Scriptures on Dates, Years, and Times

The prophets and apostles did not write with reference to the calendar we use.  Yet there are occasional verses which make refence to a lapse of years between one event and another that help us to keep track of time periods.  Here are some of them:

Genesis 15:13 God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.
Genesis 15:14 “But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions.

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Exodus 12:40 Now the time that the sons of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.
Exodus 12:41 And at the end of four hundred and thirty years, to the very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

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Numbers 32:13 “So the LORD’S anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the LORD was destroyed.

For other references to these 40 years, see Deuteronomy 2:7; 8:2, 4.

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Deuteronomy 31:1 So Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel.
Deuteronmy 31:2 And he said to them, “I am a hundred and twenty years old today; I am no longer able to come and go, and the LORD has said to me, ‘You shall not cross this Jordan.’

For other references to these 120 years, see Deuteronomy 34:7.

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1 Kings 6:1 Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

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2 Chronicles 36:20 Those who had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia,
2 Chronicles 36:21 to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until seventy years were complete.

As for the prophesy by Jeremiah of a seventy year exile for Judah, see references from his book below.

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Ezra 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying:

Though without explicit reference to the seventy years that Jeremiah gave, this is a reference to Jeremiah 25:1-12 and 29:10-11 (see below).

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Jeremiah 25:10 ‘Moreover, I will take from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp.
Jeremiah 25:11 ‘This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
Jeremiah 25:12 ‘Then it will be when seventy years are completed I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation,’ declares the LORD, ‘for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it an everlasting desolation.

Jeremiah 29:10 “For thus says the LORD, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.
Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

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Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans–
Daniel 9:2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.

Daniel was one of the exiles, so he was seeking to understand what would happen at the end of the seventy year exile that Jeremiah had prophesied.

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Zechariah 1:12 Then the angel of the LORD said, “O LORD of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant these seventy years?”

Zechariah 7:5 “Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted?

Zechariah is looking back on the sevety years of exile that Jeremiah had prophesied (above).

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Acts 7:2 And he said, “Hear me, brethren and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,
Acts 7:3 and said to him, ‘LEAVE YOUR COUNTRY AND YOUR RELATIVES, AND COME INTO THE LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU.’
Acts 7:4 “Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. From there, after his father died, God had him move to this country in which you are now living.
Acts 7:5 “But He gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground, and yet, even when he had no child, He promised that HE WOULD GIVE IT TO HIM AS A POSSESSION, AND TO HIS DESCENDANTS AFTER HIM.
Acts 7:6 “But God spoke to this effect, that his DESCENDANTS WOULD BE ALIENS IN A FOREIGN LAND, AND THAT THEY WOULD BE ENSLAVED AND MISTREATED FOR FOUR HUNDRED YEARS.
Acts 7:7 “‘AND WHATEVER NATION TO WHICH THEY WILL BE IN BONDAGE I MYSELF WILL JUDGE,’ said God, ‘AND AFTER THAT THEY WILL COME OUT AND SERVE ME IN THIS PLACE.’

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Acts 13:17 “The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it.
Acts 13:18 “For a period of about forty years He put up with them in the wilderness.
Acts 13:19 “When He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land as an inheritance–all of which took about four hundred and fifty years.
Acts 13:20 “After these things He gave them judges until Samuel the prophet.
Acts 13:21 “Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.
Acts 13:22 “After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will.’

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Galatians 3:16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.
Galatians 3:17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Grammatical Equivalencies

What follows are simple statements in Scripture where one thing is equated to another.

Romans 14:23  |  whatever is not from faith = sin

1 Corinthians 12:3  |  Jesus = Lord

Hebrews 11:1  |  faith = the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen

James 4:17  |  knowing the right thing to do and not doing it = sin

1 John 3:4  |  sin = lawlessness

1 John 4:8, 16  |  God = love

1 John 5:17 |  unrighteousness = sin

Related posts:

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Truth v. Lies

“Truth” (including its cognates and synonyms) is shown in bold, while “lie” (including its cognates and synonyms) is shown in italicized bold.

