek word translated “count” is ἡγὲομαι (Strong’s #2233), which means “to lead, to be a leader.” The Greek word translated “joy” is χαρὰ (Strong’s #5479), which is the word used by the Greeks to express “satisfaction.” Next, James tells believers when they are to count it all satisfaction – “Whenever you should fall into various trials.” Although most English versions translate the conjunction ὅταν (Strong’s #3752) as “when,” it is literally rendered “whenever.” James is saying that believers are to let satisfaction be the leading thought of their mind, whenever (or at the time when) they should fall into various trials.3)knowing, that the testing of your faith is working out endurance (ὑπομονὴ).
In verse 3, James explains why believers are to be satisfied in the midst of trials. It is because of knowing something. The word translated “knowing” (γινὼσκω, Strong’s #1097) is a present participle and expresses that satisfaction in the midst of trials is to be based on continually knowing that the trial is the testing of faith to produce endurance. (The word for “testing” is δοκὶμιον (Strong’s #1383) and expresses a test by which something is approved.) James then writes that this testing of faith has a purpose – the working out of “endurance” (our word of study ὑπομονὴ). James completes the explanation of the process of the development of faith by stating that whenever believers encounter trials, they should be satisfied in knowing that it is a test of faith which is causing them to remain under the circumstances, trusting the Lord

Verse 4: The Production of Faith4)But let endurance (ὑπομονὴ) have its complete work, in order that you might be complete and whole, lacking in not one thing.

In this verse, James presents another command, one that expresses the principle of the development of faith: “Let endurance have its complete work.” The adjective translated “complete” is τὲλειος (Strong’s #5046), which means “to bring something to completion or to the end.” Since the process of learning to live a life of faith produces a faith which causes the believer to remain under circumstances, James is giving the command to remain under, so that the endurance process can complete its work of development. Then he states the purpose for letting endurance complete its work: “In order that you might be complete and whole, lacking in not one thing.” So, the purpose for remaining under is to bring believers to completeness (maturity), to make them whole. The word translated “lacking” is λεὶπω (Strong’s #3007) and is a modal participle describing what is meant by believers becoming complete and whole: to not lack in maturity and wholeness in Christ in any area of his life.

James presents that the testing of a believer’s faith is working out or producing in him/her the ability to remain under (ὑπομονὴ) circumstances. Everyone’s first reaction to difficulties is to want to escape them; but James commands believers to let “remaining under” produce its complete work, in order that spiritual maturity— trust in the Lord through any circumstance of life, in any area of life—can develop.

Next week, from Hebrews 12:1-2, we continue our study of the importance of ὑπομονὴ as an element in the believer’s growth process.

*hUPOMONE is the English font spelling of the Greek word ὑπομονὴ.


Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2019© Bill Klein. ‘Greek Thoughts‘ articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions:1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each article, along with a link to https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.


hUPOMONE* – Part 1 – εχηγεομαι (Strong’s #1834) Patience, endurance, perseverance

This week we begin a study of the Greek noun ὑπομονὴ (Strong’s #5281), which means “patience, endurance, perseverance.” This word is made up of the preposition ὑπὸ (Strong’s #5259), which means “under,” and μὲνω(Strong’s #3306), which means “to remain.” Its meaning expresses a remaining under or an endurance in circumstances. Ancient philosophers listed “to be able to endure (ὑπομονὴ)” as a virtue of ἀνδρεῖος (BADG), “manly courage,” or “manly bravery.” It is helpful for the understanding ofὑπομονὴ to consider it in contrast to μακροθυμὶα (Strong’s #3115), which means patience or longsuffering toward people.

̔Υπομονὴ is used in both the Old and New Testaments: nine times in the Septuagint Old Testament scriptures to translate and represent the Hebrew word QAWAH (Strong’s #8615) meaning “to wait eagerly” or “to wait expectantly;” and two times in the gospels, both from Luke. This week’s study focuses onὑπομονὴ as it appears in the two texts from Luke.

Luke 8:1515)But the one in the good ground are those, who in a right and good heart, after having heard the Word, retain it and bring forth fruit, in patience (ὑπομονὴ).

While the Parable of the Sower is presented in all three synoptic gospels, only Luke’s account usesὑπομονὴ. The verse quoted above, Luke 8:15, ends the Lord’s explanation of the parable. In it, Jesus says that the person with a right and spiritually good heart will retain the word after hearing it and will produce fruit, in remaining under his circumstance.

Luke 21:1919)In your patience (ὑπομονὴ), gainF1 your souls. 

Chapter 21 of Luke presents the hardships that will come upon those who belong to Christ in the last days. In our study text, Luke 21:19, Jesus commands His followers to gain their souls through the endurance of these hardships. This statement is parallel to one found in Matthew 24:13, “But the one having enduredF2unto the end shall be saved.” Both of these gospel writers present the teaching of Jesus as saying that the one who belongs to Christ will endure unto the end. Patient endurance, according to Jesus, is a characteristic of the one who is saved; it is not the work ethic of the believer.

These two applications of ὑπομονὴ, the endurance of circumstances for growth and a virtue characteristic of the believer, are found in teachings throughout the rest of the New Testament. Next week we will begin an in-depth study of this word from James 1:2-4.

*hUPOMONE is the English font spelling of the Greek word ὑπομονὴ.

F1: Some manuscripts read the future tense κτὴσεσθε here, “You will gain,” instead of the aorist imperative, κτὴσασθε, “gain.”

F2: Matthew uses the aorist participle of the verb form ὑπομὲνω (Strong’s #5278).

Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2019© Bill Klein. ‘Greek Thoughts‘ articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions:1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each article, along with a link to https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.