Friday, March 30, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: hay-su-KAD-zo
Strong’s Number: 2270
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 2483
Key Verse: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.” -- 1 Thessalonians 4:11

The Greek language uses three words that are generally translated as “quiet” or “silent.”

The first is phimao. This means literally “to close the mouth with a muzzle.” It is found in Matthew 22:34 when Jesus silenced the Sadducees; in Mark 1:25 when He commanded the demon to be quiet; and in Mark 4:39 when He commanded the sea to hush. Peter indicated in 1 Peter 2:15 that it is God’s will that, through Christians’ excellent behavior, they “silence the ignorance of foolish men.”

The second word is sigao, which is usually translated “silence.” The context determines the nature of the silence in different passages. It is not necessarily that speech is forbidden, but that discussion should be ceased, such as in Luke 9:36, where the disciples kept silent; they didn’t discuss with others what happened at the Transfiguration. In Luke 20:26, the chief priests were amazed at Jesus’ answer and became silent. Also in 1 Corinthians 14:34, the problem was aggressive women who were told to keep silent, since their conduct was contrary to biblical principle.

The third is our word above, hesuchazo. It refers to an absence of internal disturbance, a tranquility arising from within, and is used most of the time in regard to tensions and conflicts. It is not necessarily absence of words, but absence of controversial speech. In Luke 14:4, the Pharisees and lawyers kept silent to avoid confrontation. In Acts 11:18, those who previously “took issue” with Peter (in verse 2) “quieted down” in verse 18, to avoid confrontation. In Luke 23:56, the women rested. In 1 Timothy 2:11,12, “a woman must quietly receive instruction”; thus, she was not to speak in a way that violates her gender role, according to scripture. In our verse, 1 THESSALONIANS 4:11, “to lead a quiet life” is a one-word verb in present tense, meaning a continual, ongoing habit of life. Albert Barnes says: “Christians should be free from senseless controversies or offenses to God; to avoid all tumult and disorder; to calmly pursue their regular avocations, and to keep themselves from all the assemblages of the idle, the restless, and the dissatisfied.”

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