Proverbs 11:18 The wicked earns deceptive wages,
But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.

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Proverbs 12:17 He who speaks truth tells what is right,
But a false witness, deceit.

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Proverbs 12:19 Truthful lips will be established forever,
But a lying tongue is only for a moment.

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Proverbs 14:25 A truthful witness saves lives,
But he who utters lies is treacherous.

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Proverbs 21:28 A false witness will perish,
But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.

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Jeremiah 9:3 “They bend their tongue like their bow;
Lies and not truth prevail in the land;
For they proceed from evil to evil,
And they do not know Me,” declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 9:4 “Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor,
And do not trust any brother;
Because every brother deals craftily,
And every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
Jeremiah 9:5 “Everyone deceives his neighbor
And does not speak the truth,
They have taught their tongue to speak lies;
They weary themselves committing iniquity.

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Jeremiah 28:15 Then Jeremiah the prophet said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie.

To trust in a lie is tragic; to trust in the truth is salvation.

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John 8:43 “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:45 “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.
John 8:46 “Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me?
John 8:47 “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

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Romans 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

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Romans 3:4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written,
“THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS,
AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.”
Romans 3:5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.)
Romans 3:6 May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world?
Romans 3:7 But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?

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Romans 9:1 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit,

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2 Corinthians 6:8 by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true;

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Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.

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2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,
2 Thessalonians 2:12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

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1 Timothy 2:7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

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1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
1 Timothy 4:2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,
1 Timothy 4:3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

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James 3:14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

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1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

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1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

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1 John 2:4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;

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1 John 2:21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.

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1 John 2:27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

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See also:

And for other contrasts in the Scripture, see:  Clarity Through Contrast

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Lists of Longer Than Three

One of the recognizable patterns of speech employed in the Bible is a description using verbal pairs or triplets.  Of course, it also includes lists of descriptions which are longer than these.  All of these patterns aid our understanding of the ideas being taught.  They show us ideas which go together, and thus help us distinguish ideas which go together from those which do not.

Here are some of those longer lists (four items or longer) [emphasis added]:

DESIRABLE CONDITIONS

Mark 12:30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’

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Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

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Philippians 4:9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

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1 Timothy 6:11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.

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2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

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James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

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1 Peter 3:8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;
1 Peter 3:9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

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2 Peter 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
2 Peter 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
2 Peter 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

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UNDESIRABLE CONDITIONS

Romans 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
Romans 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
Romans 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
Romans 1:31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
Romans 1:32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

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1 Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
1 Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

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Galatians 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
Galatians 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
Galatians 5:21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

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1 Timothy 1:8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,
1 Timothy 1:9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers
1 Timothy 1:10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
1 Timothy 1:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

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2 Timothy 3:1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
2 Timothy 3:2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
2 Timothy 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,
2 Timothy 3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2 Timothy 3:5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

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Revelation 21:8 “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

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Revelation 22:15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Flesh v. Spirit (Understanding How the Bible Distinguishes Flesh from Spirit)

To read and understand the Bible in our age it is essential to understand how the Bible uses the terms “flesh” and “spirit,” and how it distinguishes these terms.

The Bible speaks of “flesh” as that dimension of life that we can see.  It speaks of “spirit” as that dimension that we cannot see.  For our modern purposes, “flesh” refers to physical creation (that which science can detect and measure), while “spirit” refers to the invisible realm (which science has no way to detect or measure).  Of course the spirit and the flesh are closely connected for you are a spirit dwelling in flesh.  Who can tell where the flesh stops and the spirit starts?  They highly integrated and only God can tell the parting (Hebrews 4:12).

