What does the word meek mean in the Bible?

The word “meek” in Greek is “praüs” which means “gentle.” Christ spoke of Himself saying, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29).

Jesus tells us in this verse to take His yoke. A yoke is a tool that links two oxen in order to pull a plow. If we connect ourselves to Jesus, then it is Him who gives us the strength to walk in His way of meekness. All we have to do is abide in Him, submitting to His will, and then He does this work for us and in us. This is clear as the following verse (vs 30) states, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” It was the meek and gentle nature of Christ, despite how He was treated, that demonstrated His character of love.

The Hebrew equivalent of praüs is ‘anaw, or ‘ani, which means “poor,” “afflicted,” and “humble.”  The word is also used of Moses, who was very “meek” (Numbers 12:3). This word also appears in other areas of the Old Testament as it states that the blessings God has been promised for His meek people (Isaiah 61:1–3; Psalm 37:11).

Meekness is the attitude of heart and mind  that prepares the way for sanctification. If we are meek, then we are teachable.  A meek and quiet spirit is very valuable to God (1 Peter 3:4). Thus, it is something His followers ought to seek after (1 Timothy 6:11). It is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

The Lord invites us to be like Him, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8; Ephesians 4:2).

God will one day reward the meek by giving them the earth as their inheritance (Matthew 5:3). While the wicked generally have control now, it is during this time that we are to develop our character after Christ. And at the time appointed, the kingdoms of this world will be given to the meek, those who have learned to imitate their Master – Jesus Christ (Dan. 7:27; Matthew 23:12). Through self-exaltation our first parents lost the kingdom entrusted to them; through meekness it may be regained.

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In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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