Thursday, March 29, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: kata-PI-noh
Strong’s Number: 2666
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 2927
Key Verse: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” -- 1 Corinthians 15:54

Katapino is a compound word in Greek, comprised of kata (“down”), and pino (“to drink”). Therefore, the literal meaning is to drink down, to gulp, to cause the complete and sudden destruction of someone or something. This word can be found 36 times in the Septuagint. For example, in Exodus 7:12, regarding Pharaoh’s magicians, Moses said that “Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs.” In Jonah 1:17, “the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah.”

In the New Testament, this verb appears seven times. In Matthew 23:24, the reference is to those “who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.” In 2 Corinthians 2:7, Paul wrote of a repentant church member, and exhorted the church to “forgive and comfort, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.” Katapino was used in Greek writings to describe engulfing waves. The image here is of the disciplined person drowning in sadness.

Hebrews 11:29 makes reference to the Egyptians being drowned in the Red Sea, and in Revelation 12:16, “the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.”

In 1 Peter 5:8, “the devil prowls around ... seeking someone to devour.” This “lion” waits in the bushes for Christians with their guard down. He doesn’t just want to paw at his victims and scratch them, but he wants to “chew them up” and “swallow them down,” seeking to devour them completely by destroying their faith so completely that they wholly cease from walking dynamically with God.

As 2 Corinthians 5:4 says, “what is mortal will be swallowed up by life,” and 1 CORINTHIANS 15:54, “death is swallowed up in victory” -- Adam Clarke says, “Death is personified and represented as a devouring being, swallowing up all the generations of men; and by the resurrection of the body and the destruction of the empire of death, God is represented as swallowing him up; or that eternity gulps him down; so that he is endlessly lost and absorbed in its illimitable waste. This is the final overthrow of the king of Terrors.”

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