Here are some posts on this very important subject:

Walking in the Spirit and Not in the Flesh

The Flesh-Spirit Distinction

References to Flesh or Spirit Where One Is Explicit and the Other Is Implied

Alternative Expressions for the Flesh-Spirit Distinction

Allusions to the Flesh-Spirit Distinction

“The Flesh” Is Not Always Bad, and “The Spirit” Is Not Always Good

References to “Flesh” That Mean Human Existence

Examples of Reading the Bible in a New Light

The Flesh-Spirit Distinction Was Always Known, but Became Pivotal Through Jesus Christ

The Change

On Becoming Spiritual

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

“Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses”

This principle – “Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses” – is itself confirmed in several passages of Scripture.The phrase appears first in Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15.  It is then quoted four times in the New Testament:  Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthans 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19; and Hebrews 10:28.

The idea, of course, is that something important needs confirmation, lest there be misunderstanding or error about the issue.  Note that one witness is too few; and more than three is superfluous, and possibly even distracting.

Some people hear a single person say something, or perhaps they read a single verse of Scripture, and build a whole new understanding on what they heard or read.  It is easy for one person to be wrong or misunderstood, or for a single verse of Scripture to be taken out of context.  Obtaining multiple attestation of what we think we have learned is a prudent way of accumulating knowledge.  On the other hand, some people need so many witnesses to something that they can’t believe anything unless almost everyone believes it!

God has given us a way of being sure without being obsessive.  It is the way of multiple (two or three) attestation.

Related to this idea, is the repetition we find in the Scriptures.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Biblical Poetry

The Bible is filled with poetry, most notably the Psalms.  However, poetry can also be found in other books of the Bible, most often in those books written by the prophets.

With Engish poetry, we’re used to rhyme – that is, the repetition of sound from one line to the next.  With Hebrew poetry, the repetition is not of sound, but rather of the idea.  More precisely, Hebrew poetry typically repeats and often intensifies (or emphasizes) the idea.  This, of course, helps to convey its meaning.  This dynamic is often called the parallelism of Hebrew poetry.

English poetry’s repetition of sound helps the reader or hearer remember the words.  Hebrew poetry’s repetion of the idea helps the reader or hearer understand the words.  (Hebrew poetry also cares about recall, but this it seeks to achieve primarily through its vivid imagery.)

In the first verse of Psalm 1, for example, we see the idea of one who “does not walk in the counsel of the wicked” repeated in “nor stand in the path of sinners,” and again in “nor sit in the seat of scoffers.”  Then, in second verse, we see the idea of “his delight is in the law of the Lord” repeated and given more detail in “in his law he meditates day and night.”

Therefore, when you read Biblical poetry, recognize that conceptual repetition is intended to give us greater clarity of understanding.

For more posts Biblical patterns of speech, see the sub-category of “Patterns of Speech” under the category of “The Bible.”

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.

Clarity Through Contrast

To make a point clear, the Bible will often speak in contrasts.  While the contrasts are not always between something good and something bad, they often are.  Here are some examples:

Psalm 45:7  –  “righteousness” v. “wickedness”

Proverbs 29:25  –  “fear of man” v. “trust in the Lord”

Ecclesiastes 7:2  –  “house of mourning” v. “house of feasting”

Ecclesiastes 7:4  –  “the house of mourning” v. “the house of pleasure”

Ecclesiastes 7:8  –  “patience of spirit” v. “haughtiness of spirit”

Ecclesiastes 7:26  –  “one who is pleasing to God” v. “sinner”

Matthew 16:23  –  “God’s interests” v. “man’s [interests]” 

Matthew 26:41  –  “the spirit is willing” v. “the flesh is weak”

Mark 8:33  –  “God’s interests” v. “man’s [interests]”

Mark 14:38  –  “the spirit is willing” v. “the flesh is weak”

Luke 12:21  –  “stores up treasure for himself” v. becomes “rich toward God”

Luke 16:10  –  “faithfulness” v. “unrighteousness”

Luke 18:1  –  “to pray” v. “to lose heart”

