What does the word meek mean in the Bible?

BibleAsk Team

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The word “meek” in Greek is “praüs” which means “gentle.” Christ said:

“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 Him, then He gives us the strength to walk in His way. All we have to do is abide in Him, submitting to His will, and then He does this work for us and in us. And the Lord adds, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (verse 30). Christ was gentle, despite how He was treated and that is how He demonstrated His 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 to the people who have this characteristic (Isaiah 61:1–3; Psalm 37:11).

Meekness is the attitude of heart and mind that prepares the way for sanctification. If a person has this quality, then he is 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). Love shown in actions towards God and man is “good”; it is all that He asks from His children, for “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10).

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 (Daniel 7:27; Matthew 23:12). Through self-exaltation our first parents lost the kingdom entrusted to them but through meekness it will be regained.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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