Christ Said Concerning Himself:
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart3: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”1 [Christ modeled it]
Moses Said Concerning Himself:
“Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.”2 [Others have done it]
Concerning the Word “Meek”
In the above scripture (Numbers 12:3), the word translated meek in the English is from the Hebrew word, “Anaw,” (Strong’s # 6035). According to Vine’s Hebrew Dictionary:
“Anaw“ is translated, humble; poor; meek. “Anaw” appears almost exclusively in poetical passages and describes the intended outcome of affliction from God, namely “humility.” In its first appearance, the word depicts the objective condition as well as the subjective stance of Moses. “He was entirely dependent on God.”
In the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament (The Septuagint), the Hebrew word “Anaw” (meek) is rendered into the Greek word, “praios” which is also the word used for meek in Matthew 11:29, where Christ refers to himself.
The first use (In Biblical hermeneutics, this is referred to as the “Law of First Mention”) of the word “praios” was in a Greek play about training a particular breed of horse that was very high-spirited, strong, and fast. In the play, while this breed was known as the strongest runners, it was also the hardest to break because of their will power. It was common for the stallions to die rather than being broke. In the play, a very rich man fell in love a wild stallion that no one could ever capture.
After much work he finally managed to capture the horse, however, no matter what the rich man’s stable master did, he could not break the horse. He advised the owner to destroy the horse due to its lack of utility and the danger it presented due to its uncontrollability. The master decided to personally train the horse, but to try a different approach.
He had a giant corral built in front of his tent, and had the house penned there alone. This way the horse could watch the owner and become used to him slowly. Every day the rich owner would patiently and lovingly visit and speak to the horse while feeding him. For a year the rich owner only approached the corral without going in and leave the feed, then after talking to the horse quietly he would leave. The horse would stand in the very middle of the corral, watching all around, and only come close to the fence when no one was around and then he would eat the feed.
The rich owner kept this up for months until after a year passed, then finally he stepped into the corral, but only in one step, then set down the feed, speak softly for a few minutes, then leave. After another month he stepped in two steps, and slowly adding a step every few weeks, with the horse never leaving the middle of the corral, but not moving back when the owner started to get closer. However, it took another year for the owner to get within a few yards of the horse.
The owner kept this up until he finally came within touching distance of the horse. Then after a few months, he finally touched the horse softly, and after a few more months, he could pet the horse quite easily, then he stated to bring a bite with him and lay it on the ground while petting the horse.
On the third anniversary of the horses capture, the owner approached the horse, slowly placed the bite on the horse then went around to the animal’s side and eased on top of him. The horse did not move, allowing the owner to mount him. The owner pulled on the rains and the horse responded, figuring out what the owner wanted. Within a few days the horse responded correctly to every command of the owner.
The horse developed a devotion to the man in which he would do anything his master commanded. The horse was known far and wide as the fastest, most powerful animal around. He would jump any gorge or obstacle his master directed. He was courageous because of his trust (faith) in his master. He was not weak, powerless, afraid, or beaten down. He was power in control (controlled by his master by his own choice), he was tamed by love, and he was meek.
Meek which is a synonym for humble,3 contrite, and spiritually poor (such as in the sermon on the mount, to be ‘poor in spirit’); is also a synonym for the Greek understanding of the word, “tamed.”
For these reasons, in today’s vernacular it seems more relevant for our usage to employ the word tamed, rather than meek. The point is that Christ was power under control, He was meek, and He calls believers to make the same choice, especially in light of the gracious love that the Father has displayed to us.
1. Matthew 11:29
2. Numbers 12:3
3. Philippians 2:5-8
Biblical Word Studies is an ongoing topical series that examines individual words used in the Bible, in their original languages. By investigating the original languages, we glean a clearer picture of the depths of God’s direction and revelation to man, and also clear up apparent contradictions. Greek and Hebrew word studies can reveal new insights and hidden treasures. However, its most valuable resource is the enhanced clarity, practical interpretation, and rich meaning in understanding the original languages concerning a biblical passage that needs to be underlined. It is these gems of affirmation that can strengthen our faith. Our main focus is always on Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of the world, God incarnate, He alone deserves preeminence in God’s Word. God’s Word, the Holy Bible stands alone as our source of guidance and direction, and is our singular foundation for and of faith. Biblical Word Studies is an outreach ministry of Faith Video Ministries Inc. You may contact us at our e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org