John 1:17  –  “the Law was given through Moses” v. “grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ”

John 3:6  –  “flesh” and “born of flesh” v. “spirit” and “born of spirit”

John 5:44  –  seeking “glory from one another” v. “glory that is from the one and only God”

John 12:43  –  they loved “the approval of men” v. “the approval of God”

John 20:27  –  “unbelieving” v. “believing”

Acts 26:18  –  “darkness” v. “light”

Acts 26:18  –  “the dominion of Satan” v. “[the dominion of] God”

Romans 2:28-29  –  “outward Jew” v. “inward Jew”

Romans 2:28-29 –  “circumcision of the flesh” v. “circumcision of the heart”

Romans 2:28-29  –  “by the Spirit” v. “by the letter”

Romans 2:28-29  –  “praise from men” v. “praise from God”

Romans 6:23  –  “the wages of sin is death” v. “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”

Romans 7:6  –  “oldness of the letter” v. “newness of the Spirit”

Romans 8:4  –  “according to the flesh” v. “according to the Spirit”

Romans 8:5  –  “the things of the flesh” v. “the things of the Spirit”

Romans 12:2  –  “be conformed to this world” v. “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”

Romans 15:27  –  “spiritual things” v. “material things”

1 Corinthians 2:14-15  –  “a natural man” v. “he who is spiritual”

1 Corinthians 3:1  –  “spiritual men” v. men of flesh” (“infants in Christ”)

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 – “fleshly” v. “spiritual”

1 Corinthians 9:11  –  “spiritual things” v. “material things”

1 Corinthians 9:25 –  “perishable wreath” v. “imperishable [wreath]

1 Corinthias 10:24  –  seeking “his own good” v. “that of his neighbor”

1 Corinthians 14:33  –  “confusion” v. “peace”

2 Corinthians 1:12  –  “fleshly wisdom” v. “the grace of God”

2 Corinthians 4:16  –  “our outer man is decaying” v. “our inner man is being renewed day by day”

2 Corinthians 4:18  –  “the things which are seen” v. “the things which are not seen”

1 Corinthians 4:18  –  “temporal” v. “eternal”

2 Corinthians 5:7  –  walk “by faith” v. “by sight”

2 Corinthians 6:14  –  “righteousness” v. “lawlessness”

2 Corinthians 6:14  –  “light” v. “darkness”

2 Corinthians 6:15  –  “Christ” v. “Belial”

2 Corinthians 6:15  –  “believer” v. “unbeliever”

Galatians 4:29  –  “born according to the flesh” v. “born according to the Spirit”

Galatians 5:13  –  “an opportunity for the flesh” v. “through love serve one another”

Galatians 5:19-23  –  “the deeds of the flesh” v. “the fruit of the Spirit”

Ephesians 6:7  –  render service as ” to the Lord” v. “to men”

Philippians 1:15  – “from envy and strife” v. “from good will”

Philippians 2:21  –  For they all seek after “their own interests” v. “those of Christ Jesus”

Colossians 1:16  –  “visible” v. “invisible”

Colossians 3:2  –  Set your minds on “things above” v. “the things that are on earth”

2 Timothy 1:7  –  a spirit “of timidity” v. “of power and love and discipline”

2 Timothy 3:4  –  “lovers of pleasure” v. “lovers of God”

Titus 2:12  –  “ungodliness and worldly desires” v. “sensibly, righteously, and godly”

Philemon  –  “by compulsion” v. “of your own free will”

Philemon 1:16  –  “in the flesh” v. “in the Lord”

Hebrews 1:9  –  “righteousness” v. “lawlessness”

Hebrews 11:25  –   “endure ill-treatment with the people of God” v. “enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” 

Hebrews 11:26  –  “the reproach of Christ” v. “the treasures of Egypt” 

James 3:15-17  –  Wisdom “from above” v. that which is “earthly, natural, demonic”

1 Peter 1:14-15  –  “be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in ignorance” v. “be holy in all your behavior [as Christ was]

1 Peter 4:2  –  “the lusts of men” v. “the will of God”

1 Peter 4:6  –  “in the flesh” v. “in the spirit”

For more posts of this kind, see the sub-category of “Patterns of Speech” under the category of “The Bible.”

