links meekness with lowliness: "Take My yoke upon
you and learn from Me, for I am gentle [meek, KJV] and lowly in
heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Ephesians
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
with all lowliness and gentleness [meekness, KJV], with
longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit
in the bond of peace.
The King James version is correct, as the
Greek text uses prautes.
"Gentle" and "gentleness" are incorrect because in
this context they are only an aspect of the meekness we should express
in our dealings with others.
11:29, Jesus is explaining why we should embrace His way of life.
As our Lord and Master, He is not harsh, overbearing, and oppressive,
but gentle in His government. His laws are also reasonable and easy to
obey; neither He nor they enslave. He emphasizes the gentle aspect of
meekness toward others. From this, we begin to see why meekness must be
a virtue of those who will receive the Kingdom and govern. Because God
governs in meekness, His children must also.
Ephesians 4 teaches how to build and
maintain unity within a more social context, and here, prautes appears with humility, patience, forbearance, and love. Paul demands that, for unity
to be built and maintained, we should receive offenses without
retaliation, bearing them patiently without a desire for revenge. We
are, in short, to have a forgiving spirit. Without it, we will surely
The association of humility and meekness
is natural, and is yet another facet of meekness. Whereas humility
deals with a correct assessment of his merits, meekness covers a
correct assessment of personal rights. This does not in any way mean a
lowering of the standards of justice or of right and wrong. Meekness can be
accompanied by a war to the death against evil, but the meek Christian
directs this warfare first against the evil in his own heart. He is a
repentant sinner, and his recognition of this state radically alters
his relations with fellow man. A sinner forgiven must have a forgiving
This is I Lord, for you
have forgiven me the most. I
shall go and do likewise. RBoehm 3/7/2010