For a contrast to contrasts, see Grammatical Equivalencies.

Here also are posts on specific contrasts:

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Biblical Patterns of Speech

The Bible, being a product of ancient Jewish culture, uses speech patterns which help us to better grasp its meaning.  These include, but are not limited to, the following:

Biblical Poetry

Clarity Through Contrast

Verbal Pairs That Heighten and Reinforce Understanding

Verbal Triplets That Heighten and Reinforce Understanding

These posts are just a sampling.  For more of them, see the sub-category of “Patterns of Speech” under the category of “The Bible.”

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

 

Verbal Triplets That Heighten and Reinforce Understanding

When the Bible speaks “in three’s” (i.e. trios or triplets of terms) it strengthens our understanding just as it does when it speaks in pairs or duos of words, or even in longer lists.

EXAMPLES INVOLVING POSITIVE DESCRIPTIONS

Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

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Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

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Isaiah 33:6 And He will be the stability of your times,
A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge;
The fear of the LORD is his treasure.

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Isaiah 66:2 …But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

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Hosea 4:1 Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel,
For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.

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Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

The King James Version of this triplet reads “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”  Note also the similarity between the three virtues described in Micah 6:8 and the three decribed in Matthew 23:23.

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Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

Note the similarity of this trio with the one found in Micah 6:8. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to conclude that Jesus was here alluding to Micah’s admonition.

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Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

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Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

The 1973 NASB renders this trio of words as “kindness and forbearance and patience.”

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Romans 2:9-10  –  There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

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Romans 5:3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
Romans 5:4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

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Romans 7:12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

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Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

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Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

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1 Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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1 Corinthians 14:3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.

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2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

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Ephesians 5:9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),

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1 Thessalonians 1:3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father,

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1 Thessalonians 2:10 You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers;
1 Thessalonians 2:11 just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children,
1 Thessalonians 2:12 so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

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1 Thessalonians 4:11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you,

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1 Thessalonians 5:8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

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1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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1 Timothy 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

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2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

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Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
Titus 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

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1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen
1 Peter 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

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2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

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Revelation 17:14 “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”

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Revelation 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

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EXAMPLES INVOLVING NEGATIVE DESCRIPTIONS

Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

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Hosea 4:1 Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel,
For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.

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Mark 4:19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

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Luke 8:14 “The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

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Luke 21:34 “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;

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Ephesians 5:3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
Ephesians 5:4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

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1 Thessalonians 2:3 For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit;

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Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

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James 3:15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

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James 4:9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.

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1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

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For more posts of this kind, see the sub-category of “Patterns of Speech” under the category of “The Bible.”

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Verbal Pairs That Heighten and Reinforce Understanding

When Scripture uses two adjectives of a noun, it makes understanding of both modifiers better.  For example, if it described Jesus’ heart as humble, we would have understood.  Or if it had described His heart as gentle, we would likewise have understood.  But when it says that His heart was gentle and humble, we understand even better.  (By the way, to learn more about how often gentleness and humility show up together in a scriptural passage, see this post.)

Here then are cases where words are used in tandem, heightening and reinforcing the meanings of each.  This listing represents but a few examples of many such instances in the Scriptures.  First, the positive examples; then the negative [Emphasis, and occasionally comments, added]:

EXAMPLES INVOLVING POSITIVE DESCRIPTIONS

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

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Psalm 131:2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.

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Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

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Isaiah 1:19 “If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land;

The King James Version of this verse renders the phrase for “consent and obey” as “willing and obedient.”

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Isaiah 30:15 For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing,

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Isaiah 66:2 “…But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

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Zephaniah 3:12 “But I will leave among you
A humble and lowly people,
And they will take refuge in the name of the LORD.

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Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
Matthew 11:30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Note the similarity of “gentle and humble” here with “meekness and gentleness” in 2 Corinthians 10:1 below, both being references to Christ.

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Matthew 24:45 “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?

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Matthew 25:21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

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Luke 18:1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,

Compare this verse with Hebrews 12:3 below.

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Luke 8:15 “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

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Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time?

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Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Romans 15:5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,

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Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

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1 Corinthians 14:40 But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.

The KJV and ESV read “decently and in order.”  The NIV reads “in a fitting and orderly way.”  (See here for these versions.)

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2 Corinthians 10:1 Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ–I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent!

Note the similarity of  “meekness and gentleness” here with “gentle and humble” in Matthew 11:29 above, both being references to Christ.

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2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

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Ephesians 5:27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
Ephesians 5:28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
Ephesians 5:29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,

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Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

The King James Version translates this phrase as “nurture and admonition.”

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Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
Philippians 2:15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
Philippians 2:16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

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Colossians 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Colossians 1:10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Colossians 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
Colossians 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

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2 Thessalonians 1:4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.

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2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,

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1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

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Hebrews 2:9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

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Hebrews 2:17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

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Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,
Hebrews 6:12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

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Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,
Hebrews 6:20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

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Hebrews 10:24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

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Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;

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Hebrews 13:16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

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James 5:10 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

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1 Peter 1:20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you
1 Peter 1:21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

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1 Peter 3:2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

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1 Peter 3:4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

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1 Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

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2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
2 Peter 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

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2 Peter 3:11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

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2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,

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1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The King James Version says “faithful and just.”

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2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

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Revelation 3:14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

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Revelation 13:10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

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EXAMPLES INVOLVING NEGATIVE DESCRIPTIONS

Psalm 131:1 O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.

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Proverbs 11:31 If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth,
How much more the wicked and the sinner!

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Isaiah 57:11 “Of whom were you worried and fearful
When you lied, and did not remember Me
Nor give Me a thought?
Was I not silent even for a long time
So you do not fear Me?

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Ezekiel 3:5 “For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel,
Ezekiel 3:6 nor to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. But I have sent you to them who should listen to you;
Ezekiel 3:7 yet the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to Me. Surely the whole house of Israel is stubborn and obstinate.

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Matthew 9:36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.

The NASB 1973 reads “distressed and downcast.”  The ESV and NIV read “harrassed and helpless.”  The KJV reads “they fainted and were scattered abroad.”  (See here for these other translations.)

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Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
Matthew 11:30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

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Matthew 13:21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
Matthew 13:22 “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

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Matthew 16:4 “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away.

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Matthew 17:17 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.”

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Matthew 25:26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.

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Mark 4:17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.

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Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

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Luke 10:41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;
Luke 10:42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

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Luke 11:39 But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness.

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Luke 24:25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

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Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

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Romans 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

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Romans 2:9-10  –  There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

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Romans 10:21 But as for Israel He says, “ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE.”

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Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

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Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
Philippians 2:15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
Philippians 2:16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

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2 Thessalonians 1:4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.

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Titus 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.

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Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
Titus 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

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Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

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Hebrews 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins;
Hebrews 5:2 he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness;
Hebrews 5:3 and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself.

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Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Compare this verse with Luke 18:1 above.

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Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
Hebrews 12:16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.

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Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

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James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

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1 Peter 4:18 AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER?  [quoting Proverbs 11:31, which you can see above]

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2 Peter 3:16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

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In addition to pairs, the Bible also speaks in three’s to strengthen our understanding.  And there are, of course, lists longer than two or three items.  And on the broader subject of biblical patterns of speech, see that category to the right (or click here).

By the way, for more on positive descriptions see this post about how we can practice the positive traits of Jesus Christ.  Indeed, all positive character traits proceed from the character of God.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)